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Species Amblyptilia pica - Geranium Plume Moth - Hodges#6118

Weird Winged Moth? - Amblyptilia pica Cool Plume Moth - Amblyptilia pica Moth pupa - Amblyptilia pica Backlit lateral view, detail - Amblyptilia pica Another view - Amblyptilia pica Variegated moth - Amblyptilia pica Plume Moth of Doorway - Amblyptilia pica - male Amblyptilia pica? - Amblyptilia pica
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pterophoroidea (Plume Moths)
Family Pterophoridae (Plume Moths)
Subfamily Pterophorinae
Tribe Platyptiliini
Genus Amblyptilia
Species pica (Geranium Plume Moth - Hodges#6118)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
formerly placed in genus Platyptilia
5 synonyms: Amblyptilia calisequoiae, crataea, marina, monticola, sierrae
the only species in this genus in North America listed at All-Leps
wingspan about 18 mm, based on photo by Jim Vargo at MPG
Adult: forewing brown or grayish; dark brown to blackish triangle along costa in PM area, and dark band across wing in subterminal area; several pale transverse lines along inner margin give a stippled effect (a distinctive feature); hindwing third lobe with distinct scale tooth
male genitalia are unique in having a sclerotized cucullus and bristled uncus and saccus
western North America from Alaska to California, inland to Alberta and Kansas; also occurs in northeastern states (KY, ME, MA, NH, NY, PA) and Ontario, as a greenhouse pest on geraniums
fields and meadows where larval host plants grow; commercial greenhouses
adults fly from May to October but are most numerous in summer
larvae mine the leaves and also feed on flower buds and seeds of indian paint brush (Castilleja spp.), Furbish's Lousewort (Pedicularis furbishiae), California Figwort (Scrophularia californica), Penstemon whippleanus, plus plants in the families Primulaceae, Labiatae, and Caprifoliaceae, and ornamental (greenhouse) geraniums and snapdragons
adults in early spring nectar on flowers of pussy willow (Salix spp.)
Life Cycle
overwinters as an adult
See Also
Artichoke Plume Moth (Platyptilia carduidactyla) forewing lacks "stippled effect" (several pale transverse lines) along inner margin, and usually has reddish shading in subterminal area
Internet References
pinned adult image plus description, flight season, adult and larval foodplants, biology, distribution (Strickland Entomological Museum, U. of Alberta)
live adult image plus common name reference and other info (Pest Diagnostic Information System, Kansas State U.)
live adult images plus larval host and distribution (Moth Photographers Group)
pinned adult image plus photos of related species by Jim Vargo (Moth Photographers Group)
pinned adult image of specimen collected in California (Bruce Walsh, Moths of Southeastern Arizona)
flight season histogram (Strickland Entomological Museum, U. of Alberta)
presence on larval hostplant; PDF doc [Furbish's Lousewort] in Maine (Eric Menges, Donald Waller, and Susan Gawler, American Journal of Botany)
presence on larval host plant; PDF doc [California Figwort] (U. of California at Berkeley)
presence in California; list (U. of California at Berkeley)
presence in Ontario; list (NHIC; Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)
synonyms and links to images, references (Markku Savela, FUNET)