Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Desmia maculalis Westwood, 1831
Males: Live wingspan 20mm - 24mm
Females: Live wingspan 18mm - 20mm
From Brian Scholtens:
"The character that I use is the extent of the white patch on the underside of the abdomen. D. funeralis individuals have a solid white patch on the underside of the abdomen on segments 1-5 (or may have a slight break on segment 3). D. maculalis individuals have a broken white patch, where about 1/2 of segments 3 and 4 are clearly dark. Basically, maculalis looks striped on the underside, whereas funeralis looks like it is basically solid white."
There is considerable size overlap between male Desmia maculalis and female D. funeralis so it is necessary to sex the moth to be able to identify the species. Fortunately, sexing the 2 species is relatively easy.
Males of D. funeralis and D. maculalis have a distinct notch or joint at about the mid-point of each antenna. The hindwing spot on the females of both species is pinched in the middle and on rare occasions may be divided into 2 smaller spots.
To add your record to this page, you must provide:
1. a dorsal photo that clearly shows the antennae or the spot on the hindwing so the moth can be sexed.
2. a ventral photo clearly showing the markings on the abdomen. The moth does not have to be killed or chilled to get a photo of the underside. A jar with flat sides works great for this purpose and also makes it easy to get accurate measurements.
3. an accurate measurement of the wingspan.
Records that do not meet these 3 requirements should go in the Desmia funeralis/maculalis
group location. Of course specimens identified through DNA barcoding do not need a photo of the underside or wingspan measurements to be added to this page.
Photo of the underside showing the banded abdomen.
Specimens identified by DNA analysis (BOLD). (1)
across southern United States to California; in the east, occurs north to Maryland, Ontario, and Michigan. (2)
larvae probably feed on grape and evening primrose, as in Grape Leaffolder [diet records unreliable due to confusion between the two species] (4)
Several other Desmia
species occur in some areas (example: Florida
has 10 species)
Covell, p. 400, plate 56 #14 (4)
Westwood, J. O. 1832: Desmie, Desmia. Magasin de Zoologie
2: unpaginated text (Classe 9. Pl. 2.)
, pl. 2
pinned adult image
by John Glaser, plus flight season (Larry Line, Maryland)
pinned adult image
(James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
presence in Ontario; list
(NHIC; Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)