Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Homaledra heptathalama - Exclamation Moth - Hodges#1421

Palm leaf housemaker - Homaledra heptathalama Palm leaf housemaker - Homaledra heptathalama Exclamation Moth - Homaledra heptathalama  Exclamation Moth - Hodges#1421 - Homaledra heptathalama really WEIRD moth, ID help please - Homaledra heptathalama Exclamation Moth - Homaledra heptathalama Homaledra heptathalama Florida Moth - Homaledra heptathalama
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Gelechioidea (Twirler Moths and kin)
Family Pterolonchidae
Genus Homaledra
Species heptathalama (Exclamation Moth - Hodges#1421)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Palm Leaf Housemaker (larva).
Palmetto feeder.
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Homaledra heptathalama Busck, 1900
* placed in family Coleophoridae by Nye & Fletcher (1991), and in Batrachedridae by Hodges in Kristensen (1999).
Explanation of Names
Exclamation Moth was coined by Bob Patterson here, referring to the wing markings that look like an exclamation mark: "!"
heptathalama is from Greek hepta (επτα)- "seven" + thalamos (θαλαμος)- "inner room or chamber"
From the original description:
"It feeds on the underside of the palmetto leaf in a fold, making a very unique chambered abode of its frass (or of the chewed epidermis) (Plate I, fig. 1). It begins by making a small elongate chamber and adds, as it grows, successively larger, more or less rectangular, thick-walled, communicating rooms to its house, the entire length of which is l 1/2 to 2 inches, and which when finished contains 7 (or sometimes 8) chambers; hence the name of the insect."
Wingspan 19-26 mm (Busck, 1900).
Larva to 15-18 mm (Busck, 1900).
Adult - forewing slender, almost parallel-sided for most of length, tapering to a rounded point at apex; pale yellowish-brown except for darker brownish-orange strip along costa, and two white markings in median area that together resemble an exclamation point; hindwing consists of a rod-like or spike-like midrib; all wings with long fringe of hair-like scales, very prominent in spread specimens, but hidden beneath forewings (which are hugged close to the body) in live individuals at rest; antennae thick, almost as long as forewing.
South Carolina to Florida, west to Louisiana.
Adults present from March to October in Florida.
Larvae feed on leaves of cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto).
Life Cycle
See Busck (1900) below.
See Also
The "exclamation point" marking on the forewing is diagnostic.
Print References
Busck, A. 1900. A new species of moths of the superfamily Tineina from Florida. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 23: 237-238
Internet References
distribution (Dalton State College, Georgia)
presence in Florida; list and common name reference [Palm Leaf Housemaker] (John Heppner, Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
classification (Brian Pitkin, Butterflies and Moths of the World)