Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Diaphania hyalinata - Melonworm Moth - Hodges#5204

Diaphania hyalinata Moth with Cheerleader Tassles Tail? - Diaphania hyalinata Melonworm Moth - waving brush pencils - Diaphania hyalinata - female Melonworm Moth - Diaphania hyalinata Diaphania, perhaps hyalinata  - Diaphania hyalinata moth - Diaphania hyalinata Pumpkin eaters - Diaphania hyalinata Diaphania hyalinata
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Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea (Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths)
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Spilomelinae
Tribe Margaroniini
Genus Diaphania
Species hyalinata (Melonworm Moth - Hodges#5204)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Diaphania hyalinata (Linnaeus, 1767)
Phylogenetic sequence #155525.
9 spp. of Diaphania n. of Mex.
Wingspan: 27-30 mm.
Pearly white wings are somewhat iridescent with broad dark brown band along outer margin and costa. The tip of the abdomen has brushy "hair-pencils."
e US to s CA / W. Indies - MAP - (MPG),(1)
Fields, cultivated land.
mostly Sept-Oct, but yr round in FL (MPG)
Larvae feed on cucumber family plants: cucumber, melon, squash. (1)
Life Cycle
Many generations (3?) in south, disperses northward in fall, does not persist there.
Females* (or males?) extend pheromone-laden "hair-pencils" from the tip of their abdomen. These structures serve as both aphrodisiacs and tranquilizers to females as well as repellents to conspecific males. - Wiki

*Note. Some sources imply that males extrude hair-pencils, and others females. Clarification is needed.
See Also
Diaphania indica has abdomen mostly white like D. hyalinata but black border of forewing is broader.
Diaphania elegans has mostly brown abdominal with first segment white and black border of forewing is broader.
Diaphania modialis is like D. elegans but lacks the all white first abdominal segment.
Diaphania infimalis is like D. modialis but smaller with black border of forewing is narrower. Per Capps in Kimball (1965) (2), specimens of Diaphania modialis have been misidentified as this species which is not found in NA.
Print References
Powell, J. A., and P. A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. pl. 23.39m; p. 179.(3)
Covell, C. V. 1984. Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths. p. 401, plate 56 #18 (4)
Internet References
Featured Creatures - University of Florida
"hair-pencils" - Wiki
Works Cited
1.Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America
David Beadle and Seabrooke Leckie. 2012. Houghton Mifflin.
2.The Lepidoptera of Florida: An Annotated Checklist.
Charles P. Kimball. 1965. Florida Dept. of Ag. Gainesville, FL. v + 363 pp.
3.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.
4.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.