<--Previous Up Next-->
Plume Moth - Stenoptilia pterodactyla
Like other species it overwinters as an adult. The larvae however can be found on Speedwell exclusively. The rather non descript adults reach a wingspan of up to some 28 mm. The color of the wings is quite variable and may be yellowish, brownish or greyish. This is a very common species all over Britain and Ireland.
Plume Moths (Pterophoridae)
Plume moths often look like large mosquitoes or crane flies. To mimic other species, plume moths had to find a way to disguise their wings. To achieve this effect their wings are divided into small segments. These segments can be put one on top of the other. In this way the wing looks like a small one, but by unfolding it the plume moth flies just like any other moth. Most common in the Benelux and Britain is the White Plume Moth, below to the left. Even in rest the wings are rolled up rather carelessly and usually one can easily see the segments, usually called 'fingers'. It is a rather big micro, for it may reach a wingspan of some 36 mm. The caterpillars feed and overwinter exclusively on bindweed. Of all plume moths this species is seen most often, for it is often attracted by light. To the right another white species. It looks like the White Plume Moth a lot, but is considerably smaller (wingspan 20 to 25 mm only), has dark spots on the wings and a small brown line on the back. It is on the wing in June and July and is active in daylight as well as at dusk. The larvae are found on Burdock (Arctium spp) exclusively. In the UK only known from the brecklands of East Anglia, in Holland known from the dunes only. Is on the German red list. This is why we report its presence in our garden tentative only. Most of the alternatives are very uncommon species too, though.