plume moth

(Hellinsia glenni)

plume moth (Hellinsia glenni)
Photo by Stephanie Selb
  Hodges #

6214

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Hellinsia glenni is a medium-sized plume moth. It occurs in the eastern half of North America and in California. There are very few records of it. This is likely due in part to the difficulty of identifying most plume moths to species or even to genus. Little descriptive or biological information can be found for this species or for this genus. Larvae bore into and feed in the stems of asters and goldenrods. Adults feed of flower nectar.

Adults have a wingspan of about 1 (26 mm). The body is long, narrow, and pale tan. It is often mottled with slightly darker tan. Sometimes it is mostly slightly darker tan. There is a tiny dark dot on the upper side of most abdominal segments on most individuals, but this is sometimes barely visible or absent.

The wings are pale tan, sometimes mottled with slightly darker tan. They are held out perpendicular to the body when at rest. The forewings narrow at the base and flared to at least twice as wide at the tip. They are deeply notched at the tip, dividing each wing into two lobes. The leading edge (costal margin) of each forewing is straight for three-quarters of its length, then gently convex to the tip. The inner margin is straight and slightly angles backward at the base, then very gently concave to the tip.

When at rest, the hindwings are folded within the forewing and are not visible from above.

The legs are pale tan and very long. The middle leg has a pair of long spurs at the end of the fourth leg segment (tibia). The hind leg has two pairs of spurs on the tibia, one pair in the middle, one pair at the tip.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Wingspan: about 1 (26 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Spring through fall

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are active at night and will come to lights. They are sometimes found resting on walls or on plants during the day. They rest with their wings spread out at right angles, in a T-shaped profile, like an airplane.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Stems of asters and goldenrods

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flower nectar

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

21, 24, 29, 30, 75, 82.

 
  7/9/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Unknown

There are very few records of Hellinsia glenni in North America. This is likely due in part to the difficulty of identifying most plume moths to species or even to genus.

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Pterophoroidea (plume moths)  
 

Family

Pterophoridae (plume moths)  
 

Subfamily

Pterophorinae  
 

Tribe

Oidaematophorini  
 

Genus

Hellinsia  
       
 

The genus Hellinsia was formerly placed in the tribe Pterophorini.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Oidaematophorus glenni

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

This species has no common name. The common name of the family Pterophoridae is plume moths, and is used here for convenience.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.

 

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Stephanie Selb

 
    plume moth (Hellinsia glenni)   plume moth (Hellinsia glenni)  
           
 
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  Stephanie Selb
5/31/2021

Location: Andover, Anoka County, MN

plume moth (Hellinsia glenni)

 
           
 
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Created: 7/9/2021

Last Updated:

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