yarrow plume moth

(Gillmeria pallidactyla)

yarrow plume moth
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  Hodges #


Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked


not listed


Yarrow plume moth is common and widespread throughout Europe and across North America. it is found from June to August in a wide variety of dry or damp areas, including gardens and waste places.

The body is long, narrow, and pale tan. The upper body is marked with a narrow stripe in the middle (middorsal) and a similar stripe on each side. The stripes may be dark brown, light brown, or barely visible.

The wings are held out perpendicular to the body when at rest. The forewings narrow at the base, flared and at least twice as wide at the tip, are deeply notched at the tip. 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. The basal and median areas have dark brown shading that creates a slanting pale streak between them in the central median area. The costal margin is dark brown, and this widens out into a dark brown triangle at the postmedial line. There is often a small very dark spot at the tip of the triangle.

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

The legs are pale brown and very long. The third leg segment (femur) on the front and middle legs is dark brown. 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. The area between the pairs of spurs is entirely medium brown and has no dark brown rings.




Total length: to 11 16


Similar Species


Dry or damp areas, including gardens and waste areas




June to August




During the day adults hide low on foliage. They become active at dusk, are attracted to light, and will come to lights. They rest with their wings spread out at right angles, in a T-shaped profile, like an airplane.


Life Cycle


The larvae overwinters in the soil among the roots of the host plant. In the spring it enters young shoots and creates mines as it feeds. In late spring or early summer it pupates on the stem or on a leaf. Adults emerge and are active from June through July.


Larva Hosts


Leaves and stems of mostly common yarrow and possibly also common tansy


Adult Food




Distribution Map



21, 24, 29, 30, 75.




Common and widespread



Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  


Pterophoroidea (plume moths and allies)  


Pterophoridae (plume moths)  









Platyptilus adustus

Platyptilus bischoffi

Platyptilia pallidactyla

Pterophorus cervinidactylus

Pterophorus marginidactylus

Pterophorus migadactylus

Pterophorus nebulaedactylus


Common Names


yarrow plume

yarrow plume moth









Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.



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



The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.






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Alfredo Colon

    yarrow plume moth   yarrow plume moth  
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos






Gillmeria pallidactyla - Hodges#6107
Andree Reno Sanborn

  Gillmeria pallidactyla - Hodges#6107  
45.008 (1504) Yarrow Plume Gillmeria pallidactyla
Sue Davies
  45.008 (1504) Yarrow Plume Gillmeria pallidactyla  



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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

yarrow plume moth  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

yarrow plume moth  
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