T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Pterophorus furcatalis (Plume moth)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pterophoridae
Genus: Pterophorus
Species: P. furcatalis
Binomial name: Pterophorus furcatalis
Synonyms: Aciptilus furcatalis
Common name: Plume moth

Pterophorus furcatalis is a weak flying night moth found in New Zealand. It has unusually modified wings with a wingspan of 16–19 mm. The head, palpi, antennae and legs are white. The thorax is pale fuscous irrorated with dark fuscous, but the anterior margin is broadly white. The abdomen is white, with a central longitudinal fuscous stripe. The forewings are light fuscous irrorated with dark fuscous. The hindwings and cilia are snow-white. They resemble a piece of dried grass, and may pass unnoticed by potential predators even when resting in exposed situations in daylight.