Plume Moths (Pterophoridae)

Plume moths are a family of moths known for their lobed wings. There are five lobes, two in the forewings and three in the hindwings.

List of Moths in this Family

  • Brown leaf folder moth (Ochyrotica concursa)
  • Beautiful plume moth (Amblyptilia acanthadactyla)
  • Rose plume moth (Cnaemidophorus rhododactyla)
  • Lantana plume moth (Lantanophaga pusillidactyla)
  • Artichoke plume moth (Platyptilia carduidactyla)
  • Brown plume moth (Stenoptilia pterodactyla)
  • Triangle plume moth (Platyptilia gonodactyla)
  • Twin-spot plume moth (Stenoptilia bipunctidactyla)
  • Dowdy plume moth (Stenoptilia zophodactylus)
  • Snapdragon plume moth (Stenoptilodes antirrhina)
  • Baccharis borer moth (Hellinsia balanotes)
  • White plume moth (Pterophorus pentadactyla)

Description and Identification


They are green, with some specimens having a brown line running along their body. There are bristles all over their bodies.


Pupation does not take place inside cocoons. The light brown pupae are 1cm and angulate.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

Forewing: When opened, it is observed that the wings are white and bi-lobed, forming a T-shape. When closed, the colors and patterns remain the same.

Hindwing: When opened, they are white and tri-lobed. When closed, the lobes are hidden.

Average wingspan: 1.5-2.5 cm

Flight pattern: Continuous

Season: Spring to fall


The eggs are pale yellow or white, glossy, and elliptical or oval. They are around 0.04 cm long.

Quick Facts

Distribution Global
Habitat Flowers of herbaceous plants
Lifespan of Adults 3-4 days
Predators Birds
Host Plants Ornamental plants
Adult Diet Nectar

Did You Know

  • German entomologist Philipp Christoph Zeller first described this family of moths in 1841.