Plume Moth

Subject:  What’s this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  North central New Mexico
Date: 07/31/2021
Time: 03:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We live in the high plains east of Albuquerque and found this stranger in our covered entry. Any idea what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Jane

Plume Moth

Out Automated Response:  Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!

I can only imagine! Thank you for your interest — if you get to our insect, we’ll be thrilled. If not, we’ll keep trying to find out ourselves!
Thank you!

Dear Cheryl,
Many folks who write to us wanting a Plume Moth in the family Pterophoridae identified frequently refer to them as “T-Bugs“.  According to the Missouri Department of Conservation:  “Plume moths are instantly recognizable by their T-shaped silhouette and muted shades of tan and brown. At rest, the moths hold their wings tightly rolled, but when they are spread, the deeply cleft slits in the wing margins that create the feathery plumes are visible. These moths are slim and delicate-looking, with a long, thin abdomen and extremely long, fragile legs. Their flight is weak and fluttery. It can be hard to distinguish among the many species of plume moths.”


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