What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

“T”-shaped tan insect (able to fly?) with manits like head and walking stick thinness.
Sat, Dec 20, 2008 at 7:36 PM
Dear Bugman,
I saw this insect on my screen door last summer and took a couple of pictures (admittedly they are not very clear). It hung around for the better part of a week and did not move. I touched it to see if the protrusions on its upper back were wings but it gave no indication of being so. It was mostly a camel color and about 2″ across at the “T” and about half that for the length as well. What you see in the picture is all that I know. I have looked extensively on bug identification sites but nothing has really come close to what it truly looks like. Is it native to Oregon? Thanks for any insight you may have.
Curious in Oregon
Portland, Oregon

Plume Moth

Plume Moth

Dear Curious in Oregon,
This is a Plume Moth in the family Pterophoridae.  You may look at many different species on BugGuide. The Pterophoridae of North America website by Deborah Matthews lists 154 species in North America.  We are not skilled enough to identify this specimen to the species level.  Many people call this a T Bug when requesting an identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Portland, Oregon

23 Responses to Plume Moth

  1. Susan says:

    Does a plume moth bite and if so is it dangerous? Where are they normally found, I live in western Pennsylvania and until today I have never seen one of these before?

  2. Maddy says:

    I saw one of these guys the other night that had flown in through the window, and was sitting on my tissue box. I’d never seen or heard of anything like it, but with the bizarre shape, it was easy to Google search “T-shaped bug with feather-like wings” and get the answers I was looking for. But I’m curious, are they very rare? It seems strange to me that an insect with such a distinct look would have escaped my attention. (Not that I’m particularly well read.) I’m in Northwestern Washington, and from what I’ve found so far, I think the one I saw was specifically a Stenoptilia pterodactyla. Whatever that means.

  3. Marsha Long says:

    I have seen several of these out on our deck in Springfield, Illinois.

  4. Flamur says:

    Aslo i Kosovo , Europe . I made a photo of this T shape insect.

  5. Annie says:

    One of these on my screen door today here along the CT shore, looked up “moth that looks like a T” and found this site. Thanks for the I.D. (My pic looks almost exactly like this pic!)

  6. sophia says:

    can you keep this as a pet and if so what does it need

  7. Hannah says:

    We saw one this morning. We did not recognize it. Happy to find this site. Aurora, Colorado

  8. I live in the uk and I have 2 of them in my garden and I’d like to know is it rare to have them in England?

    • bugman says:

      Of the Common Plume, Emmelina monodactyla, UK Moths states: “One of the commonest of the ‘Plume’ moths all over Britain, and one of the few to be found in the early part of the year, as the adults occur in all months.”

  9. Ann says:

    I live in Montana and found one of these fellows (first time in my 40 plus years!) as he/she landed on my computer screen. What a wonderful little creature. Thanks for all those who shared your posts and to the site 🙂

  10. ScotlandsBrave83 says:

    Ok I’m in the UK and found one tbh scared the crap out me it’s September here this little guy was big did panic as my partner got biten from a horse fly and when I seen the stinger like tail I got rid of it right away the name tho I do like emmelina monodactyla is cool

  11. jason west says:

    I’m from Canada Ontario and I just found one of these 1st of November on a door frame glad to see the site thanks for the Easy Share

  12. Margy says:

    We just saw our first one on the inside of a window in Indianapolis IN.

  13. Kami says:

    I’m in southern Ohio and just found one today. I’m 32 and never have I seen them before. Where are they coming from?

  14. Mon says:

    i found one of these on my kitchen window the other day here in Saskatchewan no less – first time i have seen one in my 60 years

  15. Claudia Mezzano says:

    I just saw it in my house in Viña del Mar, Chile …. never seen before….. beautiful!

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