Plume Moth

What is it? Hard to tell exactly. It is either a Grape Plume Moth or a Sheppard’s Plume Moth

What do the nerds call it? Either a Geina periscelidactylus or Geina sheppardi, respectively

Who is it related to? The Pterophoridae Family, or Plume Moths

How can you tell it is what it is? Plume moths all have this crazy wild and zany T-shaped body and wings that give it a very distinct look. In the air, they register as a slow moving, slightly bigger, less aggressive mosquito. They do not have the typical bouncy flight of their wider-winged cousins, but rather a smoother flight that feels more like a controlled crash landing than a flutter from flower to flower. The orange-tan color with these specific white accents make this plume moth one of the two listed above. Apparently one can separate them by their caterpillars much easier.

Discussion: Checking for monarchs on some milkweed, we found this frankly bananas looking creature in Bay City on our way up to a campground a while back. Apparently both species use grape vines as food for their caterpillars, and are often associated with vineyards. I have started to notice these guys quite a bit (and take a look around on your walks, and you will begin to see a lot of grape vines in the wild as well), and what previously might have been dismissed as a large mosquito, now gets a closer look.

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