Spiderling plume moth
This tiny plume moth can be found throughout Florida often near members of the Nyctaginaceae - Four o'clock - family. The range also includes the Caribbean and southern California and Arizona.
With the distinctive "T" or airplane wing shape of plume moths at rest, this moth looked like a tiny tuft of down in flight. The wingspan is 12-18.5mm (~1/2-3/4 in.). Adult moths often have the abdomen in a recurved position, appearing much like a scorpion. The legs have perpendicular thorns, most apparent on the long hind legs held along each side of the abdomen when at rest.
The host plants for Megalorhipida leucodactylus are the spiderlings (genus Boerhavia. The larvae are 1cm (4/10 in.) long. The moth in these photos was feeding on the flowers of red spiderling.
Megalorhipida leucodactylus is a member of the Pterophoridae - Plume moths family.
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Bugguide.net info page for this species
Date record last modified: Jan 19, 2021