Plume Moth On Mount Barker Summit – Strangeia By Name…

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Strangeia xerodes aka Plume Moth (?)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: Ditrysia
Infraorder: Apoditrysia
Superfamily: Pterophoroidea
Family: Pterophoridae
Mount Barker Summit – October 6th, 2014 – warm, sunny day, on grass stem

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz

When I first saw this, I thought it was one of the strangest insects I had ever seen – After our trip, Karin and I had some looks at books to try to figure out what we were looking at – Eventually, I described it to Mike Gemmell over the phone and when I said the wings looked like two feathers on each side sticking out, he said “Oh hang on, I reckon that’s a Plume Moth!” – Even after that, I was still trying to figure out what was Moth-like about it, but since then, I have seen many Moths that have some of these characteristics. The legs are also strange – Once you “see” members of this Family, you can’t “unsee” them – They are very small, bizarre, but pretty common. The way they roll their forewings up is what really throws you – Strangeia by name, and strange by nature!


One thought on “Plume Moth On Mount Barker Summit – Strangeia By Name…”

  1. The odd protrusions on this moth’s legs are reminiscent of Scorpion Flies…wonder why these two vastly different creatures should simultaneously evolve such a distinctive feature?


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