Identification of Australian Plume Moths

Plume moths may conveniently be divided into three groups based on the number of clefts in the forewing. This can normally be determined even for living specimens. If in doubt, assume one cleft.

Species without clefts in the forewing

Species Image Wingspan Fore-wing ground colour Fore-wing termen Fore-wing white bands Costal triangle Scale-tooth Hind leg markings Other significant characters Range Confusion species
Agdistopis halieutica?

  Fawn                
Ochyrotica kurandica?                      

Species with one cleft in the forewing
Species Image Wingspan Fore-wing ground colour Fore-wing cleft depth (relative to wing length) Fore-wing 1st segment termen Fore-wing 2nd segment termen Fore-wing white bands Costal triangle Scale-tooth Hind leg markings Other significant characters Range Confusion species
Hellinsia balanotes

0. Hellinsia balanotes identification.jpg

31-42 mm Fawn 1/3 Acutely pointed Pointed No No No No Very large and robust NSW, QLD None
Imbophorus aptalis Error: (1) can't find 0._Imbophorus_aptalis_identification.jpg at PlumeMoths.ImbophorusAptalis 17-25 mm Yellowish white 1/2 Acutely pointed Acutely pointed No No No No Brownish streak across base of cleft QLD Platyptilia celidotus; Wheeleria spilodactylus
Lantanophaga pusillidactylus
0. Lantanophaga pusillidactylus identification.jpg
11-14 mm Grey-brown 1/3 Wavy Wavy Clear white line across segments Yes, obscure Yes White tarsal segments Dark band across abdomen; first tarsal segment in hind leg half as long as all other tarsal segments combined QLD Stenoptilodes taprobanes
Platyptilia celidotus
0. Platyptilia celidotus identification.jpg
15-17 mm Dirty brownish-white 1/3 Pointed Pointed No No No No Diagonal fuscous streak at base of cleft; labial palpi projecting forward as a snout ACT Platyptilia celidotus; Wheeleria spilodactylus
Sinpunctiptilia emissalis
0. Sinpunctiptilia emissalis identification.jpg
17-18 mm Brown 1/4 Concave Convex White line across segments Yes No White tarsal segments Grey-white shading across thorax and fore wings ACT, NSW, VIC Sinpunctiptilia tasmaniae
Sphenarches anisodactylus
0. Sphenarches anisodactylus identification.jpg
13-16 mm Ochre-brown 1/3 Acutely pointed Concave hook Two white bands across segments No Yes, prominent Dark patch at base of spurs; dark line corkscrewing around tibia Overall appearance dark and somewhat metallic (copper-coloured terminal band; pewter fore wings) ACT, NSW, QLD Sphenarches zanclistes, Trichoptilus ceramodes
Stenoptilodes taprobanes
0. Stenoptilodes taprobanes identification.jpg
12-17mm Brown 1/3 Wavy Wavy White line across segments Yes, obscure Yes None First tarsal segment in hind leg more than half as long as all other tarsal segments combined QLD Lantanophaga pusillidactylus, Sinpunctiptilia emissalis, Sinpunctiptilia tasmaniae
Trichoptilus ceramodes
0. Trichoptilus ceramodes identification.jpg
14-15 mm Pale ochre-brown 1/2 Acutely pointed Acutely pointed Two broad white bands across segments Fuscous brown patch at base of first segment No Fuscous brown patches at base of spurs; brown line along top of tibia No black scales in wing fringes NSW, QLD, SA Sphenarches anisodactylus, Sphenarches zanclistes
Wheeleria spilodactylus
0. Wheeleria spilodactylus identification.jpg
20-25 mm Dirty brownish-white 1/2 Acutely pointed Acutely pointed No No No No Fuscous spot on fore wing costa; oblique fuscous bars in fore wing fringes ACT, VIC Imbophorus aptalis, Platyptilia celidotus

Species with two clefts in the forewing

Species Image Wingspan Fore-wing ground colour Fore-wing depth of first cleft (relative to wing length) Fore-wing depth of second cleft (relative to first cleft) Fore-wing white bands Scale-tooth Hind leg markings Other significant characters Range Confusion species
Hexadactilia civilis

                   
Hexadactilia trilobata