Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Rare Plume Moth

Geranium Plume Moth (Amblyptilia pica)
A Geranium Plume Moth sips nectar from an aster flower
I recently discovered this unusual moth feeding on the late-summer aster flowers in the forest near Apgar, in Glacier National Park. It's a rare Plume Moth species, probably Geranium Plume Moth (Amblyptilia pica). I can only find four records of Plume Moths in Montana, and none of them are this species.

When perched, Plume Moths tend to hold their wings straight out (forming a "T") and roll their wings up.

(Update: the species has been confirmed by a moth expert.)