Moths of Britain and
Superfamily - ALUCITOIDEA
Family - ALUCITIDAE
moths ( and all butterflies )
have 2 pairs of overlapping wings, each comprised of a thin double
membrane with rigidity supplied by a network of tubular veins that
radiate from the base of the wings.
The Plume moths (
Pterophorinae ) and Many-plumed moths ( Alucitidae ) however have no
Instead their fore and hind wings each consist of feathery plumes -
rigid spines from which branch dozens of long thin plume-like
There are 186 known species of Alucitidae worldwide, many of which
have only been discovered in the last 20 years. The name of the moth
illustrated above, hexadactyla
translates as "20 fingers" and is a misnomer as Alucitidae actually
have 24 "feathers", although some are hidden from view.
This species breeds primarily in deciduous woodlands but also occurs
in gardens, along hedgerows and railway embankments, and many other
disturbed habitats where its larval foodplants flourish.
The caterpillars feed on Lonicera (
moth Alucita hexadactyla,
Hampshire, England ©
moths are readily attracted to artificial light and often enter