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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

59a0517 – 2282   Dichomeris marginella (Fabricius, 1781)
             Juniper Webworm

© Kevin Hall
Distribution: Nova Scotia and Ontario south to Missouri and South Carolina, British Columbia south to Oregon. This Palearctic species has been introduced into North America more than once.
and Size:
Flight Period: May-August. Forewing length: 5-8 mm.
Larva and
Host Plants:
Larvae feed on Juniperus species, initially mining needles in July and later feeding externally within webbing between branchlets. Larvae overwinter in the 6th or 7th instar and resume feeding in April and May followed by pupation in May-June.
Field Marks:
Forewing with white band on anterior and posterior margins, separated by a broad yellowish-brown band. Second segment of labial palpus with strong dorsal and ventral scale tufts, apex white dorsally, grayish-orange ventrally.
Genitalia: Male genitalia with saccal region broadly rounded, phallus without cornutus but with sclerotized lateral lobe with simple apex. Female genitalia with antrum heavily sclerotized, corpus bursae evenly sclerotized without striae and accessory lobe.
Similar Species:
  • Many species of Dichomeris have white bands on the anterior margin of the forewing, but none have the white band on the posterior margin. No other species of Gelechiidae has scale tufts on the labial palpus and white bands on the forewing.
  • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
Synonymy: Alucita marginella Fabricius, 1781
Palpula clarella Treitschke, 1833
Tinea fimbriella Thunberg, 1788
Tinea striatella Hübner, 1796
  • Barcode of Life (BOLD) - Caution: DNA barcode provides evidence of relatedness, not proof of identification, and some BOLD specimens shown may not be sequenced.
  • Hodges, R. W., 1986. Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 7.1, p. 46; pl. 1.14. order or free PDF
  • Nordin, G. L. & J. E. Appleby. 1969. Bionomics of the juniper webworm. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 62: 287-292.
  • Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler. 2009. Moths of Western North America. Univ. California Press, Berkeley., Pl. 10.37m; p. 102. Book Review and ordering
  • Species Page at Block Island Moths
  • Species Page at BugGuide.Net
  • Species Page at Mass Moths
  • Weiss, H. B. & R. B. Lott. 1922. The juniper webworm, Ypsolophus marginellus. Entomol. News 33: 80-82. text

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Dichomeris marginella
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Dichomeris marginella
© Bob Patterson
Dichomeris marginella
© Cheryl Moorehead
Dichomeris marginella
© Eric LaGasa & WSDA
Dichomeris marginella
CalPhotos – © Jerry Powell

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