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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

33a0148 – 0655   Aristaea pennsylvaniella (Engel, 1907)

© Sue Gregoire
Distribution: Type locality: Pittsburgh, PA.
Larva and
Host Plants:
Field Marks:
"Antennae as long as forewing, light brown with narrow gray annulation. Labial palpi silver white, terminal joint shaded with brown. Face and head silver white, with central indistinct golden line to collar. Collar and thorax golden brown with a silvery line above patagia. Ground and forewing golden brown. Along the costa are four silvery fasciae edged with black, situated as follows: The first one a trifle more than one-fourth from base, outwardly oblique, nearly to middle of wing, curved toward costa. Second fascia a little beyond middle of costa, outwardly oblique, to middle of wing, curved toward costa. Third fascia is short one-fourth from apex, outwardly oblique. The fourth at the beginning of the costal cilia is short, inwardly oblique. A subbasal silvery streak from the dorsal margin reaching the fold one- fourth from base. An outwardly oblique silvery streak from middle of dorsal margin to fold. A second dorsal streak near inner angle to fold ending near the third costal fascia, edged strongly with brown scales at the point. On the middle of the wing, at apical fourth, is a cluster of bright golden scales, a blackish spot centered with silver just below the apex. Cilia along apical curve white, becoming dark gray along dorsal edge. Hindwing blackish brown, cilia dark gray. Abdomen gray, anal segment white. Legs white with brown shadings, and brown annulations on tarsal joint. Expanse, 8-8.5 mm" - Engel, 1907.
Similar Species:
  • Parectopa plantaginisella has a brown head with distinct white lines above eyes.
  • Other similar species in Parectopa lack the silvery lines on the thorax.
  • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
Synonymy: Gracilaria pennsylvaniella Engel, 1907
Taxonomic Notes: Aristaea pennsylvaniella (Engel, 1907), n. comb., was formerly in the genus Parectopa (Eiseman & Davis in Pohl & Nanz (eds.) 2023).
  • Barcode of Life (BOLD) - Caution: DNA barcode provides evidence of relatedness, not proof of identification, and some BOLD specimens shown may not be sequenced.
  • Engel, H., 1907. New Micro-lepidoptera. Entomological News, 18: 278.
  • Pohl, G. R. and S. R. Nanz (eds.), 2023. Annotated Taxonomic Checklist of the Lepidoptera of North America, North of Mexico. Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, Bakersfield, California, xiv + 580 pp. (order).
  • Species Page at BugGuide.Net
Aristaea pennsylvaniella
© Michael H. King
Aristaea pennsylvaniella
© Jean-François Landry - DNA
Aristaea pennsylvaniella
8mm - LG – © Jim Vargo
Aristaea pennsylvaniella
7mm – © Mississippi Entomological Museum

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