Crambid Moth

Petrophila jaliscalis

a small colorful moth from Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert photo © by Mike Plagens

This moth was perched below a porch light in the Phoenix area about 200 m from a large irrigation canal. 11 August 2012.

Crambidae -- a family of Small Moths

Surprisingly this delicate little moth is aquatic in its larval stage! The caterpillars spin a silken tube which secures them from being swept away by the current and also creates a bubble of air that serves to exchange gasses with the water. They feed on algae, or in the case of some species, submerged aquatic plants.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 14 March 2012