Ambiguous Moth

The ambiguous moth! This delightfully-named little moth may well become my spirit animal. About 2cm across, this tiny brown moth, resembling a very small leaf with a rhinoceros horn, is in the family Erebdiae, the litter moths. Litter moths are named because many of their caterpillars feed on dead plant matter.

Adults come in a variety of patterns best described as “mottled brown”, but they all have the palpi turned upward in a “rhinoceros horn” configuration, and a sharp dark band around the base of the forewings, with the “shoulders” light brown. Males have notches in their forewings with two black spots above the notches; since this individual lacks those, I suspect she is female.

I’m not sure why scientists found this particular moth to be especially ambiguous.

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