The Fairy Moth
Fairy moth on Oxeye Daisy, San Juan Island, WA
Incurvariidae: Adela septentrionella Walsingham, 1880
The ethereal Fairy Moth, clothed with finespun silky metallic wings, waves fragile tendrils of anntennae sensing the aromatic fragrances of summertime as it rests on the petals of a daisy.
The Adela septentrionella, classified as a Micro-lepidoptera is a diurnal species. Males are known for enormously long antennae and both sexes are found taking nectar from blossoms other than their larval host plant, often sipping from the aromatic Ocean Spray blossoms common in the Pacific Northwest.
The name, Fairy Moth, comes from behavior associated with mate-finding in the species when the males aggregate to form dancing groups to which the females are attracted… and the courtship begins!