A new moth species for the checklist: Amydria effrentella. I photographed this one on July 23, 2022 during National Moth Week. My first thoughts were that this moth was some member of Family Tortricidae maybe in Olethreutini or Eucosmini two tribes in that family with long narrow-bodied moths. But that was far off the mark as repeated searches on the Moth Photographers Group bore out. All I could tell after that was this moth wasn’t like anything I’d seen yet.
One night I decided to use an image search. Of course, most of the results were wrong, but one tiny thumbnail linked to Bug Guide seemed close. So I clicked it and there was a photo of a moth that looked similar to mine. Amydria effrentella, is a moth in the Family Tineidae (Clothes Moths), Subfamily Acrolophinae (Burrowing Webworm Moths). The Moth Photographers Group provides a range map for Amydria effrentella showing it to be widespread.
Tineidae contains at least nine subfamilies north of Mexico with 190 species in 54 genera. For those genera and species whose life histories are known the larvae feed on things such as fur, feathers, skin, scales, bird and small mammal dung, fungi, lichens, and detritus (detritivores) the dead particulate organic material such as is found in leaf litter. Only a few species are known to feed on living plants.
What little information there is on Amydria effrentella indicates that its larvae typically construct “long silken tubes underground or on/in plant detritus and feeding primarily on plant debris as well as living plants, rarely coprophagous or mycetophagous.” Other reports have found it feeding on dried nest material in the burrows of mountain beavers. Pupation takes place in a coarse cocoon or in the larval tube.
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Tineoidea (Tubeworm, Bagworm, and Clothes Moths)
Family Tineidae (Clothes Moths)
Subfamily Acrolophinae (Burrowing Webworm Moths)
Species effrentella (Amydria effrentella – Hodges#0334)
Neotropical Tineidae. II: Biological Notes and Descriptions of Two New Moths Phoretic on Spiny Pocket Mice in Costa Rica. (Lepidoptera Tineoidea). Donald R. Davis, Dale H. Clayton, Daniel H. Janzen and Anne P. Brooke. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 88(1). 1986. pp. 98-109.