Annaphila divinula Grote, 1878




Annaphila divinula is a very small (FW length 8 mm) day-flying moth with black and white forewings and orange and black hindwings that flies in early spring in southwestern Oregon. The forewing is relatively short and stubby, almost black but often slightly paler distal to the medial area, with a lacy white band across the entire wing that encompasses the white reniform spot. Two dark spots abutting the reniform spot are bordered laterally the white postmedial line. The typical noctuid forewing lines are dark, barely visible against the dark ground. The subterminal line is visible, mainly as a short pale mark on the costa near the apex. The hindwing is dark orange with nearly even width black on all margins and a prominent black discal spot. The outer border of the solidly black hindwing base is straight. The undersides of both wings are predominantly dark orange with a complex pattern of black markings. The head, thorax, and abdomen are black. The male antenna is filiform.

This tiny moth is unlikely to be confused with other Annaphila species in our region. It is the only Pacific Northwest species with a black hindwing base with a straight border with the central orange area. The forewing of Annaphila decia resembles that of A. divinula, but its hindwing has an additional orange patch within the black basal area. 


 The larva is predominantly mottled reddish dorsally and green ventrally with an indistinct white lateral line.


This species occurs in sclerophyll shrub woodland in Oregon.


Pacific Northwest

This species has been found at a single location in southern Jackson County, Oregon. It might be more widespread in the Siskiyou Mountains but is easily overlooked due to its small size and very early spring flight season.


Annaphila divinula occurs in California west of the high Sierras. Most records are from the Coast Mountains.

Life History


Paul Johnson of California has observed this species ovipositing on Logfia filaginoides (Asteraceae) (formerly Filago californica). Mike Raschko discovered that A. divinula feeds on a similar aster family plant in southwestern Oregon, slender cottonweed (Micropus californicus).


Adults have been collected in mid-March in Oregon. They are diurnal. Mike Raschko, who discovered the Oregon population of this moth, reports that the adults visit flowers of manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp. (Ericaceae)).

Economic Importance




 Moth Photographers Group