Plagiomimicus tepperi (Morrison, 1875)




Plagiomimicus tepperi is a small species (FW length 12 - 13 mm) with a geometric pattern of different shades of olive separated by white lines that flies in the Columbia Basin during early summer. The forewing apex is pointed, slightly hooked in a few individuals. The color is darkest olive in the median area, followed in darkness by a small ellipse along the distal costa. The rest of the wing is paler whitish-green. The basal line is absent. The antemedial and postmedial lines are similar pale whitish gray. The antemedial line is smooth and mildly convex toward the outer margin. The postmedial line is also smooth, bent acutely near the costa with the apex of the bend directed laterally. The subterminal line is pale, mostly thinner than the other lines, but the apical segment is wider and is connected to the bend in the postmedial line by an additional curved white segment. The fringe is pale gray-green, slightly darker at the base. The spots are nearly absent, with the reniform spot evident as a dark smudge near the anterior postmedial line. The hindwing is medium gray with a pale fringe, slightly darker in the median area. A raised tubercle with a central pit is present on the frons of the head. The head and thorax are pale olive-gray. The male antenna is filiform.

This species can be identified by its unique olive color and geometric pattern of white lines.


This species is widely distributed in desert habitats of the Southwest, but appears to be rare and sporadic on very dry sagebrush steppe at low elevations in the Pacific Northwest.


Pacific Northwest

Plagiomimicus tepperi flies in the Columbia Basin in the Northwest and has been found in Oregon and Washington. In Washington it is most common near the Columbia River.


This species is predominantly found in the deserts of Southwestern North America and Mexico. Its range in the United States extends from southern California and western Nevada to western and southern Texas. Seemingly disjunct populations are found in northeastern Colorado and the Northwest.

Life History


This species apparently feeds on rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.) in the Asteraceae.


Adults fly in late spring and early summer and have been collected from mid-May to early July in the Columbia Basin. They are nocturnal and come to lights. Some specimens were collected in a malaise trap placed in a coulee near Vantage, Kittitas County, Washington.

Economic Importance




Moth Photographers Group

Poole (1995)