Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Waterlily Leafcutter Moth
Elophila obliteralis (Walker, 1859)

Family: Crambidae
Subfamily: Acentropinae
Identification: Sexually dimorphic. Male smaller and more broad-winged than female. Wings grayish brown, with dark brown shading and whitish lines. Reniform spot a whitish crescent. In female, the light areas are paler than in male. Female also less sharply marked.
Wing Span: 1-2.2 cm.
Life History:
Flight: May - August.
Caterpillar Hosts: White water lily, pondweed (illinoiensis and americanensis), water stargrass (Heteranthera), duckweed, Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), Waterhyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), Waterlettuce (Pistia stratiotes), and 60+ other aquatic plant species.
Adult Food:
Range: Common throughout eastern North America.
Management Needs: A minor pest of aquatic ornamentals and sometimes a problem in greenhouses.
Taxonomy Notes: genus Synclita changed to Elophila as per Hugh McGuinness 8/2009. Source: Munroessa was synonymized, along with Synclita, by Goater, Nuss and Speidel in Microlepidoptera of Europe, Vol. 4. Pyraloidea I. 2005.
Alternate Scientific Names:
Synclita obliteralis