Elachista aposematica Kaila, 2011
ELACHISTIDAE,   GELECHIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


dorsal view, (Photo: courtesy of Lauri Kaila,
Elachistine Moths of Australia)

The Caterpillars of this species are smooth, long, and thin, with a pointed head and tail. The caterpillars are grey with a dark head and thorax. Abdominal segments 6,7,and 8 are black. The caterpillars can display a bright orange and black pattern. The caterpillars have been found feeding on

  • Coastal Saw Sedge ( Gahnia trifida, CYPERACEAE ).

    The caterpillars bore downwards into a leaf of their foodplant creating a translucent yellowish mine between the upper and lowers skins of the leaf. The mine is initially narrow, and broadens as the caterpillar matures, reaching a length of up to 12 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph, digitally repaired)

    When mature: the caterpillar exits the mine and forms a naked pupa attached to an adjacent leaf by a silk girdle and some hooks on the underside of the pupa.

    The adult moths have patchy fawn forewings, and plain fawn hindwings. The moths have a wingspan of about 1 cm.

    Eggs are laid on the edge of a leaf blade.

    The species has been found in

  • Western Australia.


    Further reading

    Lauri Kaila,
    Elachistine Moths of Australia: (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea: Elachistidae),
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Vol. 11,
    CSIRO Publishing, 2011, pp. 5, 60, 195-197, 268, 413,
    including Plate 11.15; Figs. 89, 90, 408
    .


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    (written 16 June 2017)