(also known as Atachia flammula)
(Photo: courtesy of Lauri Kaila, from Elachistine Moths of Australia)
The Caterpillar of this species is pale grey, smooth, long, and thin, with a pointed head. The caterpillar has a vague pale line along the back, accompanied along each side by a vague dark line.
The caterpillars have been found feeding on plants in CYPERACEAE, including
The caterpillars bore downwards into a leaf of their foodplant creating a translucent white mine between the upper and lowers skins of the leaf. The mine is straight, with a width of about 2 mms. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 1 cm. The mine reaches a length of about 15 cms. The caterpillars seem to be gregarious, with many larvae infesting a single plant, with up to 10 larvae mining each leaf, although each caterpillar had a separate mine.
When mature: a caterpillar exits from its mine, and forms a naked pupa, usually facing head downwards, attached to a fold of a leaf by a silk girdle and some hooks on the underside of the pupa.
The female moths have dark brown forewings, each with three white marks along the costa, and a yellow stripe from the base to another white spot near the margin. The hindwings are grey, each with a white mark near the tornus, and with long brown and grey fringes along the hind margin. The female moths have a wingspan of about 0.8 cm.
The male moths have white and yellow forewings, each with an interrupted dark brown stripe from the base to the margin. The hindwings are grey, each with a white mark near the tornus, and with long brown and grey fringes along the hind margin. The male moths have a wingspan of about 1 cm.
The species has been found in
Elachistine Moths of Australia: (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea: Elachistidae),
Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Vol. 11,
CSIRO Publishing, 2011, pp. 17, 20, 38, 53, 61, 70-72, 258, 275, 306, 386,
including Plates 1.9, 1.10, 18.2; Figs. 58, 59, 110, 111, 326.
(written 4 July 2017, updated 11 July 2017, 1 March 2021)