(one synonym : Elachista egena Turner, 1923)
ELACHISTIDAE , GELECHIOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Lauri Kaila, from Elachistine Moths of Australia)
This Caterpillar is naked and grey with a dark line along each side, and a broad pale line along the back. The head is narrow and the tail pointed.
The caterpillar bores into the stems of its foodplant. A tunnel may be seen as a series of translucent areas where the caterpillar has mined close to the inner surface of the skin of the stem. The caterpillar has been found feeding in several species of JUNCACEAE including
The caterpillar grows to a length of about 1 cm.
The caterpillar pupates outside its borehole, attaching the pupa to a surface with a silk girdle and hooks on the underside of the pupa to a nearby stem or leaf. The pupa is brown, ridged, and long and thin, with a length of about 1 cm.
The adult moths have fawn forewings which each have a scattering of dark dots. The hindwings are plain dark grey. The moths have a wingspan of about 1 cm.
The species has been found in
as well as in Australia in
Elachistine Moths of Australia: (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea: Elachistidae),
Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Vol. 11,
CSIRO Publishing, 2011, pp. 17, 20, 25, 26, 32, 38, 43, 54, 61, 145-148, 183, 257, 265, 282, 336, 400, 401, including Plates 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 25.2; Figs. 4, 6, 38, 39, 78, 79, 199, 200, 370, 371.
Descriptions of New Zealand Micro-Lepidoptera,
Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,
Volume 21, 1889, p. 177, No. 33.
(written 14 June 2017, updated 12 July 2017)