Paterson's Curse Leaf Miner
(previously known as Acrocercops aemula)
GRACILLARIINAE, GRACILLARIIDAE, GRACILLARIOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)
The Caterpillars of this species feed on plants from the family BORAGINACEAE, but sadly not Paterson's Curse (Echium plantagineum).
The forewings of the adult moth have a brown front half, and a white rear half, with a wavy line separating the halves. The head and thorax have white dorsal patches. The wingspan is about 0.8 cm.
The species is thought to occur across Asia, including
as well as Australia in
The moth of this Australian native species is similar to that of the species Dialectica scalariella which was introduced deliberately into Australia, but the cocoons are more easily distinguished. The cocoons are in two layers. The inner cocoons of Dialectica aemula are yellowish, and narrower than the outer cocoon. The inner cocoon of Dialectica scalariella is white, nearly filling the outer cocoon.
Further reading :
T. Kumata and M. Horak,
The native Dialectica aemula (Meyrick) and the introduced Dialectica scalariella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera:Gracillariidae) in Australia: characterisation of two closely related species on Boraginaceae/,
Australian Journal of Entomology,
Volume 36, No. 1 (1997), pp. 25-36.
Volume 1 (1915), p. 628.
(updated 26 May 2010, 27 February 2017, 20 December 2020, 19 January 2021)