Caloptilia azaleella (Brants, 1913)
Azalea Leafminer
(one synonym : Gracilaria anthracosperma Meyrick, 1931)
GRACILLARIINAE ,   GRACILLARIIDAE ,   GRACILLARIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Lyle J. Buss, University of Florida)

The caterpillars of this species are an international pest. They are yellow, and mine the leaves of :

  • Azalea ( Rhododendron species, ERICACEAE ).

    They grow to a length of about 2 cms. They have only eight prolegs, and are unusual in having a U-shaped arrangement (penellipse) of crochets on the prolegs. The caterpillars pupate in the leaf they have been mining, which usually curls over.


    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan, Bayswater, Victoria)

    The adult moths are yellow with purple markings, and have a wingspan of about 2 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of Landcare Research Ltd., New Zealand)

    The species occurs in many parts of the world, including :

  • Great Britain,
  • Japan, and
  • U.S.A.,

    and was introduced by unfortunate accident into Australia, where it is now found in:

  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria, and
  • Tasmania.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 20.10, pp. 198-199.

    Antonius Brants,
    Mededeeling te doen van eene, zeer belangrijke waarneming van den Phytopathologischen Dienst. In: verslag van de acht- en- zestigste Zomervergadering der Nederlandse entomologische vereeniging.: LXX–LXXII,
    in Jan Christiaan Sepp :
    Nederlandsche Insecten,
    Gravenhage, Ser. 3 (1913).


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    (updated 22 January 2013)