Heliocosma argyroleuca Lower, 1916
HELIOCOSMA Group,   TORTRICOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Heliocosma argyroleuca
caterpillar in its case, projecting the head and thorax
(Photo: courtesy of LisaH, Hughes, Australian Capital Territory)

The caterpillars of this species are off-white with four brown stripes on the head extending onto the thorax. The caterpillars construct and live in a portable case covered haphazardly in flower petals and small sticks.

Heliocosma argyroleuca
caterpillar, close-up
(Photo: courtesy of LisaH, Hughes, Australian Capital Territory)

The caterpillars have been found feeding on the flowers of

  • species in ASTERACEAE.

    The caterpillars only project their head and thorax out of the case far enough to crawl around and feed. The case grows to a length of about 2 cms. The caterpillars pupate in their case, which can be left in full view on the flower on which they were feeding.

    Heliocosma argyroleuca
    (Photo: courtesy of the Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The adult moths of this species have silvery white forewings with patches of raised brown scales. The hindwings are silvery white. The wingspan is about 1.5 cms.

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

    The species occurs in eastern Australia, including :

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania, and
  • Western Australia.


    Further reading

    Oswald B. Lower,
    Descriptions of new Australian Micro-lepidoptera,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 40 (1916), p. 537.


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    (updated 7 April 2011, 23 December 2018, 13 April 2021, 29 November 2021)