HELIOCOSMA Group, TORTRICOIDEA
caterpillar in its case, covered in dried debris
(Photo: courtesy of Harvey Perkins, Hughes, Australian Capital Territory)
The caterpillars of this species are off-white with four brown stripes on the head extending along the body. The caterpillars construct and live in a portable case covered haphazardly in flower petals and/or vegetative detritus.
The caterpillars have been found feeding on the flowers of
The caterpillars normally 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.
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.
There is some doubt about whether the caterpillars illustrated here, in their diverse cases, are all of the one species. It seems probable at this time that they are. Further research may clarify this.
The species occurs in eastern Australia, including :
Oswald B. Lower,
Descriptions of new Australian Micro-lepidoptera,
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
Volume 40 (1916), p. 537.
(updated 7 April 2011, 1 December 2022)