Calicotis crucifera Meyrick, 1889
Leather-leaf Spore-Eater
STATHMOPODINAE,   OECOPHORIDAE,   GELECHIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Calicotis crucifera
(Photo: courtesy of Nick Lambert, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales)

The Caterpillars of this species are off-white with a brown head and a yellowish collar. The caterpillars live in silk tunnels on the underside of foodplant leaves, feeding on the spores, of the fern:

  • Leather Leaf Fern ( Pyrrosia eleagnifolia, POLYPODIOPHYTA ).

    The caterpillars pupate in silk cocoons on the underside of a leaf of their foodplant.

    The adult moths have off-white forewings, each with three vague pale brown transverse bands, with particularly dark areas at the middle of the costa and at the wingtip. The hindwings are white sometimes with a pale brown suffusion. The head is white, and the thorax is white with two black dots. The wingspan is about 1 cm.

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

    The species has been found in

  • New Zealand,

    as well as in Australia in

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


    Further reading :

    Edward Meyrick,
    Descriptions of New Zealand Microlepidoptera,
    Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute,
    Volume 21 (1889), pp. 170-171, No. 24.


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    (written 4 February 2020)