Heliocausta oecophorella (Walker, 1864)
synonyms :
Heliocausta paralyrgis Meyrick, 1883
Heliocausta eudoxa Meyrick, 1886
WINGIA GROUP,   OECOPHORINAE,   OECOPHORIDAE,   GELECHIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

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

The Caterpillar of this species is off-white with a brown head and collar. The caterpillar as it develops joins two live green leaves together with silk to form a shelter. Later it cuts their leaf stems, causing the shelter to fall to the ground, and it continues to live in its shelter, and feed on the now dead leaves on ground. The caterpillar has been found feeding on the foliage of a variety of

  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus species, MYRTACEAE ).

    The adult moths have forewings that are yellow, each with a jagged dark brown area along the margin extending partly along the hind margin. The hindwings are yellow, each with a variable brown band along the margin. The head is yellow, and the thorax brown. The wingspan is about 2.5 cms.

    The species has been found in

  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    The species seems to be confused with another unnamed species of Heliocausta which has forewings that are brown or sometimes reddish, each with several dark spots, and with marginal and submarginal arcs of dark spots.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Oecophorine Genera of Australia I: The Wingia Group (Lepidoptera: Oecophoridae)
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Volume 3,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 1994, pp. 270-274, 281.

    Edward Meyrick,
    Descriptions of Australian Micro-lepidoptera VIII Oecophoridae,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 1, Volume 7, Number 4 (1886), p. 479-480, No. 44.

    Edward Meyrick,
    Descriptions of Australian Micro-lepidoptera XII Oecophoridae,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 1, Volume 10, Number 4 (1886), pp. 831-832, No. 518 (43a).

    Francis Walker,
    Tineites,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 29 (1864), p. 760, No. 137.


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    (written 3 February 2017, updated 27 July 2019, 16 August 2019)