Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Entomology

pp 3369-3370

Shield Bearer Moths (Lepidoptera: Heliozelidae)

  • John B. HeppnerAffiliated withFlorida State Collection of Arthropods

Shield bearer moths, family Heliozelidae, total 106 species from all regions, with more than half the species split between North America (31 sp.) and Australia (36 sp.); actual fauna probably exceeds 200 species. The family is in the superfamily Incurvarioidea, in the section Incurvariina, of division Monotrysia, infraorder Heteroneura. Adults minute to small (3–9 mm wingspan), with very smooth head scaling (one sp. has roughened head scales in the Neotropics); haustellum scaled and scales usually merging with head scaling to form a triangular-appearing face; labial palpi porrect; maxillary palpi minute, 5-segmented. Maculation usually dark with shining metallic- iridescence, plus some light markings. Adults are diurnal. Larvae make serpentine leaf mines at first, then make blotch mines in later instars. Host plants include a variety of hardwood trees and bushes.

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