Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Explanation of Names
Generic epithet Adela
is Greek meaning "hidden," because the caterpillars are so well hidden. (1)
listed 12 species, two of which (bella
) are now synonymized under a single name he did not recognize (caeruleella
), leaving 11 species:
8 western (eldorada, flammeusella, oplerella, punctiferella, septentrionella, singulella, thorpella, & trigrapha);
2 eastern (caeruleella & ridingsella); and
1 far northern coast-to-coast (purpurea).
stated there are 10 species but did not list them...it's not clear which of the 11 above were included or omitted.
Small moths with very long antennae (3 times as long as forewing in males; 1-2 times as long as forewing in females)
Basal half of antennae hairy & thickened in females of A. caeruleella.
A key to nearctic Adela
species appears on pg 215 of Powell (1969)(2)
Much of North America. also occurs in Eurasia.
Grassy open areas, chaparral, or forests where larval host plants are present.
Adults typically fly in spring (March to May) when their host plants are in flower.(4)
Larvae reported to feed on rotting leaves on forest floor, and also reported to feed in flowers or seeds of milkweed, other plants at first, and then on foliage. These later larvae live in cases made from oval pieces of leaves.
Adults take nectar, since found at flowers.
Arnett, p. 659, fig. 27.24 A. purpurea (3)
Brimley, p. 313, lists A. bella = caeruleella
for North Carolina in April-May. (5)
Covell, p. 455, plate 62 #8 A. purpurea (6)
Holland, p. 437, plate XLVIII, fig. 45 A. bella = caeruleella
; reports adults
feeding on Asclepias
Milne, p. 705, fig. 522, reports larvae feed on Asclepias
, make cases. (8)
Powell & Opler, p. 40, Plate 2. (4)
from "Moths of Western North America" by Powell & Opler(4)
North Carolina State University Entomology
lists just A. caeruleella
for the state, with 14 pinned.
Insects of Cedar Creek, Minnesota
pinned adult image of A. purpurea
in family Adelidae by Davis in
Kristensen, 1999 (Butterflies and Moths of the World)