Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Neoheliodines cliffordi (Harrison and Passoa, 1995)
7 to 8 mm long. Wingspan 10-13 mm.
Antenna black, last 5 segments white.
Base of wing metallic gray. From thorax tip of first set of metallic gray spots on inner margin its brown with a wide yellow stripe at each side of the brown. Outer (costal) margin has variable amounts of black scaling to mid-wing, rest orange. 5 raised metallic gray spots along the outer margin and 3 raised metallic gray spots along inner margin. Wing tip is black, irregular, with another very narrow, not raised, metallic gray spot blending into the black. Fringe dark gray. Hindwing dark gray including fringe.
Flight Time: Mid-May to early June; mid-July to early August; partial 3rd generation late August to early September in the north.
Wild Four O’clocks (Mirabilis nyctaginea).
Females lay white, flattened eggs on the underside of Four O’clock leaves, usually on lower leaves of the plant. Larvae eat into the underside of leaf and feed internally, often with more than one larva in a leaf. By the 3rd instar, they move to the exposed underside of the leaf and feed under a silken web. The feeding creates white ‘windows’ on the upper side of the leaf.
The larva is pale green, head blackish. Shield has two black spots, later instars have one larger spot. Over-winters as a pupa. Two generations and a partial 3rd.
Holotype as Heliodines cliffordi male by Harrison & Passoa, 1995. Type Locality: Illinois. In the United States National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
Similar Species: Embola ionis has no black patch after thorax and no white on antenna tips.
All others listed have white antenna tips:
Chrysoclista villella has outer (costal) half of base of wing black. 1st silver spot on inner margin has black tuft. White spot on costal fringe.
Chrysoclista linneella has orange wing colour surrounded with black; 3 silvery spots.
Mompha terminella has dark wing tips and large, black tufts at mid-wing.
Euclemensia bassettella has a wide black inner margin from mid-wing to tip. Antenna last 1/3 white.
Neoheliodines nyctaginella (not in Ontario) has a black line around tip of thorax (technically inner margin of wing base). Except for white antenna tips, almost identical to Embola ionis.
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 1995, Vol. 97 #1 by Harrison & Passoa, pp. 63 to 69.
University of California Publications in Entomology, 2004, Vol. 124 by Hsu & Powell, pp. 51 to 53.