Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Heliozelidae - Shield Bearer Moths

Tiny colorful moth on Live Oak - Coptodisca powellella Leaf Blotch Miner Moth - Coptodisca Antispila ex Vitis labrusca - Antispila cf-isabella Moth - Aspilanta Microlep species? - Coptodisca Antispila emerging from Vitis leaves - Aspilanta oinophylla Heliozela aesella Fort Worth, Texas - Heliozela aesella St. Andrews leaf miner on Carya tomentosa SA1768 parasitoid 2020 1.1 - Coptodisca lucifluella
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Adeloidea (Fairy Moths and kin)
Family Heliozelidae (Shield Bearer Moths)
Numbers
30 species in 3 genera in North America listed in Pohl, et al. 2016 provisional checklist(1)
Size
Less than 3 mm. (2)
Identification
Adult - typically have iridescent, metallic-appearing scaling. Eyes are small as in other diurnal microlepidoptera. (2)
Larva - flattened, usually legless. (2)
Food
Species are host specific, using at least 17 families of angiosperms. (2)
Life Cycle
Last instar larvae construct a portable case by cutting disks from the upper and lower epidermis and joining them with silk, the reason for the commom name "shield bearers." The abandoned mines, with their distinctive "shot holes" are characteristic. (2)
Works Cited
1.Annotated taxonomic checklist of the Lepidoptera of North America, North of Mexico
Pohl, G.R., Patterson, B., & Pelham, J.P. 2016. ResearchGate.net.
2.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.