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Photo#232343
Small moth on cypress - Argyresthia franciscella

Small moth on cypress - Argyresthia franciscella
Half Moon Bay, California, USA
July 30, 2008
Size: 5 mm
I found this moth while looking for clues as to what kind of larvae were pushing frass out of cypress cones they were feeding within, but I imagine this is more of a leaf-mining sort of moth.
Edit: This is a leaf-mining moth, and the frass was from a tortricid larva.

Moved
Moved from Argyresthia.

2453 - Argyresthia franciscella
ID supplied by Jerry Powell, to whom I sent the photo.

Jerry Powell and Paul Opler have a marvellous book in press, due in May 2009, covering more than 2,000 species of western moths of which 1/2 will be micros. A discounted prepublication order form may be found through MPG Books Page. It would be nice if someone could make a proper entry for that book here at BG.N.

Moved
Moved from Moths. The following three species feed on cypress, so I think this is one of them, but I have no images to compare:
Argyresthia cupressella [described as "pale golden with a few darker markings"]
Argyresthia franciscella
Argyresthia trifasciae

type
were the caterpillars:pale with dark head and dark 1st thoratcic segment,if so it is a casemaking clothes moth.or did the caterpillars have a blackish head and a blackish plate on 1st thoracic segment;yellowish elsewere,if so it is a artichoke plume moth.

 
Thanks, but...
This moth doesn't look like either of those species to me, and I don't think the larvae of either would be found feeding in cypress cones.
I just searched a database for moths that feed on cypress, and it includes three species of Argyresthia, none of which I've found images for, but some of the species BugGuide has in that genus are very similar, so I'm going to move this image there. Again, this may be totally unrelated to the larvae I found in the cones.

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