Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Zeller, 1872; Verh. Zool.-bot. Ges. Wien 22, p.528
, pl. 2
, f. 2
First described in 1872 by Philipp Christoph Zeller
, using the spelling "Chalcoëla" to indicate that the 'e' is separate from the 'o'
Explanation of Names
According to Zeller, from Greek chalkos (χαλκος) + helas (ηλας)- "nail", due to the marking on the hindwing (? German "Hinterflügelzeichnung") (that would be of the type species, Chalcoela aurifera, since it was the only one known at the time).
2 species in North America (1)
California, Arizona, Texas to South Carolina, north to Michigan and Ontario
moths are parasitoids
of paper wasps, Polistes
species. Larvae feed on the larvae and pupa of the wasps. The caterpillars spin a characteristic web in the cells of the wasp nest. There are several generations per year, and the caterpillars (or pupa?) overwinter in the wasp nest (Hughes 2002).
A Polistes nest parasitized by Chalcoela (parasitized cells in middle of comb):
Hughes, 2002. The life history of Polistes metricus
Say--a study of behavior and parasitic natural enemies. PhD Dissertation, Univ. Georgia, 2002. Abstract and link to full-text available here
Rau, P. 1941. Observations of certain lepidopterous and hymenopterous parasites of Polistes wasps. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer. 34: 355-366. (quoted by Hughes, 2002)
live adult images
of C. iphitalis
(Claire Curry, Texas)
(Gerry Wegner, mypmp.net)