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Genus Chalcoela

Chalcoela pegasalis Small Moth - Chalcoela iphitalis Brown and Gray Moth - Chalcoela iphitalis sooty-winged Chalcoela - Chalcoela iphitalis Sooty-winged Chalcoela - Chalcoela iphitalis Tebenna sp?  - Chalcoela iphitalis Orange and gray moth - Chalcoela iphitalis Chalcoela iphitalis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea (Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths)
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Glaphyriinae
Genus Chalcoela
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Chalcoela 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
Life Cycle
Chalcoela 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):
Print References
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)
Internet References
live adult images of C. iphitalis (Claire Curry, Texas)
larval hosts (Gerry Wegner,