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Species Heliozela aesella - Hodges#0230

micro moth 1 of 2 - Heliozela aesella moths - Heliozela aesella - male - female Heliozelidae, Shield Bearer Moths, on GrapeX - Heliozela aesella Heliozelidae, Shield Bearer Moth, lateral - Heliozela aesella 3/16 × 1/8 micro - Heliozela aesella dorsal I - Heliozela aesella dorsal II - Heliozela aesella Heliozela aesella
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)
Genus Heliozela
Species aesella (Heliozela aesella - Hodges#0230)
Hodges Number
0230
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described in 1877 by Vactor Tousey Chambers as Heliozella aesella (the correct spelling of the genus is Heliozela), though he used a question mark (?) to indicate that he wasn't sure he had the right genus.
Explanation of Names
Perhaps from Latin aes- "copper/bronze/brass; any crude metal (in the form as it is dug from the earth)" + -ella "little": Chambers commented on the "metallic reflections" from the whole insect, which made the brown portions look like bronze. Forms of aes followed by a vowel in Latin have the s changed to r, but Chambers may have ignored this in coining the name.
Food
The HOSTS Caterpillar Hostplant Database list only grapevines (Vitis) as hostplants for the larvae. They form a gall-like leaf-mine in the leaves
Life Cycle
Life cycle images:
leaf with galls; larva with leaf wrap; pupa and cocoon; adult
Remarks
The other North American species of Heliozela, H. gracilis Zeller 1873, is known only from its original description (a caught specimen from Texas). The forewing pattern was described as follows: Of the two pure silver-white, shiny dorsal spots, the second, lying on the inner angle, is triangular, with a fine tip directed towards the front edge and sharply delimited. . . The first, closer to the root than the second, is a narrow line that is inclined towards the back. ("Von den zwei reinsilberweissen, glänzenden Dorsaltröpfchen ist das zweite, am Innenwinkel liegeade dreieckig, mit feiner, gegen den Vorderrand gerichteter Spitze und scharf umgrenzt. . . Das erste, näher an der Wurzel als an dem zweiten liegende, ist ein schmaler, oben nach hinten übergeneigter Strich.").
When Chambers described H. aesella, he was not entirely sure it was a distinct species, and the only differences he noted were as follows (italics his): "There are the usual two silvery white dorsal spots, one near the base, the other at the anal angle; the latter is not a triangle, as it is described in gracilis, or if it is triangular, the apex is very obtuse; it points a little obliquely backwards; the other lies parallel to it, pointing also a little backwards, is of the same length but narrower, and reaches the fold."
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group    Species page, with one image.
Microleps.org    Species information.
The Canadian Entomologist, v.9, p.108    Chambers' original description of the species