Other Common Names
Palm Leaf Housemaker (larva).
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Homaledra heptathalama Busck
* placed in family Coleophoridae by Nye & Fletcher (1991), and in Batrachedridae by Hodges in Kristensen (1999).
Explanation of Names
was coined by Bob Patterson here
, referring to the wing markings that look like an exclamation mark: "!
heptathalama is from Greek hepta (επτα)- "seven" + thalamos (θαλαμος)- "inner room or chamber"
From the original description:
"It feeds on the underside of the palmetto leaf in a fold, making a very unique chambered abode of its frass (or of the chewed epidermis) (Plate I, fig. 1). It begins by making a small elongate chamber and adds, as it grows, successively larger, more or less rectangular, thick-walled, communicating rooms to its house, the entire length of which is l 1/2 to 2 inches, and which when finished contains 7 (or sometimes 8) chambers; hence the name of the insect."
Wingspan 19-26 mm (Busck, 1900).
Larva to 15-18 mm (Busck, 1900).
Adult - forewing slender, almost parallel-sided for most of length, tapering to a rounded point at apex; pale yellowish-brown except for darker brownish-orange strip along costa, and two white markings in median area that together resemble an exclamation point; hindwing consists of a rod-like or spike-like midrib; all wings with long fringe of hair-like scales, very prominent in spread specimens, but hidden beneath forewings (which are hugged close to the body) in live individuals at rest; antennae thick, almost as long as forewing.
South Carolina to Florida, west to Louisiana.
Adults present from March to October in Florida.
The "exclamation point" marking on the forewing is diagnostic.
Busck, A. 1900. A new species of moths of the superfamily Tineina from Florida. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 23: 237-238
(Dalton State College, Georgia)
presence in Florida; list
and common name reference [Palm Leaf Housemaker] (John Heppner, Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
(Brian Pitkin, Butterflies and Moths of the World)