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Cosmopterigidae, lateral - Cosmopterix montisella

Cosmopterigidae, lateral - Cosmopterix montisella
100 Acre Wood, Winneshiek County, Iowa, USA
August 10, 2011
Size: 4+ mm
Black lighting. The moth is in a vial for the photo.

Images of this individual: tag all
Cosmopterigidae, lateral - Cosmopterix montisella Cosmopterigidae, dorsal - Cosmopterix montisella

Moved from Beautiful Cosmopterix Moth.

T. Harrison says: "most of our Cosmopterix spp. have the dark-yellow area of the forewing bordered basally by a complete metallic fascia and bordered apically by two separate metallic spots. In C. pulchrimella, however, the yellow patch is bordered basally by a complete metallic fascia (as usual) but is also bordered apically by a complete metallic fascia, rather than by two separate spots. Another distinctive feature of C. pulchrimella is that, in many individuals, the dark-yellow area is intermixed with blackish scales so that it appears almost concolorous with the brown ground color of the wing, rather than contrastingly yellow as in our familiar concept of Cosmopterix.

What IS your moth? I would call it Cosmopterix montisella. Why? OK, notice that, in your moth, the dark-yellow area of the forewing is bordered basally by a metallic fascia, and apically by two metallic spots (i.e., the typical setup). In most of our spp., however, the two metallic spots are pretty much right across from each other, but in C. montisella, they are very much staggered, so that the dark-yellow area extends much farther toward the apex in the anterior half of the wing than it does in the posterior half of the wing. Our only other species that has this is C. bacata, which is ruled out on a number of different characters (e.g., no white inner borders of tegulae, and the anterior white line in the basal part of the forewing does not extend to the base of the wing or anywhere near it)."

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