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Genus Cycloplasis

Cycloplasis panicifoliella


Cycloplasis panicifoliella (Fig. 6) is a leaf miner on deer-tongue grass, Dicanthelium (formerly Panicum) clandestinum (Poaceae), a plant of low-lying deciduous forest. Leaf mines appear in June and again late in summer, indicating more than one generation. The mine is a flat upperside blotch of irregular shape. When the larva finishes feeding, it prepares for pupation by cutting a circular piece from the upper wall of the mine and then folding the piece in half and silking the edges together from the inside, to create a semicircular pupal chamber that then drops from the host leaf. The adult is a tiny moth that sits with the hind legs elevated (as in Aetole tripunctella, shown above); the tibiae and tarsi of the hind legs are adorned with many elongate spines. The placement of this genus within Lepidoptera is unresolved, but based on morphology of the larva, pupa, and adult, it can be said with certainty that it does not belong in Heliodinidae.

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Nacho Garcia
Spotted by
Nacho Garcia

Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico

Spotted on Feb 7, 2015
Submitted on Feb 7, 2015

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