Limnaecia phragmitella

Shy Cosmet
Limnaecia phragmitella

POHL: 42-0401
MONA: 1515

Head: Shiny light tan. Palpi very long, curved well over head; white, darker on underside. Segment 2 hairy (scaled). Segment 3 dark with white ring.
Antenna: Base (scape) is white with a dark stripe. Segments striped (annulated) black and white.
Thorax: Shiny light tan.
Wings: Shiny dark tan. Two dark, white-edges spots at mid wing, one near inner margin, one center. Another dark, white-edges spot at 2/3 wing length (discal cell). Darker streak may be present from spot at mid wing, through 2nd spot and to wing tip. Series of dark spots along wing tip edge. Fringe long, light grayish-yellow. Hindwing is grayish-tan.
Legs: Light tan, shiny, some brown streaks.

Size: 7 to 10 mm long. Wingspan 15 to 22 mm.

Habitat: Marshes and ditches.

Food: Cattails Typha

Flight Time: Late June to mid-August in s. w. Ontario.

Life Cycle: The larvae are called Cattail Caterpillars and feed inside the seed heads of  Typha species, over-winter, and form cocoons in the spring, all in the same cattail. Larvae whitish to pale tan with a brown line down the middle and two more irregular, broken lines down each side. Head slightly darker with brown spots. Some dark marks on shield and last segment.

Parasitized by Chalcid Wasps Elachertus species and Hyssopus benefactor; an Ichneumon Wasp Scambus techmseh, and a Braconid Wasp newly discovered in London, Ontario called Apanteles masmithi which also parasitizes Julie’s Moth Dicymolomia julianalis.

 Comments: Ontario per Pohl 2018. Common in Essex County.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Cosmopterix pulchrimella

Chambers’ Cosmet
Cosmopterix pulchrimella


POHL: 42-0355
MONA: 1472

Head: Dark brown, greenish reflections with 3 white lines, one long one down center, one very short one over each eye. Eyes often reddish. Face gray. Palpi long, up-curved; white; segment 2 brown on underside, segment 3 with long brown stripe on sides.
Antenna: Base (scape) dark brown with white stripe. Segments dark brown with 5 to 6 intermittent white before tip.
Thorax: Dark brown with greenish reflections. White line down center. Main ID: No white line down each side.
Wings: Forewing dark brown, shiny with 3 short white dashes in basal area. A wide orange stripe (or may be same colour as wing) is bordered with silvery-golden bands. Top band is entire across wing. Lower band narrows at costal side and trails toward wing tip blending in with the fringe. Small silver to white dash near wing tip.  Fringe dark brown, tip white. Hindwing and fringe shiny, brown.
Legs: Dark brown with white lines and rings.
Abdomen: Dark brown, ringed with white. Abdomen tip tuft brown.

Size: 4 mm long. Wingspan 7 to 9 mm.

Habitat: Rich woods in moist, shaded areas.

Food: Plants in the Nettle family, but with non-stinging leaves: Pellitory-of-the-wall Parietaria officinalis, Pennsylvania Pellitory Parietaria pensylvanica and Richweed or Canadian Clearweed Pilea pumila.

Flight Time: May to June; again in September.

 Life Cycle: 2 generations per year. Females lay eggs on leaves. Larvae start a mine at midrib on the leaf. Frass is ejected through hole, so leaf mine stays white. Cocoon formed inside the mine, between leaves or on the ground.
Larva: Yellowish to grayish-white body, tip grayish-brown, legs pale brown; head black with thin white lines. Shield broad, oval, black with white line at center. 

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park in 2012. Wheatley   

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Mathildana newmanella

Newman’s Mathildana
Mathildana newmanella

POHL: 42-0055
MONA: 1059

Head: Smooth, brassy purplish-black. Palpi orange; very long and curved over head; underside scaled; last segment with some brown.
Antenna: Brassy purplish-black; thicker at base. Last 8 segments white.
Thorax: Brassy purplish-black
Wings: Brassy purplish-black with a diagonal break in orange stripe from base to past mid-wing. Fringe gray. Orange stripes lighter to absent in southern populations.
Hindwings oval, dark gray.
Legs: Shiny, brassy purplish-black with white patches.
Abdomen: Lighter purplish-black, underside brassy.

Size: 7 to 9 mm. Wingspan 15 to 18 mm.

Habitat: Forests and apple trees (dead wood).

Food: Bracket fungus, rotting wood, debris.

Flight Time: June to July.

Life Cycle: Larva feed in webs under the bark of dead trees and in bracket fungus. Adults are day-flying.

Comments: Ontario – Common from Long Point, Toronto, Georgian Bay. Recorded twice in Essex County in Leamington on June 8, 1929 and at Point Pelee National Park on July 22, 1927. Also in Quebec.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Epicallima argenticinctella

Orange-headed Epicallima
Epicallima argenticinctella

POHL: 42-0041
MONA: 1046

Head: Orange. Palpi curved up over head; dark except last segment white with a brown ring at center. Large eyes.
Antenna: Silvery-white, ringed with black.
Thorax: Orange.
Wings: Yellowish with 2 wide dark orange patches outlined in silver and black.  1st patch extends across base of wing; 2nd patch semi-circular from about mid-wing to anal angle. White slanted streak from 2nd patch to costa edge. Oblong silver spots along wing tips. Fringe long, yellowish like wing, except a small brownish patch near anal angle. Hindwings and fringe grayish-brown.
Legs: All segments dark brown with white tips. Hind leg somewhat lighter brown. Long white spurs.
Abdomen: Gray-brown.

Similar Species: Decantha borkhausenii has brown background on wings and brown head.

Size: 6 to 7 mm long. Wingspan 11 to 12 mm.

Habitat: Deciduous forests.

Food: Dead wood and bark of hickory, larch, elder and elm.

Flight Time: May to August.

Range: Eastern half of U.S., Texas, Oklahoma, N. Dakota and Canada.

Life Cycle: Larvae arctic species usually are found in dead wood, where they probably feed on fungus. Little is known of the specific habits of these larvae, and some of the species apparently never have been reared. Larva has been reared on corn plants; found under bark of elm and elder trees in the wild. Also have been reared from rotting Maple logs.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee insect list.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Philonome clemensella

Clothes & Fungus Moth
Philonome clemensella

POHL: 30-0220
MONA: 0462

Head: Face and tiny nose cone (palpi) white. Tuft extending over front of head reddish-brown.
Antenna: Long, reaching past mid-wing. Base (scape) somewhat swollen, hidden under large eye-cap with bristles. Segments pale reddish-brown to whitish.
Thorax: White with reddish-orange to reddish-brown spot on each shoulder and a reddish-brown transverse stripe across lower margin. Stripes usually faded to ground color.
Wings: Reddish-brown. White streak from tip of thorax to mid wing, usually faded at middle. Stripe forms V-shape around dark tuft at mid-wing. Another white line extends from side edge of thorax and meets with tip of V-shape. Costal edge past mid-wing has a white patch, narrowing and extending inward to center of wing. White patch at anal angle. Tip of wing has brown streak and long white and brown fringe. Hindwing and fringe gray.
Legs: Mostly white with brown to orangish streaks.
Abdomen: Yellowish-gray. Male has retractable tufts each side of segment 8.

Size: Wing span about 7 to 8 mm. Length about 4 to 5 mm. long.

Habitat: Deciduous forests.

Food: Deciduous trees – possibly Hickory, Linden, Honey Locust.

Flight Time: July in Ontario.

Life Cycle: Unknown.

Comments: Essex County. Considered a ‘rogue taxon’ of Tineia. Listed for Ontario by Pohl 2018.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page