Limnaecia phragmitella

Shy Cosmet
Limnaecia phragmitella

POHL: 42-0401
MONA: 1515

Identification:
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