What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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Bucculatricidae

Overview

Bucculatrix (9 spp.) occurs widely in Australia. B . gossypii attacks cotton in northern Australia; during the first 2 instars and part of the 3rd it is an apodous leaf-miner; it then spins an oval shelter on the leaf surface, in which it moults to the 4th instar. This older larva feeds exposed on the surface, skeletonising the leaf. It has normal thoracic legs, and ventral prolegs, each with 2 transverse bands of uniordinal crochets. Other Australian Bucculatrix feed on Eucalyptus , Sterculia , Choretrum and Alphitonia ; all have a biology similar to that of B. gossypii , although the number of instars spent as leaf-miner varies. Ogmograptis , with several species, may belong here. The larvae of O . scribula produce conspicuous, scribble-like mines in living bark of smooth-barked Eucalyptus , such as E . pauciflora and E . micrantha ; the stiff, oval cocoon, from which the pupa is protruded at ecdysis, is very similar to that of Bucculatrix . No gall-forming species are known from Australia. [Scoble and Scholtz 1984.]

Description

Very small; head with raised hair scales on vertex, appressed lamellar scales on frons in Australian species; ocelli absent; chaetosemata absent in Australian species; antennae shorter than fore wing, with expanded scape and dense pecten forming eye-cap; proboscis short, unscaled; maxillary palps reduced, 1-segmented; labial palps very small, drooping, 3-segmented; epiphysis present, spurs 0-2-4, hind tibia with long hair scales above and below between spurs; fore wing often with oblique striae along costa and dorsum, with 4 or 5 branches of R, 1 or 2 branches of M, CuA runs at longitudinal axis, 1A + 2A without basal fork; hind wing without discal cell, Rs and M partly coalescent, Rs, M 1 and M 2 reaching margin; corpus bursae with signum of numerous spines or a dentate plate. Larva heteromorphic, with reduced number of crochets; in leaf-mine, leaf shelter, gall or bark-mine. Pupa with dorsal spines on T3-7, in dense, characteristically ribbed cocoon (Jackh 1955).

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