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

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Yponomeutidae

Overview

Adults rest with antennae turned back and appressed; some groups rest with the body raised obliquely and head depressed.

The Praydinae, with a pecten and a discrete sacculus in the male genitalia, are represented in Australia by Prays (7 spp.). The larvae feed within a slight shelter of webbing on flowers, buds and leaves of Rutaceae. Two species, P . nephelomima and P . parilis , cause damage to Citrus flowers in eastern Australia.

Description

Small to very small, head with smooth or roughened lamellar scales, ocelli absent; chaetosemata present or absent; antennae with or without pecten, proboscis usually present, naked; maxillary palps small, 1-4-segmented; labial palps smooth-scaled and often up-turned; epiphyses present; spurs 0-2-4 or 0-2-0; fore wing usually with pterostigma, male retinaculum near base of Sc, wing venation little reduced, chorda and M-stem present in cell, Rs to termen, R 4 and R 5 stalked or separate, CuP present at margin, 1A + 2A forked; abdominal terga sometimes spined, male segment 8 with large pleural lobes, valva usually broadly rounded. Larva with distinct pinacula, pinacula SD1 and SD2 on meso- and metathorax fused, L1 and L2 widely separate, on thorax and abdominal segment 1-8, ventral prolegs with complete circles of tri- to multiserial crochets; larva lives singly in slight webbing on leaves or gregariously in extensive webs, pupation in fusiform cocoon in larval web or near by. Pupa sometimes with cremaster and terminal hooked spines; not protruded from cocoon at ecdysis.

Distribution

Yponomeutinae, with spined terga and S8 more sclerotised than S7, are well represented in Australia. Yponomeuta (6 spp.) has white fore wings with numerous black spots; the larvae live communally in often large webs. Y . paurodes and other Yponomeuta species occur in eastern Australia, often in rainforest. Zelleria (20 spp.) occurs mainly in southern Australia; all have long and narrow wings.
Attevinae, without pecten and with chaetosemata, contain brightly coloured species in Atteva (6 spp.). A . niphocosma occurs in eastern Australia and has gregarious larvae feeding on the rainforest tree Polyscias murrayi .

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