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

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Cyclotornidae

Overview

Endemic to Australia, the stout-bodied, moths may be recognised by the condition of the A veins in both wings. Most are grey, some with distinct dark spots on the fore wing; a few are yellowish white and at least one species is yellow and black. The adults come to light. As in Epipyropidae, the females lay a large number of eggs. The remarkable life history of Cyclotorna monocentra was described by Dodd (1912). The eggs are laid on the twigs and bark of a tree already infested with Eurymelidae, which are usually attended by ants. The flat, 1st instar larva is an external parasite of a leafhopper. It later spins an oval, flat shelter beneath bark, in which it moults to a brightly coloured, flattened larva with retractile head and body segments laterally expanded and pointed. This is carried by an ant to its nest, where the moth larva feeds upon the ant larvae, yielding an anal secretion eagerly devoured by the ants. At maturity, the larva spins its cocoon beneath loose bark on a nearby tree. In the smaller C . egena , lacking CuA 1 in the hind wing, the first-stage larvae parasitise Psyllidae. In some species early ecdyses occur in silk shelters spun on the body of the leafhopper host.

Description

Small; head with appressed lamellar scales and 2 whorls of raised piliform scales; ocelli and chaetosemata absent; antennae simple, thickened, scape with pecten; proboscis and maxillary palps absent; labial palps very short; epiphysis absent, tibial spurs 0-2-4, hind tibiae with long hair-scales; fore wing with chorda present, M forked in discal cell, R 4 and R 5 stalked or separate, R 5 to apex, other veins separate, CuP present, 2A running separately towards margin from fork of 1A + 2A; hind wing with M simple in discal cell, R 1 absent, CuP present, 2A running separately towards margin from fork of 1A + 2A. Abdomen stout. Eggs oval, flattened. Larva heteromorphic, 1st instar flattened, with large head and long, pointed mandibles, mature larva with small head, long antennae, apical adhesive pads on thoracic legs, crochets in uniordinal mesoseries, and fine secondary setae; at first parasitic on leafhoppers (Eurymelidae), later predatory on ant larvae. Pupa dorsoventrally flattened, in oval, white, silken cocoon with horizontal 'frog-mouth' slit through which the pupae protrude at ecdysis.

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