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

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Epermeniidae

Overview

The larvae of Paraepermenia santaliella feed in the fruits of quandong, ( Santalum acuminatum ) in the drier areas of southern Australia. Epermenia excilis , one of 4 Australian Epermenia species, has larvae which feed within the seed capsules of Bursaria spinosa . [Dugdale 1987.]

Description

Very small; head smooth-scaled; ocelli and chaetosemata absent; antennae with pecten; proboscis naked, small; maxillary palps small, 3-segmented; labial palps upturned, often rough-scaled; epiphysis present; spurs 0-2-4; mid and hind tarsi with apical whorls of bristles, hind tibiae with prominent stiff bristles; fore wing narrow, with projecting tufts of broad scales from dorsum, chorda present or absent, M-stem absent from all, R 5 to termen, Cup tubular at margin, 1A + 2A with basal fork; hind wing narrower than fore wing, with 2 frenular bristles in female, M absent from cell, one short A-vein present; S2 with vestigial apodemes, segment 2 with or without pleural, eversible, ciliate process; gnathos often spined medially. Egg of flat type, ovoid, laid singly. Larva with abdominal spiracle 8 largest and more dorsal, crochets uniordinal in complete circle; prothorax with 2 L setae, L1 and L2 approximate, on thorax on one pinaculum, on abdomen on separate pinacula; mines in leaves, or feeds in seeds, fruits and flowers, or under slight web fully exposed. Pupa with very narrow prothorax, abdominal terga without spines, spiracles slightly produced, a pair of deep lateral pits on abdominal segment 9, and a small cremaster with hooked setae; in cocoon, not protruded at ecdysis.

Distribution

This small family occurs worldwide and both subfamilies, Ochromolopinae and Epermeniinae, are represented in Australia with a total of 17 named species (Gaedike 1968, 1972). Gnathifera eurybias is known from Qld to Tas. and S.A.; the green larvae feed exposed on Exocarpus eupressiformis . Gnathifera is the largest Australian genus. The only Australian species of Ochromopolis cornutifera , is known only from Mt Wilson, N.S.W.

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