Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Excluding Stathmopodidae, Schreckensteiniidae.

Adults small; relatively very long-bodied; relatively slender-bodied (wingspan more than 15 times the thoracic width); conspicuously raising the hind-legs above the body in repose; wings in repose packed with the forewings directed backwards to cover hindwings and abdomen (?).

Head smooth (shiny). Antennae long; extending to about about 0.8 times the length of the forewing. Antennae of males simple (thick); non-ciliate. The antennal scape without a pecten; not forming an ‘eye cap’. Ocelli present (prominent). Chaetosemata absent. Maxillary palps much reduced (very short); 1 segmented (?). Labial palps porrect (rather short, slightly curved, filiform, pointed). Proboscis fully developed; not scaly.

Wingspan 10–11 mm; about 10 times the thoracic width. Forewings narrow; about 5–6 times as long as wide; exhibiting shining-metallic markings (with a leaden-metallic subapical spot); ground colour predominantly deep orange-brown. Hindwings narrow-elongate and very long-fringed; lanceolate; very much narrower than the forewings to quite markedly narrower than the forewings; with a pointed apex to with a rounded apex. The fringe of the hindwings about 3 times the width of the membrane. The upper surfaces plain; with neither discal spot nor transverse lines; hindwings with a frenulum.

Neuration of forewings and hindwings dissimilar. Forewings 11–12 veined (vein 7 absent); with 1 anal vein, or with 2 anal veins (?). The anal veins of the forewings representing 1b only, or comprising 1a and 1b (?). Forewings lacking a tubular vein 1c. Vein 1b of the forewings obsoletely furcate. Forewings with a discal cell. The transverse vein complete. Discal cell of the forewings without a tubular media (M) vein. Forewings lacking vein 7, with 6 and 8 stalked. Hindwings with well developed neuration to with greatly reduced neuration; 5–9 veined; lacking anal veins, or with 1 anal vein (?). The anal veins of the hindwings unidentified. Hindwings lacking a tubular vein 1c; with a discal cell. The transverse vein incomplete (open between veins 3 and 5). 4 veins arising from the hindwing cell (lacking vein 4). The cell-derived hindwing veins all arising independently of one another. Vein 8 of the hindwings completely independent of the cell; not approximating to vein 7. Hindwing veins 6 and 7 approximated.

Fore-legs with a tibial epiphysis. Tibiae of middle legs 2-spurred. Posterior tibiae 4-spurred; often bristly.

Eggs, larvae and pupae. Eggs smooth or minutely pitted (?). Larval prolegs 10. Larvae concealed feeders (in spun leaves). Feeding on leaves of Atriplex and Chenopodium.

Pupae concealed (in a cocoon); on the surface of the ground, or above the ground. Empty pupae protruded from place of concealment.

British representation. Genera 1; 1 species (Heliodines rosella).

Classification. Microlepidoptera. Suborder Ditrysia. Superfamily Yponomeutoidea.

Comments. Head and thorax metallic-bronzy fuscous. Hind tarsal segments with apical whorls of bristles, and the tibia with median and apical whorls of bristles.

Illustrations. • Heliodines roesella.

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Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera. Version: 8th June 2016.’.