Hellinsia paleaceus (Zeller, 1873),

Matthews, Deborah L., Miller, Jacqueline Y., Simon, Mark J. & Goss, Gary J., 2019, Additions to the plume moth fauna of The Bahamas (Lepidoptera: Pterophoridae) with description of four new species, Insecta Mundi 708 (708), pp. 1-35: 13

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Hellinsia paleaceus (Zeller, 1873)


Hellinsia paleaceus (Zeller, 1873) 

Fig. 16View Figures 10–17, 33a, bView Figures 33–36, 50View Figures 49–53

Diagnosis. Forewing cleft extending to 0.6× wing length from base, lobes broad; ground color white to light buff interspersed with cream-buff. Costa, second lobe and wing base with faint lines of cinnamondrab scales. Distinguished from Hellinsia unicolor (Barnes and McDunnough)  by the presence of a drab or olive-brown spot near forewing cleft base ( Fig. 16View Figures 10–17). Hindwing cinnamon-drab. Male genitalia with asymmetrical valvae; left valve larger with short laterally recurved saccular process ( Fig. 33aView Figures 33–36). Female genitalia with long swollen part of ductus seminalis curving over the anterior part of corpus bursae; anterior margin of tergite VIII wrapped around to venter as short medially projecting apophyses anteriores ( Fig. 50View Figures 49–53).

Pinned material examined. BAHAMAS: Abaco: North Abaco, 1 mi. S of Blackwood Village , 26.785155°, −77.431319°, 6.vi.2016, recently burned pinelands, adults in vicinity of Vernonia blodgettii  , DLM, JYM, MJS, GJG (11 ♂, 9 ♀, slide DM 2148)  ; same data, adult nectaring on V. blodgettii  (2 ♂, slide DM 2115)  ; South Abaco, vicinity of Sawmill Sink , 26.218346°, −77.210170°, 2.vi.2016, DLM, JYM, MJS, GJG (2 ♂, 1 ♀)  .

Life history. Larvae have been recorded feeding on the leaves of five species of Vernonia Schreb.  ( Asteraceae  ) in the USA ( Matthews and Lott 2005). Although larval specimens have not yet been collected in The Bahamas, adults were found in association with Vernonia blodgettii Small  growing in recently burned pinelands. These adults were found flying in close proximity to the plants, perching on the plants, and in two cases, nectaring on the flowers. Three other species of Vernonia  occur in The Bahamas, two endemic and one widespread in the tropics and subtropics ( Correll and Correll 1982).

Distribution. This species is widespread across the USA and ranges north into Canada. In The Bahamas it has only been collected on North and South Abaco. In the neotropics it has also been reported in Puerto Rico ( Möschler, 1890).