Pohl, Greg, Anweiler, Gary, Schmidt, Christian & Kondla, Norbert, 2010, An annotated list of the Lepidoptera of Alberta, Canada, ZooKeys 38 (38), pp. 1-549: 51

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.38.383


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7. Adelidae  – fairy moths

Small (10–25 mm wingspan) day-flying moths with reduced palps, a scaled proboscis, and iridescent greenish purple wings with white marks. Males of most species have extremely long antennae, up to three times the forewing length. Th ey are often found swarming above host plants. Females have piercing ovipositors. Little is known about their biology. In some species, eggs are laid in flowers, where the larvae feed briefly before making a case, in which they drop to the ground and continue to feed, probably on dead leaves.

Almost 300 species of Adelidae  are known worldwide. Eighteen species are known from North America, including four from AB. Taxonomic coverage of the Adelidae  is incomplete for North America; Powell (1969) covered the genera Nemophora  (as Elasmion  ) and Adela, but the remaining genus, Cauchas  , has never been revised.