Family Choreutidae

Choreutidae is represented by only a few species (representing three genera) in Illinois. Mature larvae are slender and pale yellowish green, with the abdominal prolegs noticeably long and narrow. Most species are leaf skeletonizers, and their presence is usually conspicuous due to extensive feeding damage, silk, and frass. One species, Tebenna carduiella, is a stem borer in thistle, Cirsium sp. (Asteraceae). In all of the leaf-skeletonizing species, pupation occurs in an elaborate, multi-layered cocoon of white silk. The pupa has transverse rows of posteriorly-oriented spines dorsally on the abdominal segments, so that the pupal exuvium is protruded from the cocoon at the time of adult eclosion. Adults are broad-winged, somewhat tortricid-like moths; most species have metallic scaling on one or both pairs of wings. They are diurnal and are often seen on the larval food plant or nearby vegetation. They hardly ever fly except in very short bursts from one leaf or plant to another. Most often, they are seen walking, which they do in quick, jerky, "jumping spider-like" fashion (or "dance-like" fashion, thus the family name, which comes from the same root as that used in the words "choreography" and "terpsichorean"). Most species hold the wings in one plane, horizontally, but Brenthia pavonacella displays a distinctive posture, with the forewings and hindwings held at different angles from each other.

Genus Brenthia
Genus Prochoreutis
Genus Tebenna

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