Adult gracillariines are slender moths with long antennae, which they often wave about when at rest. These moths sit with the front end of the body elevated, and with the front and middle legs (the tibiae of which are often tufted) held prominently displayed on either side of the body (Fig. 1), in contrast to adult Tischeriidae, which elevate the front end but keep the front legs tucked out of sight. Larvae feed on many different groups of both forbs and woody plants. Most are blotch leaf miners, but a few create tentiform or serpentine mines (e.g., Leucospilapteryx and Marmara, respectively), and in the genus Caloptilia, larvae typically begin as leaf miners but later form characteristic "leaf cones" (see illustrations under coverage of Caloptilia).
Several gracillariine genera occur in Illinois:
Figure 1. Caloptilia stigmatella, displaying the characteristic resting posture of adult Gracillariinae.
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