Twirler Moth

Chionodes (?)

Gelechiidae qt Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in December in Sonoran Desert photo © by Mike Plagens

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Pima Co., Arizona, USA. 20 Dec. 2016.

Gelechiidae -- Twirler Moths, one of the Microlepidoptera Families

There may be many scores of these very small moth species in the Sonoran Desert. Each one has a unique relationship with a Sonoran Desert plant. This one came to a light in early evening on Dec. 20. Total length of the specimen shown is about 4mm. As an adult moth they will live only a short time, perhaps a week or two. After mating they will lay eggs upon a host plant. From the eggs emerge the larval stage which may twirle, twist, sew or tunnel into the tissue of the host plant.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 23 Dec. 2016