T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Tebenna micalis (Metalmark moth)

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:     Arthropoda
Class:        Insecta
Order:        Lepidoptera
Family:      Choreutidae
Genus:       Tebenna
Species:     T. micalis
Binomial name: Tebenna micalis
Synonyms:  Choreutis isshiki, Tebenna isshiki, Tebenna bradleyi, Choreutis australis
Common names: Metalmark Moth, Small thistle moth 

Tebenna micalis is a metalmark moth in the family Choreutidae and is found nearly worldwide. The adult moth is brown with black patches, and has a wingspan of about 1 cm. Its antennae are banded black and white.  It is extremely similar/identical to the Tebenna gnaphaliella.

Their caterpillars are green with black spots and mine the leaves of their host plant. The caterpillars eat the flesh of the leaves leaving the surface skeletonised. The mines contain an ample quantity of frass. The larva may leave its mine and restart elsewhere. Older larvae often live free in a web under the leaf.
They feed mainly on Asteraceae the daisy family. They have also been recorded on Erigeron Canadensis (Fleabane), Arctotheca calendula (Capeweed), Cirsium vulgare (Spear thistle), Onopordum acanthium (Scotch thistle), Xerochrysum bracteatum (Everlasting daisy) and on Cynara scolymus (Artichoke).

For more photos of the moth and its larvae visit  http://www.lepiforum.de/lepiwiki.pl?Tebenna_Bjerkandrella

Lateral view.