Family Gracillariidae: Subfamily Lithocolletinae

Adult lithocolletines are generally smaller and not so relatively long and slender as gracillariines. In contrast to gracillarines, adult lithocolletines characteristically sit with the hind end of the body elevated (Fig. 1). This resting posture is also seen in a few non-gracillariid microlepidoptera groups (e.g., Argyresthiidae, and Perimede of the chrysopeleiine Cosmopterigidae).

With rare exceptions, lithocolletine larvae (unlike Gracillariinae) remain inside the leaf mine to pupate. Larvae feed on many different groups of both forbs and woody plants.

The subfamily Lithocolletinae was revised by Braun (1908), as the genus Lithocolletis.

In the USA, there are two sizeable genera of lithocolletines, Phyllonorycter and Cameraria; both are well represented in Illinois. In addition, several smaller genera of lithocolletines are known or likely to occur within the state:


Lithocolletinae Cameraria live adult resting position image

Figure 1. Cameraria hamadryadella, showing the characteristic resting posture of adult Lithocolletinae

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