Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum


Leucoptera laburnella

This is quite the smallest moth in this series of photographs. The presence of the caterpillar is made evident by unsightly brown blotches on the leaves of Laburnum. The caterpillar feeds between the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf. When fully fed, it emerges from the blotch and makes a small white cocoon beside the blotch on the underside of the leaf. It is then easy to keep the leaves fresh in a container and wait for one or two weeks for the moths to emerge. In specimens that I have measured, there was considerable variation in size, the length of the resting moth from head to wingtip varying from 4.0 to 2.2 mm, and body length varying from 3.0 to 1.8 mm. In flight they could easily be mistaken for aphids or whitefly.

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