- Subfamily: Cosmopteriginae
- Wingspan: 06-08 mm
- Flight period: Jan - Dec (only in southern latitudes)
- Spread: Uncommon
- Host plants: Parietaria sp. - Pilea pumila
The Cosmopterix pulchrimella is a small moth of the Cosmopterigidae family, with a wingspan of 06-08 mm.
It is present in continental Europe including Albania, the Azores, the Canary Islands, Corsica, Crete, Croatia, France, mainland Greece, Madeira, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. In Italy it is also present in the islands.*
Also present in the United States and Canada
The head is bright gray in color, the abdomen is a bright dark brown dorsally, the segments are ventrally banded in white, posteriorlybrown anal tuft is also visible.**
The anterior wing, of elongated shape, has a dark brown-black background color, with a showy orange-colored stripe in the post-discal region bordered, on both sides, by silvery metallic bands. Three short lines of metallic silver color, parallel to the costa, are visible in the discal region.
From the apex of the wing starts a silvery white line sometimes also interrupted parallel to the costa. The rear wing is gray in color. All wings are heavily feathered. The palps are very pronounced.
The larvae are miners. The mine begins as a short irregular corridor, usually following the midrib, which widens into an irregular patch. Some silk settles in the mine, causing it to contract a little.
Most of the waste is ejected through an opening near the start of the mine; some are trapped in rotation under the leaf. The larva often moves to a new mine.
Pupation inside the mine (Koster & Sinev, 2003a) , in a folded leaf margin or in a leaf fold. ***
The species is bivoltine, with adults flying throughout the year in southern latitudes, there are no data for other areas. Adults are often attracted to artificial lights
The larvae feed on Parietaria Judaica, Parietaria officinalis, Parietaria pensylvanica and Pilea pumila.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** The genera Cosmopterix Hübner and Pebobs Hodges in the New World with special attention to the Neotropical fauna (Lepidoptera: Cosmopterigidae) - http://dpc.uba.uva.nl/cgi/t/text/get-pdf?c=zoomed;idno=8402a01
*** Plant Parasites of Europe leafminers, galls and fungi https://bladmineerders.nl/