|scientific name Elachista aurocristata |
The group E. argentella live in a wide range of habitats including arctic tundra, alpine meadows, wetlands and grassland prairie (Kaila 1997). In Alberta, E. aurocristata adults have been encountered in southern boreal habitats.
Adults have been observed flying in late May through July (Kaila 1997).
Elachista aurocristata is categorized in the E. argentella grouping (Kaila 1997). This group is characterized by having a smooth scaled head, somewhat raised neck tufts and antennae that are approximately 2/3 the length of the forewing (Kaila 1997). The wings are lanceolate with the hindwings being grey and translucent (Kaila 1997). The forewings are acute at the tip and typically white (Kaila 1997). Elachista aurocristata is closely related to E. orestella which is also encountered in Alberta. Elachista aurocristata is larger than E. orestella with a forewing length between 4.8 – 5.5 mm (Kaila 1997). The two spots at the midpoint of the forewing and at the 2/3 of the wing at the fold are faint and brownish in E. aurocristata and dark in E. orestella (Kaila 1997). The aedeagus of male E. aurocristata is longer than the length of the tegument and uncus combined (Kaila 1997).
Adults of closely related species are active during dusk and dawn periods but can occasionally be nocturnal (Kaila 1997). In general the adults are not readily attracted to lights (Kaila 1997).
Unknown but current specimen collection reports do not indicate a widespread distribution. Other species within the genus are not likely a concern.
Though largely unknown, larval habits of the E. argentella group are reportedly Poaceae leafminers (Kaila 1997).
Specimens have been collected in southern British Columbia and central Alberta in Canada (Kaila 1997). In the United States, collection has been restricted to Montana, Oregon and Washington (Kaila 1997).
In general, not much is known about the genus Elachista and many species are likely undiscovered (Kaila 1997).
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