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Heterocrossa canescens facts for kids

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Heterocrossa canescens
Scientific classification
H. canescens
Binomial name
Heterocrossa canescens
(Philpott, 1930)
  • Carposina canescens Philpott, 1930

Heterocrossa canescens is a species of moth in the family Carposinidae. It is endemic to New Zealand.


This species was described by Alfred Philpott in 1930 using material he collected in February at Governor's Bush, Mount Cook and originally named Carposina canescens. George Hudson discussed this species under that name in his 1939 book A supplement to the butterflies and moths of New Zealand. In 1978 Elwood Zimmerman argued that the genus Heterocrassa should not be a synonym of Carposina as the genitalia of the species in this genus are distinctive. Subsequently John S. Dugdale placed this species within the genus Heterocrossa. The holotype specimen is held at the Canterbury Museum.


Philpott described the species as follows:

♂ ♀. 15–17 mm. Head, palpi and thorax whitish-grey. Antennae grey, ciliations in ♂ 4. Abdomen whitish-ochreous. Legs, anterior and middle pair fuscous, tarsi annulated with ochreous, posterior pair ochreous-white. Forewings, costa moderately arched, apex rounded, termen straight, oblique; grey, faintly greenish tinged; a black basal area on costa reaching half across wing and indicated below middle by a few raised black scales; 5 or 6 black spots on costa between 13 and apex; an oblique black bar of raised scales beneath 1st costal spot, outwardly margined with ochreous and white; 3 or 4 ring-like spots and some scattered blackish and ochreous scales in disc; an obscure interrupted blackish subterminal fascia; termen thickly sprinkled with blackish scales: fringes fuscous-grey sprinkled with white. Hindwings shining grey, in ♂ with ochreous area along costa from base to 12 fringes ochreous-white.


This species is endemic to New Zealand. Other than the type locality, this species has been found at the junction of the Bealey and Waimakariri Rivers.

Biology and behaviour

The adult moths of this species are on the wing in November and January to March.

Host species

The larvae of this species feed on the fruits and flowers of Gaultheria species.

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