I’ve only seen one of these, which I found on the ‘7th Night of Moth Week’, and I have only a few photos, but since their larvae are one of the few things that eat the Oxalis trilliifolia that I posted yesterday, I thought this was a good time to profile Trichodezia californiata. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately since I have so few photos), I can find very little information on this strikingly handsome species.
Description– Medium sized (fw length 10-12mm) black and white moth with 3 irregular, unblemished transverse white bands on the forewing, and a black and white hindwing.
Similar species– Trichodezia albovittata has a single wide, latitudinal white band on the forewing; Mesoleuca gratulata (Western White-ribboned Carpet Moth) has a single wide, white transverse band on the forewing; Rheumaptera spp. have many black marks within the white, a subterminal band of broken white, and the transverse white bands are more figured and irregular.
Habitat– Forests and woodlands containing the various Oxalis that are its larval hosts.
Range– West Coast North America; found in the PNW west of the Cascades from s BC to n California.
Eaten by– Presumably a host for parasitoids in Hymenoptera and Diptera, and probably preyed upon by insectivores of all classes, but I can find nothing specific for this species.
Adults active– Said to be diurnal, but this specimen came to my UV lights; from March into September, depending on latitude and elevation.
Life cycle– I can find nothing specific to this species, or even this genus.
Etymology of names– Trichodezia is from the Greek word for ‘hair’, plus the genus Odezia, since Warren says in his original description of this genus; “Distinguished from Odezia Boisd. by the presence of a long tuft of dark hairs
towards the inner margin of the forewings on the underside…”. The specific epithet californiata describes the location of the type specimen.