Submitted to: Journal of Lepidopterists Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2003
Publication Date: May 15, 2003
Citation: Brown, J.W. 2003. An illustrated guide to the orthocomotis dognin (lepidoptera: tortricidae) of costa rica, with notes on their spatial and temporal distribution. Journal of Lepidopterists Societ. 57:253-269.
Interpretive Summary: Caterpillars of the moth family known as leaf-rollers are important pests of agricultural, ornamental, and forest plants. In order to accurately identify these species and assess their potential as pests to U.S. agriculture, we must understand the structures by which they can be distinguished, their geographic distribution, and their annual flight periods or season of activity. In this study I examine these features for a group of leaf-roller moths in Costa Rica that are known to feed on plants related to avocado. The descriptions, illustrations, and notes on distribution (geographic and seasonal) provided in this paper will promote accurate identification of these species. This information will be useful to those studying tropical biodiversity, to those involved in pest management of avocado in the tropics, and to action agencies such as APHIS whose role is the detection, identification, and exclusion of foreign pests.
Ten species of Orthocomotis Dognin are reported from Costa Rica: O. ochracea Clarke; O. herbacea Clarke (=O. subolivata Clarke, new synonymy); O. longicilia Brown, new species; O. magicana (Zeller); O. chaldera (Druce); O. herbaria (Busck) (=O. cristata Clarke, new synonymy; = O. uragia Razowski & Becker, new synonymy); O. phenax Razowski & Becker; O. similis Brown, new species; O. nitida Clarke; and O. altivolans Brown, new species. Orthocomotis herbacea has been reared from avocado (Persea americana) and O. herbaria from Nectandra hihua, both in the Lauraceae, suggesting that this plant family may act as the larval host for other species of Orthocomotis. A portion of a preserved pupal exuvium associated with the holotype of O. herbacea suggests that the pupae of Orthocomotis are typical for Tortricidae, with the dorsal pits conspicuous in this stage. Adults and genitalia of all species are illustrated, and elevational occurrence is graphed. Orthocomotis herbaria and O. nitida are species of the lowlands (ca. 0-800 m); O. altivolans is restricted to the highest elevations (ca. 2000-3000 m); the remainder of the species occupy the middle elevations (ca. 800-1800 m). Five of the 10 species documented from Costa Rica appear to be restricted to this Central American country.