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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Description and Life History of An Unusual Fern-Feeding Tortricid Moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) from Brazil

Authors
item Brown, John
item Baixeras, Joaquin - VALENCIA, SPAIN
item Filho, Jorge - SAO PAULO, BRASIL
item Kraus, Jane - SAO PAULO, BRASIL

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 25, 2004
Publication Date: September 13, 2004
Citation: Brown, J.W., Baixeras, J., Filho, J., Kraus, J.E. 2004. Description and life history of an unusual fern-feeding tortricid moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) from Brazil. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 97:865-871

Interpretive Summary: The larvae or caterpillars of moths commonly known as leaf-rollers are plant-feeding, causing billions of dollars of damage annually to crops, ornamentals, and forest trees. It is unusual to find species in this group that feed internally in plant tissue, and in this paper we report the discovery of a new species that causes galls in a fern. Internal feeders are more difficult to detect and more difficult to treat because most pesticide applications do not penetrate plant tissue. We describe the morphology and biology of the new species and discuss its relationships to similar species. This information will be useful to scientists interested in the biology of leafrollers, horticulturalists working with ferns, and action agencies (such as APHIS) who are involved in detection and exclusion of non-native species at U.S. ports-of-entry.

Technical Abstract: Tortrimosaica pterophytivora Brown and Baixeras, new genus and new species, is described and illustrated from São Paulo, Brazil. We also describe and illustrate the last instar larva and pupa, and provide notes on the life history. Larvae of the new species are gall-inducers in the stems of Microgramma squamulosa (Kaulf.) Sota (Polypodiaceae), an unusual behavior and host for a member of Tortricinae. Although placed provisionally in Hilarographini, tribal and subfamilial assignments of the new genus are problematic owing to a mosaic of morphological characters suggesting placement in a variety of different higher taxa. The larvae have a bisetose L-group on the prothorax, and the pupa has multiple rows of spines near the anterior edge of the dorsum of abdominal segments 3-8; both of these characters have been reported previously only once in Tortricidae, i.e., in Thaumatographa eremnotorna Diakonoff and Arita (Hilarographini). Observations presented herein suggest that these two characters may represent synapomorphies for the tribe. Although the gall-inducing habit of the new species is not unique within Tortricidae, it is highly unusual within non-olethreutine lineages.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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