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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT & EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS FOR INVASIVE SPECIES THREATENING THE EVERGLADES & OTHER NATURAL AND MANANGED SYSTEMS

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Title: Biology and systematics of the leafmining Gracillariidae of Brazilian pepper tree, Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi, with descriptions of a new genus and four new species

Authors
item Davis, D -
item Mckay, F -
item Oleiro, M -
item Vitorino, M -
item WHEELER, GREGORY

Submitted to: Journal of Lepidopterists Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 3, 2011
Publication Date: August 15, 2011
Citation: Davis, D.R., Mckay, F., Oleiro, M., Vitorino, M.D., Wheeler, G.S. 2011. Biology and systematics of the leafmining Gracillariidae of Brazilian pepper tree, Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi, with descriptions of a new genus and four new species. Journal of Lepidopterists Society. 65(2):61-93.

Interpretive Summary: Recent surveys in southern Florida, USA, Brazil and Argentina, for biological control agents to assist in the control of the invasive Brazilian peppertree, have discovered several previously unknown species of plant mining moths. Morphological descriptions with summaries of their biology for the following four new species and one new genus are presented: Caloptilia schinusifolia, from Brazil and possibly Argentina; Eucosmophora schinusivora, from Argentina and Brazil; Leurocephala schinusae, new genus and species, from Argentina and Brazil; and Marmara habecki, new species, from Florida, USA. The larvae of all four species exhibit a unique developmental stages where the early stages are sapfeeding and later stages are tissue feeding. Unique specimens representing an additional three species of this group also have been reared from this tree in Argentina or Brazil, but these could not be identified because of inadequate material. Molecular analysis conducted by Paul Hebert and his staff at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario for Marmara habecki and two morphologically closely related Marmara species, and results from the analysis is summarized herein.

Technical Abstract: Recent surveys in southern Florida, USA, Brazil and Argentina, for biological control agents to assist in the control of the invasive Brazilian peppertree, have discovered several previously unknown species of plant mining Lepidoptera of the family Gracillariidae. Morphological descriptions with summaries of their biology for the following four new species and one new genus are presented: Caloptilia schinusifolia Davis and Wheeler, from Brazil and possibly Argentina; Eucosmophora schinusivora Davis and Wheeler, from Argentina and Brazil; Leurocephala schinusae Davis and Mc Kay, new genus and species, from Argentina and Brazil; and Marmara habecki Davis, new species, from Florida, USA. The larvae of all four species exhibit a hypermetamorphic development consisting of early instar sapfeeding and later instar tissue feeding stages typical for members of Gracillariidae. Although not observed in this study, larvae of M. habecki probably possess an additional, nonfeeding, transitional instar prior to the final instar as is believed typical for the genus (Wagner et al, 2000). Larvae of the new genus Leurocephala was discovered to undergo an intermediate, nearly apodal tissue feeding stage between the sapfeeding and final tissue feeding instars. Unique specimens representing an additional three species of Gracillariidae also have been reared from this tree in Argentina or Brazil, but these could not be identified because of inadequate material. CO1 barcodes were sequenced by Paul Hebert and his staff at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario for Marmara habecki and two morphologically closely related Marmara species, and results from the analysis is summarized herein.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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