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Title: A new species of Seticosta (Tortricidae: Euliini) from Costa Rica - a pest of Cultivated and Native Rubus

item Brown, John

Submitted to: Journal of Lepidopterists Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2002
Publication Date: 4/15/2003
Citation: Brown, J.W., Nishida, K. 2003. A new species of Seticosta (Tortricidae: Euliini) from Costa Rica - a pest of Cultivated and Native Rubus. Journal of Lepidopterists Society. 57:113-130.

Interpretive Summary: The larvae or caterpillars of the moth family Tortricidae are important pests of agricultural, forest, and ornamental plants. The common name "leafrollers" has been applied to the family owing to the larval habit of shelter-building by folding or rolling leaves of the food plant. However, the larvae of tortricids employ a wide range of feeding strategies, and the family includes gall-makers, root-borers, fruit-borers, seed-predators, flower-feeders, and tip-tiers. In this paper we describe a new species of tortricid that is a pest of blackberry in Costa Rica. This is the first report of gall-making or stem-boring in the tortricid group known as Euliini, and suggests that this habitat may be more common than previously thought. This work will be valuable for blackberry growers in Central America, particularly those involved in pest detection. Because blackberries from Central America frequently are intercepted at U.S. ports-of-entry, the illustrations in this work will help APHIS identifiers to accurately identify this pest species.

Technical Abstract: Seticosta asetana, new species, is described and illustrated from Costa Rica. The species is assigned provisionally to Seticosta on the basis of superficial similarities (e.g., forewing length and pattern, long antennal cilia in the male, extremely elongate labial palpi in both sexes) to other species in the genus, as well as features of the genitalia (e.g., "trifurcate" uncus). The absence of long, strong setae from the costa of the valva in the male genitalia is the only character contradicting this placement, and the setae are assumed to be lost secondarily. Seticosta is assigned to Euliini on the basis of the possession of a unique foreleg hairpencil in the male. Larvae of the new species are gall-makers in the stems of Rubus spp. (Rosaceae), which represents the first reported case of gall-making in Euliini. The early stages of S. asetana, the first reported for the genus, are described and illustrated. They are unusual in the possession of several features more characteristic of Olethreutinae than of Tortricinae.