Submitted to: Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2008
Publication Date: 7/5/2008
Citation: Razowski, J., Brown, J.W. 2008. Review of the caveatus species group of Episimus Walsingham, 1892 (Lepidoptera; Tortricidae: Olethreutinae). Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia. 51B(1-2):83-144. Interpretive Summary: Caterpillars of moths of the family known as leaf-rollers are plant-feeders, causing millions of dollars in damage annually to ornamental, forest, and crop plants. In contrast, the plant-feeding nature of several species has been harnessed and focused on invasive weeds. We evaluate a group of leafrollers that is closely related to species used for biological control of Brazilian pepper tree and other weedy invasives in that plant family. We describe three species new to science from the Neotropical region and define this group based on the morphology of the male. This information will be useful to scientists evaluating the biodiversity of the New World tropics, those studying plant-insect interactions, and those interested in the biological control of invasive plants.
Technical Abstract: We propose and revise the informal “caveatus species group” of Episimus Walsingham, 1892. As presently defined it includes four species: E. caveatus (Meyrick) (type locality: Venezuela); E. lavirgenanus Razowski & Brown, new species (type locality: Costa Rica); E. aurobasis Razowski & Brown, new species (type locality: Costa Rica); and E. rastafarianus Razowski & Brown, new species (type locality: Jamaica). The group is almost certainly monophyletic based on the following putative synapomorphies: (1) socii erect, crescent-shaped, convergent distally, attached at their apices, with a region of stout setae in addition to fine, hairlike setae; (2) uncus represented by a broad, triangular, membranous region between the socii; and (3) male hairpencil with the distal portion concealed in a well-defined lanceolate sheath that extends beyond the posterior end of the metathorax. Members of the group are recorded from Central America (Costa Rica and Panama), the Caribbean (Jamaica), and northern South America (French Guiana, Guyana, Trinidad, and Venezuela).