Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #283685


Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Two species of Gelechioidea (Lepidoptera) from Southeast Asia associated with downy rose myrtle, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Myrtaceae)

item Adamski, David
item Makinson, J.
item Brown, B.
item Wright, Susan
item Pratt, Paul
item Brown, John

Submitted to: Journal of Lepidopterists Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2012
Publication Date: 6/5/2013
Citation: Adamski, D., Makinson, J.R., Brown, B.T., Wright, S.A., Pratt, P.D., Brown, J.W. 2013. Two species of Gelechioidea (Lepidoptera) from Southeast Asia associated with downy rose myrtle, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Myrtaceae). Journal of Lepidopterists Society. 67:111-127.

Interpretive Summary: Downy rose myrtle is an invasive plant from the tropical regions of Asia that has become an important weed pest in Florida where it forms dense thickets in the understory of forests, displacing native vegetation. During foreign exploration focused on the discovery of insects that feed on downy rose myrtle (i.e., potential biological control agents), two species of small moths were discovered. This paper describes in detail the life history and anatomy of one of these moths and presents the results of studies that address its potential usefulness in controlling this weed in Florida. The findings will be of interest to those involved in biological control of weeds and the management of native landscapes in tropical regions, including Florida.

Technical Abstract: Two species of Gelechioidea (Lepidoptera), Metharmostis multilineata Adamski, n. sp. (Cosmopterigidae), and Idiophantis soreuta Meyrick, 1906 (Gelechiidae), were collected in southeastern Asia for evaluation as potential biocontrol agents against downy rose myrtle, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Aiton) Hassk. (Myrtaceae), which has become an invasive weed in Florida, USA. Metharmostis Meyrick is reviewed and transferred from Yponomeutidae to Cosmopterigidae (Antequerinae). All life stages of M. multilineata are described and illustrated, and notes on its biology are documented herein. In addition, Idiophantis appears to be associated with Myrtaceae, and the adult stage of I. soreuta is redescribed.