Submitted to: ZooKeys
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2013
Publication Date: 5/21/2013
Citation: Brown, J.W. 2013. A food plant specialist in Sparganothini? A new genus and species from Costa Rica (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). ZooKeys. 303:53-63.
Interpretive Summary: Caterpillars of the moth family known as “leaf-rollers” inflict millions of dollars in damage annually to ornamentals, crops, and forest plants. Although many are generalists, attacking a wide range of plants, others are restricted to a very narrow set of related plants. In this report, we describe a new genus and species of leaf-roller moth that uncharacteristically feeds on a single group of rain-forest plants. The information will be of interest to scientists studying plant-insect interactions, those documenting the diversity of the New World tropics, and those studying food plant preferences in this group of otherwise pest generalists.
Technical Abstract: Sparganocosma docsturnerorum Brown, new genus and new species, is described and illustrated from Area de Conservación (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica. The new genus shares a long, crescent- or ribbon-shaped signum in the corpus bursae of the female genitalia with Aesiocopa Zeller, 1877, Amorbia Clemens, 1860, Amorbimorpha Kruse, 2011, Coelostathma Clemens, 1860, Lambertiodes Diakonoff, 1959, Paramorbia Powell & Lambert, 1986, Rhynchophyllus Meyrick, 1932, Sparganopsuestis Powell & Lambert, 1986, Sparganothina Powell, 1986, and Sparganothoides Lambert & Powell, 1986. Putative autapomorphies for Sparganocosma include the extremely short uncus; the smooth (unspined) transtilla; and the upturned, free, distal rod of the sacculus. Adults of Sparganocosma docsturnerorum have been reared numerous times (>50) from larvae collected feeding on rain forest Asplundia utilis (Oerst.) Harling and A. microphylla (Oerst.) Harling (Cyclanthaceae) at intermediate elevations (375–500 m) in ACG. Whereas most Sparganothini are generalists, typically feeding on two or more plant families, Sparganocosma docsturnerorum appears to be a specialist on Asplundia, at least in ACG. The solitary parasitoid wasp Sphelodon wardae Godoy & Gauld (Ichneumonidae; Banchinae) has been reared only from the larvae of S. docsturnerorum.