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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350971

Research Project: Systematics of Moths Significant to Biodiversity, Quarantine, and Control, with a Focus on Invasive Species

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Asteraceae: host of the greatest diversity of leaf-mining Nepticulidae (Lepidoptera) in South America

Author
item Stonis, Jonas - Institute Of Botany - Lithuania
item Diskus, Arunas - Institute Of Botany - Lithuania
item Katinas, Lilana - Universidad De La Plata
item Solis, M

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2018
Publication Date: 11/28/2018
Citation: Stonis, J.R., Diskus, A., Katinas, L., Solis, M.A. 2018. Asteraceae: host of the greatest diversity of leaf-mining Nepticulidae (Lepidoptera) in South America. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 120(4):856-902.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4289/0013-8797.120.4.856

Interpretive Summary: Leaf mines created by pygmy moth larvae are serpentine in leaves, twigs, or fruit in over 30 plant families. This research reviews all known records of these larvae on species of the sunflower plant family. More than 40 species of this plant family have been domesticated for food, medicines, ornamentals, insecticides and other industrial uses such as rubber (guayule) and dyes (safflower), although some species, like thistles, are noxious weeds, and impact grazing by vertebrates. We describe six species new to science from South America and provide illustrations of adults, internal structures and their leaf mining habit on plants. This research will be useful to scientists and growers interested in the biology and identity of leaf mining moths on plants of the sunflower family.

Technical Abstract: Pygmy moths (Nepticulidae) associated with Asteraceae are poorly known and rare worldwide. Recently, we discovered many leaf-mining nepticulids in South America feeding and living in Asteraceae plants. We review all known records of Asteraceae-feeding Nepticulidae, until now known only from the speciose nepticulid genus Stigmella Schrank, in the Neotropics (including the Andes and Patagonia). We describe six new Stigmella species from equatorial America: S. jungiae Diškus and Stonis, n. sp. (feeding on Jungia L.f.), S. aeneola Diškus and Stonis, n. sp., S. violea Diškus and Stonis, n. sp., S. bracteata Diškus and Stonis, n. sp. (feeding on Liabum Adans.), S. spatiosa Diškus and Stonis, n. sp. (feeding on Ageratina Spach), and S. auripennata Diškus and Stonis, n. sp. (feeding on Baccharis L.). All new taxa are illustrated with photographs of the adults, their genitalia, and leaf mines. Additionally, leaf mines of three unknown nepticulid taxa on Jungia (aff. J. polita Griseb.), Piptocoma discolor (Kunth) Pruski, Gynoxys laurifolia (Kunth) Cass, and G. acostae Cuatrec. are documented for the first time. We diagnose and designate two new species groups and one new species complex in Stigmella. We discuss the origin and diversity of the Asteraceae in the Neotropics and illustrate the distribution of Stigmella species feeding on representatives of Asteraceae at the tribal level.