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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #354152

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

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: New genus and species of Gelechiini (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) feeding on Brazilian pepper tree

item Metz, Mark
item Wheeler, Gregory
item LANDRY, J. - Agriculture And Agri-Food Canada
item WILLIAMS, DEAN - Texas Christian University
item MCKAY, F. - South American Biological Control Lab(SABCL)

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2018
Publication Date: 2/13/2019
Citation: Metz, M., Wheeler, G.S., Landry, J.F., Williams, D.A., Mckay, F. 2019. New genus and species of Gelechiini (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) feeding on Brazilian pepper tree. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 121(1):63-80.

Interpretive Summary: While many Leaf-tier moths are potential invasive threats to U.S. agriculture and natural resources, particularly species in the American tropics with close relatives in the contiguous United States, some can be used for the biological control of invasive plants. In order to determine pest moths from potentially beneficial moths their identities and the breadth of their diets must be accurately recorded. Here we describe a new species of moth feeding on the invasive plant Brazilian pepper tree, so the details of its biology can be accurately reported in subsequent research. We provide a hypothesis for how the new moth is related to known moths and discuss and illustrate diagnostic features that allow its identification by stakeholders. This information will be useful to scientists, action agency identifiers, and biocontrol laboratories.

Technical Abstract: Recent efforts to discover insect biological control agents of the Brazilian pepper tree, Schinus terebinthifolius, include a species belonging to a new genus, Spes schinella Metz new genus, new species. We propose a hypothesis for placement of the new species among known Gelechiinae using the barcoding region of COI and targeted taxon sampling in a tree parsimony analysis, and discuss additional diagnostic morphological features for tribal placement. The new species is diagnosed, described, and illustrative.