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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #398137

Research Project: Systematics of Beetles, Flies, Moths and Wasps with an Emphasis on Agricultural Pests, Invasive Species, Biological Control Agents, and Food Security

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: The identity of Argyria lacteella (Fabricius, 1794) (Lepidoptera, Pyraloidea, Crambinae), synonyms, and related species using morphology and DNA capture in type specimens

item LANDRY, B. - Museum D'Histoire Naturelle
item BILAT, J. - Museum D'Histoire Naturelle
item HAYDEN, J. - University Of Florida
item Solis, M Alma
item LEES, D. - Natural History Museum - London
item ALVAREZ, N. - University Of Switzerland
item LEGER, T. - University Of Switzerland
item GAUTHIER, J. - Museum D'Histoire Naturelle

Submitted to: ZooKeys
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/3/2023
Publication Date: 2/7/2023
Citation: Landry, B., Bilat, J., Hayden, J.E., Solis, M.A., Lees, D., Alvarez, N., Leger, T., Gauthier, J. 2023. The identity of Argyria lacteella (Fabricius, 1794) (Lepidoptera, Pyraloidea, Crambinae), synonyms, and related species using morphology and DNA capture in type specimens. ZooKeys. 1146:1-42.

Interpretive Summary: The identity of a broadly distributed grass moth species in the United States was in question. Multiple scientific names had been applied to this species since it was described in 1794 from the state of Maryland. Molecular techniques were utilized to analyze centuries’ old type specimens of the species in question to genetically identify them and other species believed to be synonyms, the same species with a different scientific name. Many of the type specimens are deposited in European museums and a few at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. The broadly distributed American species is now attributed to a different species name originally described from Bermuda, and another species originally described from St. Croix, Virgin Islands, was discovered to be a recent arrival to the southeastern United States. A map of the distribution of these species and others from the Neotropical region is provided. We provide clarity on the identity of American species that can be used by biologists and quarantine personnel.

Technical Abstract: In this study the aim was to resolve the taxonomy of several species of Argyria Hübner (Pyraloidea, Crambinae) with previously unrecognised morphological variation. By analysing the DNA barcode (COI-5P) in numerous specimens, the aim was to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships between species, to provide better evidence for synonymies, and to circumscribe their geographical distribution. Using an innovative DNA hybridisation capture protocol, the DNA barcode of the lectotype of Argyria lacteella (Fabricius, 1794) was partially recovered for comparison with the 229 DNA barcode sequences of Argyria specimens available in the Barcode of Life Datasystems, and this firmly establishes the identity of the species. The same protocol was used for the following type specimens: the Argyria abronalis (Walker, 1859) holotype, thus confirming the synonymy of this name with A. lacteella, the holotype of A. lusella (Zeller, 1863), syn. rev., the holotype of A. multifacta Dyar, 1914, syn. nov. newly synonymised with A. lacteella, and a specimen of Argyria diplomochalis Dyar, 1913, collected in 1992. In addition, nine specimens of A. lacteella, A. diplomochalis, A. centrifugens Dyar, 1914 and A. gonogramma Dyar, 1915, from North to South America were sampled using classical COI amplification and Sanger sequencing. Argyria gonogramma Dyar, described from Bermuda, is the name to be applied to the more widespread North American species formerly identified as A. lacteella. Following morphological study of its holotype, Argyria vestalis Butler, 1878, syn. nov. is also synonymised with A. lacteella. The name A. pusillalis Hübner, 1818, is considered a nomen dubium associated with A. gonogramma. The adult morphology is diagnosed and illustrated, and distributions are plotted for A. lacteella, A. diplomochalis, A. centrifugens, and A. gonogramma based on slightly more than 800 specimens. For the first time, DNA barcode sequences are provided for the Antillean A. diplomochalis. This work provides a modified, improved protocol for the efficient hybrid capture enrichment of DNA barcodes from 18th and 19th century type specimens in order to solve taxonomic issues in Lepidoptera.