Submitted to: Entomologica Scandinavica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Many moths in the Pyraloidea are pests of U.S. crops and cause millions of dollars of damage each year. Proper identification of the moth species is critical to successful integrated pest management. In this paper, a new genus, Michaelshaffera, and a new species, M. beckeri from South America are described. The key characters of the adults and other life stages for its placement within the Pyraloidea are either lacking, i.e. the tympanal organs, or not available, i.e. the caterpillars. The distribution of other characters and their validity for the placement and identification of this genus and other pyraloids is discussed. This study also illustrates how reduction or loss of morphological structures can be misleading and/or difficult to interpret. These findings will help other scientists and Action Agencies better understand the identification process within the Pyraloidea, a group with many economically significant pests worldwide.
Technical Abstract: Michaelshaffer gen. n. is comprised of two species, M. maidoa Schaus, new combination, the type species, described from French Guiana, and a new species, M. beckeri, here described from South America. The placement of taxa in the Pyraloidea is based primarily on characters of the tympanal organs and immature stages. Michaelshaffera lacks a tympanal organ and the immatures are unknown. Based on other morphological characters the rationale for the placement of this genus in the Pyraloidea and lower hierarchical ranks is discussed.