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Comprehensive Description

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Opostegoides scioterma (Meyrick)

Opostega scioterma Meyrick, 1920:358.—Forbes, 1923:161.—McDunnough, 1939:100.—Eyer, 1963:237.—Clarke, 1955:280.—Davis, 1983:3, no. 125.

Opostega nonstrigella Chambers, 1881 [partim] [misidentification]; Grossenbacher 1910:50.—Heinrich, 1918:30.—Davis, 1983:3, no. 123.

Opostega albogalleriella [sic] var. quadristrigella Forbes [not Chambers] 1923:161.

Opostega sp. near nonstrigella Rosenstiel [not Chambers], 1960:170.

Opostegoides nonstriga [sic], Heppner, 2003:232.

Opostegoides scioterma (Meyrick).—Davis, 1989:72.—Poole, 1996:796.—Heppner, 2003:232.—Puplesis and Diškus, 2003:411.

Figures 97–102. Opostegoides scioterma, larval morphology. 97, dorsal view of head (150 μm); 98, anterodorsal view of mouthparts (60 μm); 99, ventral view of head (94 μm); 100, anteroventral view of mouthparts (50 μm); 101, lateral view of antenna (23.1 μm); 102, ambulatory calli on venter of meso- and metathorax (250 μm). (Scale lengths in parentheses; bar scale for all figures shown in Figure 97.)

Figures 103–108. Opostegoides scioterma, chaetotaxy of last larval instar. 103, lateral diagram of prothorax, mesothorax, and abdominal segments 1, 6, 8, and 9; 104, lateral view of larva (1 mm); 105, dorsal view of head (1 mm); 106, ventral view of head, including tentorium; 107, right mandible (0.05 mm); 108, dorsal view of abdominal segments 8–10. (Scale lengths in parentheses.)

ADULT. Figure 136. Length of forewing 3.1–4.4 mm. Small white moth with an incomplete light brown fascia slightly beyond middle of forewing and a similar light brown suffusion at apex before small, dark brown apical spot. Male uncus truncate, with greatly reduced socii; gnathos reduced to a slender arch (Figures 259, 260). Female with apex of abdomen bluntly rounded; papillae anales absent (Figure 424).

Head: Vestiture white. Scape white; flagellum white or whitish cream, ~42–51-segmented. Palpi white to cream or grayish cream; labial palpus with light brownish suffusion laterally.

Thorax: White. Forewing gradually becoming broader distally, white with an incomplete, distally arched light brown fascia traversing wing slightly beyond middle; fascia typically broken near middle; apex and termen broadly bordered by light to ochreous brown suffusion before small, dark brown apical spot; a short, brown strigula usually evident within terminal cilia; terminal cilia brownish distally, otherwise white, sometimes cilia uniformly light brownish gray; venter of forewing uniformly whitish cream; basal white spots indistinct. Hindwing relatively broad, light brownish gray to cream or occasionally white; cilia same color as hindwing. Legs mostly white to cream; foreleg sometimes with suffusion of light brown dorsally.

Abdomen: Brown to cream dorsally, cream ventrally.

Male Genitalia: Figures 259, 260. Uncus broad, subtruncate; socii reduced to slightly setose lateral patches. Tegumen narrow. Anterior margin of vinculum slightly concave, forming broadly rounded, lateral lobes. Valva irregular in shape, elongate, length along sacculus ~0.9× length of genital capsule; cucullar lobe ovoid, reduced, ~0.3× length of genital capsule, bearing relatively short pectinifer consisting of ~16–22 blunt spines; pedicel slender, width ~0.22× length of cucullar lobe, slightly sinuate, greatly elongate, finely wrinkled; saccular lobe tapering to narrowly rounded, setose apex, not extended much beyond base of pedicel; basal process of valva weakly sclerotized and very short; costal process well sclerotized and twice as long. Juxta more or less quadrate, wrinkled anterolaterally. Aedoeagus with a long, slender cornutus extending length of aedoeagus; apex slightly broader than base; length of aedoeagus ~1.5× length of valva.

Female Genitalia: Figures 424, 425. Apex of abdomen bluntly rounded. Posterior apophyses short, usually not bifurcated distally. Antrum partially sclerotized, with parallel lateral margins. Corpus bursae constricted posteriorly, gradually broadening, becoming bulbous distally, with an elongate, ovoid signum consisting of an irregularly thick-ened sinuous band; no pectinations visible either inside of oval signum or on remaining part of corpus bursae. Ductus spermathecae very long, ~1.5× length of corpus bursae; outer canal relatively broad, slightly narrowing distally; inner canal sinuous, with ~4–5 distal convolutions, then gradually enlarging to a short, bulbous, partially coiled vesicle, which constricts to form a membranous, elongate, tubular utriculus.

LARVA, COCOON. As described for genus.

HOLOTYPE. ♀; CANADA: ONTARIO: Toronto, Jun [19]13, Parish, BMNH slide 19205 (BMNH).

MATERIAL EXAMINED. CANADA: BRITISH COLUMBIA: Goldstream: 1 ♂, 3 Jul 1923, 1 ♀, 7 Aug 1923, E. H. Blackmore, slide USNM 17188 (USNM). Saanichton [Bay]: 1 ♂, 18 Jun 1922, J. G. Colville (USNM). Victoria: 1 ♀, 3 Jul 1929, J. F. Clarke, slide USNM 32450; 1 ♂, 1 ♀, 8 Jul 1923, 2 ♂, 1 ♀, 2 UNK, 14 Jul 1923, W. R. Carter, slides USNM 32917, 91872, 98289; 2 ♂, 21 Jul 1923, E. Blackmore, slide USNM 17178 (USNM). Wellington: 6 ♂, July, G. W. Taylor, slides USNM 28673 (SEM), 91874, 91873 (USNM). ONTARIO: Muskoka: 1 ♂, Dec [19]21, Parish, (BMNH). Toronto: 1 ♀ (holotype), Jun [19]13, Parish, BMNH slide 19205 (BMNH). USA: MAINE: Franklin Co.: Oquossoc: 1 ♂, 25 Jul, slide: USNM 33068 (USNM). Washington Co.: Dennysville: 1 ♂, 8 Jul, slide USNM 20350 (USNM). NEW YORK: Ontario Co.: Geneva: 1 ♂, 1 ♀, Jul 1910, J. G. Grossenbacher, slide USNM 28672 (USNM). OREGON: Linn Co.: Albany: 1 larva, slide USNM 20829 (USNM). Washington Co.: Forest Grove: 1 ♂, 1 ♀, 20 Jun 1959, 4 ♂, 4 ♀, 25–30 Jun 1959, R. J. Rosenstiel, slides USNM 16355 (SEM), 16369 (SEM), 17182, 17929, 17932, 17935 (SEM), 18042 (SEM), 21278 (SEM) (USNM). WASHINGTON: Whatcom Co.: Morovitz R. S.: 1 UNK, 10 Aug 1931, J. F. G. Clarke (USNM). WYOMING: 6 mi [~10 km] NW Newcastle: 1 ♂, 1 ♀, 20 Jul 1965, R. W. Hodges, slides USNM 17179, 17193 (USNM).

HOST. Saxifragaceae: Ribes grossularia L., Ribes nigrum L., Ribes sativum Syme (=vulgare) (Grossenbacher, 1910).

FLIGHT PERIOD. Adults have been collected from June 18 to August 7. The single December record is most likely an error in labeling.

DISTRIBUTION. (Map 1) Probably widespread across most of the northern USA and southern Canada from western Oregon, Washington, and British Colombia east to Ontario and Maine.

DISCUSSION. Opostegoides scioterma is the only member of this predominantly Old World genus known to occur in the New World. Possibly this species represents an early introduction into North America. The male genitalia closely resembles O. malaysiensis Davis from Southeast Asia, but differs in possessing a more slender, well-defined juxta. Opostegoides scioterma also resembles O. bicolorella Sinev (1990) from extreme eastern Russia (Primorsky Kray), but can be distinguished by the straighter pedicel in the male and more numerous setae on the uncus.

Grossenbacher (1910) presented one of the earliest and, still, one of the few detailed reports on the biology of an opostegid. Unfortunately, in his paper the subject species was misidentified by A. Busck as Opostega nonstrigella, a misnomer repeated by Heinrich (1918) and later authors. Forbes (1923) misdetermined the same species as Opostega albogalleriella var. quadristrigella. Genitalic dissection of one of Grossenbacher’s original specimens in the Smithsonian Institution clearly has shown the species to be Opostegoides scioterma, the same species reported by Rosenstiel (1960) as damaging gooseberry in Oregon and identified therein as Opostega sp. near nonstrigella. The biology of this species is summarized in the introduction of this paper and in Davis (1989).

Pseudopostega Kozlov

Pseudopostega Kozlov, 1985:53 [as subgenus of Opostega].

Pseudopostega Kozlov.—Davis, 1989:62 [generic status].—van Nieukerken, 1990:369; 1996:27.—Nye and Fletcher, 1991:211.—Poole, 1996:796.—Davis, 1998:69.—Puplesis and Robinson, 1999:30.—Heppner, 2003: 232.—Puplesis and Diškus, 2003:414.

TYPE SPECIES. Tinea auritella Hübner, original designation.

ADULT. Small, predominantly white moths with lancelolate wings; antenna scape greatly enlarged; phallus entirely membranous, without sclerotized aedoeagus; metafurcal apophyses fused to secondary arms of metafurcasternum; length of forewing: 1.8–5.6 mm.

Head: Figures 12, 13. Vestiture of vertex rough, consisting of slender to piliform scales with bidentate apices; posterior to vertex scales broad and arranged in rows; lower frons naked except for scattered rows of dense microtrichia (Figures 109–112). Cranial vertex evenly rounded. Antenna approximately 0.8–0.9× length of forewing, 36–90-segmented; scape greatly enlarged, greatest width 1.0–1.15× vertical eye diameter; scales broad and flat over scape and densely arranged in 7 relatively uniform rows; sensilla ascoidea with usually 7–9 branches (Figures 14, 114–118). Eye large, interocular index approximately 0.8; eye index 0.8–0.9. Maxillary palpus elongate, about 1.7× length of labial palpus; ratio of segments from base approximately 0.5:0.25:0.6:2.0:1.0. Haustellum (Figure 113) moderately long, about 0.8× length of maxillary palpus. Labial palpus moderately short, less than haustellum in length.

Thorax: Forewing (Figure 22) lanceolate; greatest width about 0.2 that of length; apex acute; microtrichia absent on all surfaces except for ventral base of forewing (Figures 119, 120); venation similar to Opostega, with only unbranched vestiges of Sc, R, M, CuA, and A present; A with only middle section faintly preserved; anal fold appearing in place of missing CuP; ventral surface of forewing usually with a moderately large, basal patch of white scales over subhumeral/humeral area; subanal white area usually reduced, indistinct. Hindwing lanceolate, greatest width about 0.14 that of length; 5–11 pseudofrenular setae present (Figure 121,122); venation extremely reduced, with only Sc, Rs, M, Cu and A present; ventral surface typically brownish in color, with a relatively large, oval, subhumeral patch of cream to white scales. Metathoracic furcal apophyses fused to secondary arms of metafurcasternum (Figures 28, 29). Proleg (Figure 33) with tibia about 0.6× length of tarsal segments. Midleg (Figures 123, 124) with tibial spurs of unequal lengths, one member of pair about 0.65× length of other. Hindleg with two pairs of unequal spurs; the basal pair situated slightly basad to middle and with one spur about 0.6× length of other; apical spurs shorter and more similar in length, the shorter member about 0.7–0.75× length of other; longest spur (of basal pair) slightly exceeding first tarsomere; hindtibia densely covered with long spinose setae, as is dorsum of most of tarsal segments.

Abdomen: Six functional spiracles present; spiracles of A7 and 8 absent. Sternum 2 as illustrated (Figure 37). Tergum 8 reduced to a narrow, setigerous band that usually gradually becomes slightly broader and pad-like at lateral ends (Figure 43); sternum 8 membranous.

Male Genitalia: Uncus reduced, consisting of a pair of widely separated, setigerous lobes. Tegumen a narrow dorsal ring. Vinculum a narrow, ventral, often evenly rounded ring, occasionally with anterior margin variably concave or attenuated. Gnathos well developed, variable, typically consisting of a broad, often triangular basal plate that narrows to a slender, simple to furcate, caudal lobe. Valva with costal process borne on a basal sclerite separate but closely articulated to distal three-fourths of valve. Cucullar lobe (Figures 125,126) bearing pectinifer usually linear-elliptical in shape and supported by a slender to broad pedicel arising near middle of costal margin, pedicel sometimes extremely short with cucullar lobe nearly sessile; pectinifer with 18–62 blunt spines arranged in a single row. Juxta absent or developed as a slender, median process. Sclerotized aedoeagus absent; phallus entirely membranous.

Female Genitalia: Papillae anales present, usually paired and consisting of nearly contiguous, setose lobes situated dorsally and slightly anterior to caudal end of abdomen; lobes often variably fused. Posterior apophysis slender, elongate, caudal end of each apophysis variably divided; anterior apophysis absent. Alimentary canal and oviporus terminating very close together. Vestibulum mostly membranous; ductus bursae usually elongate, slender, with an elongate zone of typically pectinated spicules arranged in short, transverse rows. Corpus bursae slender to greatly enlarged, either with but usually without a dense array of isolated spicules over caudal half; an irregular, indistinct, slender band bearing relatively large, variably shaped, tubular outgrowths from

Figures 109–114. Pseudopostega albogaleriella, adult head morphology. 109, dorsal view of head (0.39 mm); 110, anterolateral view of head (0.39 mm); 111, anterior view of lower frontal area (60 μm); 112, detail of microtrichia in Figure 111 (15 μm); 113, mesal view of haustellum (12 μm); 114, antennal scale vestiture (38 μm). (Scale lengths in parentheses; bar scale for Figures 109–112 shown in Figure 109; bar scale for Figures 113, 114 shown in Figure 113.)

Figures 115–120. Pseudopostega albogaleriella, adult morphology. 115, surface detail of ascoid sensilla in Figure 118, showing pitted grooves (1.2 μm); 116, detail of Figure 118 showing base of sensillum ascoideum (3.8 μm); 117, dorsal view of flagellomeres 7–9 with sensilla ascoidea projecting distad (38 μm); 118, sensillum ascoidea on flagellomere 16; 119, ventral base of forewing showing reduction of subcostal microtrichia (150 μm); 120, subcostal microtrichia in Figure 119 (15 μm). (Scale lengths in parentheses; bar scale for Figures 116–120 shown in Figure 116.)

Figures 121–126. Pseudopostega albogaleriella, adult morphology. 121, hindwing pseudofrenular setae (150 μm); 122, apices of pseudofrenular setae (23.1 μm); 123, ventral view of mesothoracic pretarsus (20 μm); 124, detail of unguitractor plate in Figure 121 (3 μm); 125, cucullar lobe of male valva with terminal pectinifer (60 μm); 126, detail of spines of pectinifer (12 μm). (Scale lengths in parentheses; bar scale for all figures shown in Figure 121.)

outer wall of bursa often partially encircling corpus bursae. Spermathecal papilla usually evident as a small membranous lobe; ductus spermathecae with a greatly lengthened, slender, partially coiled inner canal, and a variably developed, membranous outer canal.

LARVA AND PUPA. Unknown.

DISCUSSION. Kozlov (1985) recognized this group as a subgenus of Opostega on the basis of two features of the male genitalia—the presence of a more developed, apically broader transtilla (actually gnathos) and the absence of a juxta. In addition to those more variable characteristics, Davis (1989) further distinguished this large, cosmopolitan genus by two autapomorphies: the basal separation and articulation of the costal process from the male valva (Figure 44) and the fusion of the metafurcal apophyses to the secondary arms of the metafurcastermum (Figures 28, 29). Random examinations of metafurcasterna in several Pseudopostega (e.g., P. albogaleriella, P. latifurcata, P. protomochla, and P. serrata) suggest that fusion of the apophyses is a synapomorphy for the genus.

A key to the currently recognized 84 species and 2 subspecies of New World Pseudopostega has not been provided largely because any key for such a poorly collected, speciose group would be of only ephemeral value and would apply only to male specimens. Instead, nearly all the species have been associated into 14 groups based on similar male genital morphology, and a key is provided for these groups. Species identifications for the known taxa should be readily achieved by simple comparisons of the male genitalic illustrations provided. Five previously named species are represented either only by female specimens or by specimens lacking abdomens and consequently could not be associated with any group. The treatments for these species have been placed at the end of the last species group.

KEY TO THE SPECIES GROUPS OF PSEUDOPOSTEGA, BASED ON CHARACTERS OF THE MALE GENITALIA

1. S ocii consisting of a pair of low, broadly rounded to irregular, setose lobes separated by a narrow cleft less than 0.75× width of lobe (Figure 346) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lobata group

Socii a pair of more slender, papilliform setose lobes separated by a broad, U- to V-shaped cavity much wider than width of lobe (Figure 44) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

2. Gnathos with caudal margin broadly rounded, nearly as broad as base (Figure 261) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Gnathos with caudal margin more slender, varying from conical, subacute, to bifurcate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

3. Caudal margin of gnathos smooth (Figure 261) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rotunda group

Caudal margin of gnathos finely serrated (Figure 265) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . serrata group

4. Basal fold of gnathos greatly extended into a slender process that exceeds length of main body of gnathos and approximately as long as slender caudal lobe (Figure 352) . . . . . duplicata group

Basal fold of gnathos absent to moderately developed, never exceeding half the length of main body of gnathos . . . . 2

5. Caudal apex of gnathos minutely to deeply bifurcate (Figures 364, 382) . . . . . . . . 11

Caudal apex of gnathos subacute to broadly rounded or faintly bilobed (Figures 269, 302, 344) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

6. Gnathos with a pair of variably developed lateral folds (Figures 269, 272) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lateriplicata group

Gnathos without lateral folds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

7. Apex of sacculus subtruncate at base of pedicel; saccular lobe undeveloped (Figures 342, 344). Cucullar lobe long and slender, length > 3× maximum width . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . longipedicella group

Apex of sacculus extended beyond base of pedicel (Figures 330, 332). Cucullar lobe relatively broader, length <2.5× width . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

8. Sacculus greatly developed; apex expanded as a broadly rounded lobe extending almost to distal margin of cucullar lobe (Figure 302) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . latisaccula group

Sacculus not expanded beyond base of cucullar lobe . . . . . . . . . . . 9

9. Valva elongate, arising near anterior margin of vinculum and equaling or surpassing genital capsule in length (Figure 336). Cucullar lobe greatly enlarged, broadly obovate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . saltatrix group

Valva arising more caudad of anterior margin of vinculum and not exceeding length of genital capsule (Figures 276, 306). Cucullar lobe usually more reduced, slender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

10. Gnathos narrowly to broadly triangular (ventral view), gradually tapering to a subacute apex or slender caudal process (Figures 44, 308) . . . . . . triangularis group

Gnathos more or less quadrate in ventral view, abruptly narrowing to a slender to stout caudal process or lobe (Figures 276, 285) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . spatulata group

11. Valva short, length along sacculus approximately 0.4× length of genital capsule; valva arising midway along elongate vinculum (Figures 360, 362). Anterior margin of vinculum slightly to deeply concave . . . . . . . . . . . tenuifurcata group

Valva >0.4× length of genital capsule, arising more anteriorly along shorter vinculum (Figures 387, 391). Anterior margin of vinculum variable, usually broadly U- or V-shaped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

12. Gnathos slender, main body longer than wide, with a pair of slender lateral folds (Figure 391) . . . . . latifurcata group

Gnathos broader, main body usually broader than long, without lateral folds (Figures 364, 387) . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

13. Gnathos broadly triangular, without lateral lobes or expansion (Figures 364, 387) . . divaricata group

Gnathos more quadrate in outline, broadly expanded laterally, often forming lateral lobes (Figures 415, 417) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . brachybasis group

The rotunda group

The two species recognized in this group agree in possessing a gnathos with the broadest, most rounded apex of any other group within Pseudopostega. The basal fold is well developed and triangular in ventral view. The valvae are relatively long (length of sacculus >0.6× the genital capsule), with slender, elongate cucullar lobes (~0.5× the length of the genital capsule). The juxta is absent.
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Davis, Donald R. and Stonis, Jonas R. 2007. "A revision of the new world plant-mining moths of the family Opostegidae (Lepidoptera:Nepticuloidea)." Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. 1-212. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810282.625

Opostegoides scioterma

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Opostegoides scioterma is a moth of the family Opostegidae. It is probably widespread across most of the northern United States and southern Canada from western Oregon, Washington and British Columbia east to Ontario and Maine.

The length of the forewings is 3.1-4.4 mm. Adults have been collected from mid-June to early August.

The larvae feed on Ribes grossularia, Ribes nigrum and Ribes sativum. They mine under the bark in the cambial cylinder of both new spring shoots and canes from the previous seasons growth. The mine is a slender, linear tunnel that normally curves at both upper and lower ends to form a narrow ellipse. When the larva completes a circle, it normally re-invades the initial mine and continues feeding and enlarging it.

After dropping to the ground, the larva eventually constructs a flattened, oval, densely woven, cream to brown cocoon in the upper soil layer. The pupal stage may last about 2–3 weeks.

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