Microlepidoptera on Solanaceae

Keiferia altisolani

Name

Keiferia altisolani (Keifer, 1937)

Common name: none

Original combination: Gnorimoschema altisolani Keifer, 1937

Synonyms: none

Classification: Gelechioidea: Gelechiidae: Gelechiinae: Gnorimoschemini

Adult recognition

Adults are about 5.0-6.0 mm in forewing length. They are gray, mottled with light and dark gray, and the apex of the wing has yellowish-orange lines. The labial palpus is upturned. The hindwing is light gray and trapezoidal, with hair-pencils above from the base of the costal margin in males. The male genitalia have a slender sickle-shaped uncus, and the elongate valva has a large sickle-shaped bifurcation at the apex. Females have the ostium with elongate, oblong sclerotization and a large sickle-shaped signum with base protruding outside of the bursa wall.

Immature stages

Larvae when fully grown are 8.0-8.5 mm long. The head is blackish, flattened, partly retracted, the epicranial halves extended farther to the rear than usual resulting in the frons being little over half as long as epicranium. The prothoracic shield lacks a posterior band; the pinacula are rather small and blackish and the anal shield is dark. The body is flattened, tapering, varying from rather strong shade of green to bluish-purple, often with anterior half purple, the remainder green.

PDF - Dichotomous key to Gelechiid larvae

Similar species

Keiferia altisolani is allied to Keiferia lycopersicella, K. glochinella and K. inconspicuella. This species is recognized by the forewing size and color, being somewhat larger and grayer than K. lycopersicella, and the unique elongate male valva with large bifid apex that is absent from K. lycopersicella, K. glochinella or K. inconspicuella.

Keiferia altisolani has a retracted flattened head, distinctive hostplant, and limited distribution (California). The larva differs from K. lycopersicella in lacking a band on the prothoracic shield and in possessing crochets in a complete circle on A3-6. In addition, the body microspines are more than twice as long as in K. lycopersicella. The trisetose L group on A9 in K. altisolani seperates it from Symmetrischema tangolias that has the L group bisetose.

Behavior

Larvae may spend their entire life mining leaves or in other cases they may tie them together. Both the mines and leaf ties have a "baggy appearance".

Distribution

Native to North America. USA (California).

Hosts

Solanum xanti A. Gray (Chaparral nightshade)

Comments

Although this species is known only in the southwestern United States and so far is not present in Florida and the Gulf Coast, it is mentioned here because the wing pattern and size of this species are very similar to those of eastern non-target or target species of Keiferia.

Literature

Keifer, 1937.

Hodges, 1985.

Powell and Povolný, 2001.