Microlepidoptera on Solanaceae

Leucinodes

Name

Leucinodes Guenée, 1854

Type species: Leucinodes orbonalis Guenée, 1854

Synonyms:

  • Hyperanalyta Strand, 1918
  • Leuctinodes South, 1897 (misspelling)

Overview

Leucinodes currently includes twelve Old World species distributed in tropical to Mediterranean regions. The species share a white or light wing color and a calico pattern ranging from simple brown or dark fields to complex line patterns of light- to dark-brown color. A typical feature is the half moon-shaped spot on the forewing outer margin. Several of these species are misplaced in Leucinodes due to the superficial resemblance of wing color and pattern.

The genus has not been revised, and only a few species have been figured in the literature. Only L. orbonalis is of economical importance, causing up to 70% of eggplant crop losses in India. To face these losses, genetically modified Bt brinjal has been engineered and is currently under examination due to biosafety concerns.

The African populations comprise at least three cryptic sibling species. Their economical importance remains unclear at the moment. Specimens originating from from Africa should be determined as “Leucinodes sp.”

Many other species do not belong in the genus, leaving probably only three or four true Leucinodes species. Some species, such as L. apicalis Hampson and L. vagans (Tutt), may be transferred to other genus groups of Spilomelinae. Leucinodes unilinealis Snellen and another species are musotimines. In Leucinodes sensu stricto, the male genitalia have valvae that are short and compact and with a large sacculus, the apical half tapering towards tip; usually one true horn-shaped fibula and a process emerging from the distal sacculus. The uncus has a short neck, the head densely covered with setae. The juxta is elongated. The phallus is short, with a sclerotized bar- or plate-like structure at the posterior end, without cornuti. The female genitalia are simple, with the corpus and ductus bursae membranous and without a signum. Sclerotization of the antrum might be the only potentially diagnostic character in female genitalia.