Microlepidoptera on Solanaceae

Lineodes fontella


Lineodes fontella Walsingham in Hampson, 1913

Common name: none

Original combination: Lineodes fontella Walsingham in Hampson, 1913

Synonyms: Lineodes contortalis Hampson, 1899 (nec Guenée, 1854)

Alternative combinations: none.

Classification: Pyraloidea: Crambidae: Spilomelinae, Leucinodes group

Adult recognition

Forewing length: 6.7 - 8.7 mm, narrow. The wing pattern is generally pale tan without overtly contrasted areas or white patches. The forewing PM line curves as a distinctive, round-ended hook. In males, the valvae are narrow, and the fibula reaches into the distal half and is armed with small, upwardly directed teeth. A very small, straight cornutus is present. In females, the narrow ductus bursae bears a thickened swelling and is more than twice as long as the small corpus bursae.

Immature stages

The larvae are pale and lack pigmentation on the pinacula. The prothoracic shield does not have paired black spots as in Lineodes integra. The pattern of setae is otherwise similar, having two SV setae on A1 and SD1 on A8 anterodorsal of the spiracle.

Similar species

Most other Lineodes species have darker brown wing patterns and contrasted areas of white or yellow. Atomopteryx species have indistinct lines on the wings. Male A. solanalis have a similarly shaped fibula, but it is shorter and does not reach into the distal half of the valva.


In Florida, larvae have been found April through October. Pupation lasts 5 to 9 days. Larvae feed on fruit of Physalis species (D. Habeck, J. Gillett-Kaufman, obs.), but they rarely have economic importance. The larvae feed on the fruit surface to a depth of a few millimeters, occasionally boring more deeply.


Widely distributed in the Neotropics, Caribbean, and southern US, at least as far as North Carolina, also in certain counties of California. US states include AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX. Also in Brazil (SP), Cuba, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama.


Physalis angulata L. (cutleaf groundcherry)

P. philadelphica Lam. (Mexican groundcherry, tomatillo)

P. pubescens L. (husk tomato)

P. viscosa L. (sticky or starhair groundcherry)

P. walteri Nutt. (as P. viscosa maritima (Curtis) Waters) (Walter’s groundcherry)

Physalis sp. (Mexico, Florida)


Despite its widespread distribution, little information is available about this species. The distribution and host records, which are consistently on Physalis, are taken from specimens in the U.S. National Museum (NMNH) and unpublished notes in the D.H. Habeck Collection (MGCL). The larval description is based on specimens in the latter collection.


Habeck, D.H. Unpublished notes.

Photo credits

Figs. 3 & 9: © Lyle Buss, University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department