Microlepidoptera on Solanaceae

Neoleucinodes prophetica

Name

Neoleucinodes prophetica (Dyar, 1914)

Common name: Potato tree borer

Original combination: Leucinodes elegantalis var. prophetica Dyar, 1914

Synonyms: Leucinodes minimalis Amsel, 1956

Alternative combinations: none.

Classification: Pyraloidea: Crambidae: Spilomelinae, Leucinodes group

Adult recognition

Forewing length: 8.5 - 10.5 mm, broad. The antennal sensilla are long, and the orange triangle of the forewing has its anterior and distal corners yellow. In the male genitalia, the fibula is located in the distal half of the valva, and the cornutus is long and straight. In the female genitalia, the antrum is broadly swollen, the anterior (lower) lip of the ostium is sclerotized, and there is no appendix bursae.

Immature stages

The larva resembles other fruit-boring relatives in structure, having one SV seta on A1 and the SD seta of A8 anterodorsal of the spiracle. The prothoracic shield is pale brown without distinctive markings.

Similar species

In N. elegantalis, females have palps with a long terminal segment, and the orange triangle on the forewing posterior margin is more strongly marked. The male fibula is in the basal half of the valva, and the ostium and antrum are not sclerotized or thickened.

Behavior

Little is known about the behavior except that larvae bore in fruit.

Distribution

In the continental US, N. prophetica is established only in southern Florida. The species is widely distributed in the Caribbean and South America, including Brazil (RJ), Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela; possibly Mexico.

Hosts

Solanum umbellatum Mill.

S. erianthum D. Don. (potato tree)

Comments

Since the presence of N. prophetica in Florida was not known to Capps (1948) and Kimball (1965) lists only one specimen taken in 1959, it is possible that the species is a relatively recent arrival. Most specimens come from Key Largo, with a few from the southern mainland. It has been raised on S. erianthum in Key Largo, Florida, in February (FSCA). One specimen was caught in Louisiana over many years of continuous light-trap sampling (V.A. Brou, in litt.).

Literature

Capps, 1948.

Diaz and Solis, 2007.

Kimball, 1965.