Microlepidoptera on Solanaceae

Symmetrischema kendallorum


Symmetrischema kendallorum Blanchard & Knudson, 1982

Common names: none

Original combination: Symmetrischema kendallorum Blanchard & Knudson, 1982

Synonyms: none

Classification: Gelechioidea: Gelechiidae: Gelechiinae: Gnorimoschemini

Adult recognition

Adults are about 4.2-5.5 mm in forewing length. They are yellowish orange, with a grayish black patch extending along the costal margin and a grayish black patch near the base. The labial palpus is upturned. The hindwing is light yellowish orange without hair-pencils in males. The male genitalia have a hood-shaped uncus with small lateral stubs, culcitula transversely extended and lobed past the sides of the uncus, a tongue-shaped gnathos, elongate valvae with triangular-shaped apices, and a phallus with a short lateral process tipped with numerous fine spines. Females have a suboval-shaped antrum and no signum.

Immature stages

The morphology is not described.

Similar species

This species is superficially similar to Symmetrischema pallidochrella (Chambers); however, it can be differentiated by the forewing with a row of grayish-black scales extending along dorsal margin, broadening to form a grayish-black patch near base, and the male phallus with a short lateral process tipped with numerous fine spines.

This is the only species of gelechiid we include that primarily feeds on Physalis, but there are several other gelechiids associated with this plant in the New World. The excluded species have unknown larvae or do not resemble our target pests in size or wing pattern.


Larvae and pupae are reported in galls on upper stems of host-plant (Blanchard & Knudson, 1982).


Native to North America. USA (Texas).


Physalis virginiana Mill. var. spathulaefolia (Torr.)


This species is a small moth discovered from rearing larvae and pupae in the host-plant, but the larva and pupa were not described at that time.


Blanchard and Knudson, 1982.