Microlepidoptera on Solanaceae


  • A1–A10: In the larva, abdominal segments one through ten.
  • Adfrontal areas: Paired oblique sclerites, a “V inside a V,” on the larval head around the frons. Characteristic of Lepidoptera.
  • Anal prolegs: In the larva, a pair of prolegs on the last abdominal segment.
  • Antemedial: The dominant line across the wing closer to the wing base.
  • Antrum: Posterior section of the ductus bursae, posterior of the colliculum.
  • Apical arm: An apical sclerotized lobe on the phallus
  • Apophysis: Rodlike sclerites inside segments 8 and 9 in the female genitalia to which muscles attach (pl. apophyses). Two pairs, called the apophyses anteriores and apophyses posteriores.
  • Appendix bursae: An appendix or pouch arising from the corpus bursae.


  • Chaetotaxy: The pattern of setae on the larva.
  • Colliculum: The collar-like sclerite around the posterior end of the ductus bursae.
  • Cornutus: A usually spine-like sclerite visible within the phallus.
  • Corpus bursae: The enlarged, bulbous anterior end of the female genitalia.
  • Costa: (1) The anterior margin of the wing. (2) In the male genitalia, the dorsal margin of the valva.
  • Crochets: Tiny, hook-like, sclerotized setae on the abdominal and anal prolegs of larvae. “Uni-,” “bi-,” and “triordinal” refer to the relative sizes of crochets (one, two, or three different sizes). 
  • Culcitula: A membranous spiny cushion at the base of the gnathos and the uncus.


  • D-group: In the larva, the dorsal setae, normally two on each side of a segment. Denoted by D1, D2.  
  • Discal cell : An open area between the radial and cubital veins from which most other veins radiate.
  • Dorsum: The posterior margin of a wing, also called the dorsal margin. So called because the edge faces dorsally when the wings are folded against the body.
  • Ductus bursae: The usually narrow duct between the ostium and antrum and the corpus bursae.
  • Ductus seminalis: A tube connecting the ductus bursae with the oviduct.


  • Fibula: Any projection on the face of the valva (not including the saccular process, if any).
  • Fold: The invisible line of folding below the discal cell on the forewing.
  • Fovea: A scale-less transparent spot on the forewing, often surrounded by distorted veins. 
  • Frenular bristles: See frenulum.
  • Frenulum: The part of the wing-locking mechanism that arises from the hind wing. Usually consists of large bristles: one bristle (in all male moths and in females of a few genera) or more than one bristle (in female moths of most genera).
  • Frons: The front of the head, between the eyes.


  • Gnathos: A variously shaped bridge-like structure, usually hooked or bowed, crossing the tegumen below the uncus.


  • Hair pencil: A specialized bunch of elongate scales, generally thought to function to disperse pheromones.
  • Haustellum: See Proboscis.


  • Juxta: The sclerite ventral of the phallus, in the center of the male genitalic capsule.


  • L-group: In the larva, the lateral setae, normally two or three on each side of a segment. Denoted by L1, L2, L3.
  • Labial palpus: The more prominent, elongate pair of appendages on the head, usually three-segmented (pl. palpi).


  • Maculation: Wing pattern.
  • Mandible: The chewing mouthparts of the larva, typically with teeth and two setae. 
  • Mesoseries: Pattern of larval crochets in a nearly straight line. Characteristic of many non-target species (Macrolepidoptera).
  • Mesothorax: The second thoracic segment (T2) of any life stage.
  • Metathorax: The third thoracic segment (T3) of any life stage.


  • O-group: See S-group.
  • Ostial sclerites: Sclerites associated with the ostium bursae.
  • Ostium bursae: Entrance of the bursa copulatrix, leading into the antrum and then to the ductus bursae.
  • Ovipositor: The terminal segments VIII and IX in the female genitalia.


  • Penellipse: Pattern of larval crochets in a broken (incomplete) ellipse or circle. Characteristic of the target species as well as many other non-target Microlepidoptera. 
  • Phallus: The intromittent part of the male genitalia, also known as the aedeagus.
  • Pinaculum: In the larva, a raised, blister-like area that is often but not necessarily pigmented. They normally surround a seta, or if more than one seta, they are considered to be fused. Some taxa, especially internally boring larvae, may have extra pinacula without setae.
  • Postmedial line: The dominant line across the wings closer to the distal end.
  • Proboscis: The tongue, also called the haustellum.
  • Proleg: In the larva, any of five pairs of walking appendages on segments A3–A6 and A10.
  • Prothoracic shield: Also called the T1 shield. In the larva, the extensive sclerotized area of the dorsal half of the prothorax. It bears six setae on each side, and its color pattern is often diagnostic.
  • Prothorax: The first thoracic segment (T1) of any life stage.


  • R-veins: The radial veins, located on the anterior half of the wing. Denoted by R1 and Rs1 through Rs4.


  • S-group: Setae on the larval head near the stemmata. Also called the O-group (for ocelli).
  • Sacculus: The ventro-basal area of the valva.
  • Saccus: A ventral extension of the vinculum, between the valvae.
  • SD-group: The subdorsal setae of the larva, normally one or two on each side of a segment. Located between the dorsal and lateral groups. Denoted by SD1, SD2. 
  • Seta: A larval hair (pl. setae).
  • Signum: Any sclerite, sclerotized area, or discrete granular area on the wall of the corpus bursae (pl. signa).
  • Spiracle: Respiratory openings, mainly of interest for larval chaetotaxy. One pair on most segments.
  • Stemmata: Light-sensitive organ, typically six on each side of the larval head (pl. stemmata).
  • SV-group: Subventral setae of the larva, normally one to three on each side of a segment. Located between the lateral and ventral setae, in the vicinity of the legs, prolegs, or the corresponding area. Denonted by SV1, SV2, SV3.


  • T1–T3: Thoracic segments one through three, also called the prothorax, mesothorax and metathorax. Located behind the head, they each bear a pair of jointed legs.
  • Tegumen: The dorsal part of the male genitalia, from which the uncus and gnathos (if present) arise.
  • Tympanal organs: Auditory organs. In Pyraloidea, round or globular and located on the ventral anterior part of the abdomen.


  • Uncus: The prominent projection from the dorsal tegumen of the male genitalia. May be variously shaped as a hook, knob, hood, etc.


  • V-group: Ventral setae of the larva, one on each side of a segment close to the ventral midline. Not informative for the taxa included in this key.
  • Valva: One of the pair of large lateral appendages of the male genitalia (pl. valvae).
  • Venation: The pattern of wing veins.
  • Vinculum: The ventral half of the male genitalia, from which the valvae arise.