Biology and systematics of the Neotropical leafminer genus <i>Eucosmophora</i> (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae).


  • D. R. Davis
  • D. L. Wagner


Acrocercops, biology, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, E aspila n sp, E echinulata n sp, E ingae n sp, E manilkarae n sp, E paraguayensis n sp, E pithecellobiae n sp, E pouteriae n sp, E prolata n sp, Florida, Grenada, Guyana, hostplants, hypermetamorphosis, immature stages, larvae, leafmining moths, life history, morphology, Neotropical, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, pupae, South America, taxonomy, Texas, USA, Venezuela, Virgin Islands, West Indies


The Neotropical moth genus Eucosmophora Walsingham 1897 is revised. Sixteen species are recognized: E. atlantis (Meyr.) n. comb., E. chrysocosma (Meyrick) n. comb., E. dives Walsingham (the type of the genus), E. eclampsis (Durrant), n. comb., E. eurychalca (Meyrick) n. comb., E. melanactis (Meyrick) n. comb., E. sideroxylonella Busck, E. trimetalla (Meyrick) n. comb., and the following new species, E. aspila n. sp., E. echinulata n. sp., E. ingae n. sp., E. manilkarae n. sp., E. paraguayensis n. sp., E. pithecellobiae n. sp., E. pouteriae n. sp., and E. prolata n. sp. An additional species from Venezuela is described and illustrated, but is not named because of its poor condition. The genus is composed of two morphologically and biologically distinct groups: the sideroxylonella group (aspila, atlantis, chrysocosma, eurychalca, manilkarae, melanactis, paraguayensis, pouteriae, prolata, sideroxylonella, and possibly eclampsis), which includes species whose larvae are known to mine the leaves of Sapotaceae; and the dives group (dives, ingae, pithecellobiae, and possibly echinulata and trimetalla), whose larvae are known or suspected to mine leaves of Fabaceae. Eucosmophora ornata Walsingham is retained in Acrocercops as placed by Meyrick (1912a). Eucosmophora cupreella Walsingham is transferred to Neurostrota: N. cupreella (n. comb.). The genus occurs through the Neotropical Region, from southern Florida and Texas and the West Indies south to Paraguay in shrubland and forest habitats. As is typical for the Gracillariidae, the larva is hypermetamorphic. The body of the first three sap-feeding instars is apodal, flattened, and the mouthparts prognathous. The body of the two tissue-feeding instars possesses thoracic legs, prolegs on abdominal segments 3-5 and 10, are cylindrical, and hypognathous. The last instar larva exits the mine and forms an oval cocoon whose outer surface is ornamented with a vesture of short, erect silken spikes.