Rutaceae-feeding Agonopterix Hübner (Lepidoptera: Elachistidae) in Illinois

T. L. Harrison, M. R. Berenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The most recent taxonomic treatment of North American moths of the genus Agonopterix Hübner (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea: Elachistidae) recognized two Rutaceae-feeding species, Agonopterix nigrinotella (Busck) and Agonopterix pteleae Barnes and Busck. Ecological, morphological, and molecular data presented in this paper indicate that four species of Agonopterix feed as larvae on Rutaceae in Illinois. Agonopterix costimacula Clarke (revised status) and A. pteleae feed on hoptree, Ptelea trifoliata (Linnaeus). Both of these species are multivoltine. Agonopterix nigrinotella and a previously unrecognized species, described here as Agonopterix paulae Harrison, n. sp., feed on pricklyash, Zanthoxylum americanum Miller. Agonopterix nigrinotella is univoltine, whereas A. paulae is bivoltine. Larval feeding tests determined that each of the four species is strictly monophagous and that literature reports of A. nigrinotella on Carya sp. and Agonopterix argillacea (Walsingham) on Ptelea trifoliata are apparently erroneous. Diagnoses and dichotomous keys are given for identifying mature larvae and adults of the four Rutaceae-fceding species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-175
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Cytochrome Oxidase II
  • Food plant specificity
  • Gelechioidea
  • Illinois
  • Microlepidoptera
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • New species
  • North America
  • Ptelea
  • Rutaceae
  • Voltinism
  • Zanthoxylum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

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