Prodoxus aenescensOlle Pellmyr
Wing expanse 9-15 mm. Forewing uniformly brownish gray, with a somewhat bronzy luster. Populations in the southern part of the range are somewhat lighter. Hindwings of the same color, but lightly scaled.
Comparison with Similar Species
Prodoxus cinereus, with which it coexists in part of its range, is often somewhat lighter, but they can only be reliably told apart through inspection of the genitalia. In the male, the valva of aenescens is narrow and it has a rounder outer edge. In the female, the ovipositor has a prominent arched, dorsal ridge that terminates at the ovipositor shaft. In the larva, cinereus have two ventral hooks on the abdominal tip. When the two species are found together, aenescens tend to emerge somewhat later than cinereus.
Host, Oviposition, and Larval Feeding Habits
The species occurs throughout the range of its exclusive host, Yucca whipplei (Agavaceae). It feeds primarily in the apical portion of the inflorescence stalk, and well above cinereus where they coexist.
The host occurs in central-southern cismontane California, in Sierra Nevada north to Fresno Co, in northwestern Arizona (USA), and in Baja California Norte (Mexico) to the Vizcaino region (Powell and Mackie 1966). Published records only exist for the portions within the USA.
Davis, D.R. 1967. A revision of the moths of the subfamily Prodoxinae (Lepidoptera: Incurvariidae). U.S. Nat. Hist. Mus., Bull. 255:1-170. Smiths. Contrib. Zool. 524:1-88.
Powell, J.A. and R.A. Mackie. 1966. Biological interrelationships of moths and Yucca whipplei. Univ. Calif. Publ. Entomol. 42:1-59.
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University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA
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Pellmyr, Olle. 1996. Prodoxus aenescens http://tolweb.org/Prodoxus_aenescens/12437/1996.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 01 January 1996 (under construction).