Tegeticula baccatellaOlle Pellmyr
Wing expanse 19.5-28 mm. Forewing white or occasionally more or less tan colored (at higher elevation), hindwing dark brownish grey. Male genitalia with aedeagus 2.6-3.0 mm long, 0.02 mm in cross section; female genitalia with posterior apophyses 7.4-8.3 mm long, small corpus bursae with signa 0.36-0.44 mm in diameter.
Similar to many species in the yuccasella complex, but distinguished by narrow, tapering wings and dark hidwings. Genitalia are highly characteristic for identification; a diagnostic key is provided. Tan forewing coloration is some specimens is shared with the partly sympatric altiplanella and with yuccasella.
The species is known from the fleshy-fruited yucca Y. baccata Yucca baccata (Y. thornberi, Y. confinis) (Pellmyr 1999). Females oviposit into flowers . Eggs are laid inside the ovary, between the wall and the ovules, often in the upper portion.The larva feeds on developing seeds. Pupation occurs in a cocoon in the soil.
All of Arizona and New Mexico, into adjacent regions of California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado, and western Texas to Presidio County.
Typical habitat includes shrub desert, rocky hillsides, and open pine forest with outcrops. Altitudinal range 1300-2200 m.
Pellmyr, O. 1999. Systematic revision of the Tegeticula yuccasella complex (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae) north of Mexico. Systematic Entomology 24:243-271.
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Pellmyr, Olle. 1996. Tegeticula baccatella http://tolweb.org/Tegeticula_baccatella/12465/1996.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 01 January 1996 (under construction).