Tegeticula carnerosanellaOlle Pellmyr
Wing expanse 20-27.5 mm. Forewing and hindwing white. Male genitalia with aedeagus 2.7 mm long, 0.02 mm in cross section; female genitalia with posterior apophyses 7.6-8.3 mm long, corpus bursae with signa 0.45-0.60 mm in diameter.
Similar in forewing coloration to T. rostratella and, to a lesser extent, other members of the yuccasella complex, but readily distinguished from other members of the complex based on genitalic characters. A diagnostic key is provided.
The species is known from the fleshy-fruited yucca Y. carnerosana, including Y. faxoniana, the giant dagger yucca. Females oviposit into flowers (Pellmyr 1999). Eggs are laid inside the ovary, between the wall and the ovules, generally in the upper portion.The larva feeds on developing seeds. Pupation occurs in a cocoon in the soil.
The known range includes parts of western Texas, at northern edge of the host range. The host extends southward, and should be sought in Coahuila and San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Typical habitat is shrub desert, where the host often constitutes a virtual forest. Altitudinal range 800-1800 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 carnerosanella http://tolweb.org/Tegeticula_carnerosanella/12456/1996.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 01 January 1996 (under construction).