twirler moth

(Scrobipalpula manierreorum)

twirler moth (Scrobipalpula manierreorum)
  Hodges #

2017.2

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Scrobipalpula manierreorum is a small twirler moth. It was first described in the Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society in June 2014. It occurs in the northern United States from the Maine west to Minnesota, and in adjacent Canadian Provinces.

The forewing of the adult is to ¼ (3.7 to 6.5 mm) long and is covered mostly with white scales that have dark brown tips. These scales are intermixed with brown, white, and grayish-orange scales. A broad but diffuse grayish-orange stripe extends from the base of the wing to the tip. The cell has a pair of short, dark brown streaks, one in the middle, one near the end. The fringe hairs at the wing tip have alternating white and dark bands. The legs are striped white and dark.

Adult moths in the genus Scrobipalpula are very similar in appearance. Some, including S. manierreorum, have no external characteristics to identify the species. They can only be distinguished by examining the genitalia under a microscope. The larvae are plant specialists and can be identified by their host plant. The larvae of S. manierreorum mine the leaves of bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla). Adults have been recorded in Alberta and British Columbia, both outside the range of bigleaf aster. This suggests that it may also use other aster species as hosts.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Forewing length: to ¼ (3.7 to 6.5 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Twirler moth (Scrobipalpula artemisiella) adults are identical in outward appearance. The genitalia are very different, but this can be seen only under a microscope. The larvae feed on field sagewort (Artemisia campestris ssp. caudata).  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Spring

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Larvae eat only the middle leaf tissues, leaving intact the waxy upper and lower outer layers (cuticles). They create pale tunnels as they eat. The placement and shape of the tunnels, and the presence of frass, are identifying features of leaf miners. Many leaf miner species are plant specialists, and can be identified simply by noting the species of the host plant.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 27, 29, 30.

 
  9/21/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
 

Superfamily

Gelechioidea  
 

Family

Gelechiidae (twirler moths)  
 

Subfamily

Gelechiinae  
 

Tribe

Gnorimoschemini  
 

Genus

Scrobipalpula  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Few species in the genus Scrobipalpula have a common name. The common name for the family Gelechiidae is twirler moths, and is applied here for convenience.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Leaf mines on bigleaf aster

 
    twirler moth (Scrobipalpula manierreorum)   twirler moth (Scrobipalpula manierreorum)  
           
    twirler moth (Scrobipalpula manierreorum)   twirler moth (Scrobipalpula manierreorum)  
           

 

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