|scientific name Prodoxidae |
The adults have slender forewings with a wingspan of 4-16 mm, and lack not metallic scales; wings with accessory and intercalary cells; 1A+2A with basal fork; hindwing approximately the same width as forewing. Head with antennae less than 0.6 times as long as the forewing, the scape smooth and flagellum filiform; Proboscis long except in Lampronia. Mandibles somewhat prominent but vestigial; maxillary palpi long (0.5 to 1.2 times the length of the haustellum), 3-5 segmented; labial palpi short and three-segmented in Alberta Prodoxids. Tibial spur pattern 0-2-4. Abdomen with a rounded sternum VII and triangular tergum VII in the female. Female geitalia with a pair of stellate signa in the corpus bursae (secondarily lost in some taxa) and laterally compressed, elongate ovipositor; males with valva with either an unstalked pectinifer or a pollex. Larva reddish, green, or white, cylindrical to fusiform in shape, 6 - 22 mm in length. Head light to dark brown, prolegs reduced or absent; crochets usually absent but may occur on A3-6. Eggs are poorly known, generally white (Scoble 1992, Fisher 1999, Pellmyr 2000).
Prodoxids lay eggs inside plant tissue; larvae feed on all parts of plants, although each species tends to be part-specific (Pellmyr 2000). Primitive prodoxids mine in plants (eg. Lampronia); these are parasitic (Scoble 1992). Passive pollination occurs in some Greya species and active pollination has evolved in Tegeticula (Pellmyr et al. 1996). Prodoxids are univoltine, with larvae overwintering. They tend to be diurnal (Pellmyr 2000).
Riley (1872) placed the subfamily within the family Tineidae, later elevating to family level. In the early 1900s taxonomists again considered them a subfamily; Forbes placed them within the family Incurvariidae (Davis 1967), and this treatment remained unchanged until Nielson and Davis (1985) re-assessed the phylogeny of the superfamily and elevated prodoxines back to family level. The Prodoxidae contain less than a hundred species, and a few of these, the yucca moths, have been well-studied as a model of coevolution between insects and plants (Pellmyr 2000). The family is commonly known as the yucca moths, although only a few species are associated with yuccas. The species not associated with yucca have not been well studied, and little is known of their host plants and life history.
In Alberta, Prodoxids occur frequently in the south, especially areas near the U.S.-Canada border. Some species occur in the west, and some in the Rocky Mountains. Restricted almost entirely to the northern hemisphere (Scoble 1992, Pellmyr 2000).
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