Greya enchrysaOlle Pellmyr
Wing expanse 15.5-20 mm. Forewings in most areas uniformly pale ochreous, often with a golden luster; rarely pale straw-colored. In the eastern portion of the range, some populations with ochreous to dark ochreous color, a light subtornal patch and sometimes a slight costal patch near the apex. Hindwings darker, gray.
Heuchera cylindrica and H. grossulariifolia (Saxifragaceae). Females oviposit into the floral ovary of the host, and several larvae per capsule complete the first one or two larval instars feeding on seeds. Subsequent biology is unknown.
In the drier interior regions of southern British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, and in interior Washington and Oregon, Idaho and western Montana, USA.
In open, grassy pine forest or near rockfaces in open country where the host is found growing in crevices and ledges. Elevational range 250-1500 m. It often coexists with G. piperella and G. politella.
Greya enchrysa is an efficient passive pollinator during oviposition, transporting ample pollen of its host on the abdomen between flowers. Larvae consume relatively few seeds, and the species could thus be a mutualist relative to the host. An abundance of other pollinators, particularly bumblebees, mask the beneficial effects of the moth on seed production in studied populations (Pellmyr et al. 1996).
Further ecological aspects of G. enchrysa and the species that it interacts with are currently under study by and at Washington State University.
Davis, D.R., O. Pellmyr & J.N. Thompson. 1992. Biology and systematics of Greya Busck and Tetragma n. gen. (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae). Smiths. Contrib. Zool. 524:1-88.
Pellmyr, O., J.N. Thompson, J. Brown & R.G. Harrison. 1996. Evolution of pollination and mutualism in the yucca moth lineage. Amer. Nat. 148:827-847.
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Pellmyr, Olle. 1996. Greya enchrysa http://tolweb.org/Greya_enchrysa/12312/1996.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 01 January 1996 (under construction).