Tegeticula rostratellaOlle Pellmyr
Wing expanse 18.5-26 mm. Forewing white, hindwing white or occasionally light grey. Male genitalia with aedeagus 2.2-3.0 mm long, 0.03-0.04 mm in cross section; female genitalia with posterior apophyses 5.2-6.4 mm long, small corpus bursae with signa 0.60-0.75 mm in diameter.
The typically all-white coloration is only shared by the sympatric carnerosanella, but the adult appears somewhat later (as a result of different flowering times of hosts). Genitalia are highly characteristic for identification; a diagnostic key is provided.
The species is known from the capsular-fruited yucca Y. rostrata and the questionably distinct Y. rigida (Pellmyr 1999). Females oviposit into flowers . Eggs are laid inside the ovary between the wall and the ovules. The larva feeds on developing seeds. Pupation occurs in a cocoon in the soil.
The Big Bend region of the United States, extending in Mexico to the southern edge of the Mapimi region in southern Coahuila.
Typical habitat is scrub desert, often on relatively steep slopes. Altitudinal range 690-950 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 rostratella http://tolweb.org/Tegeticula_rostratella/12466/1996.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 01 January 1996 (under construction).