Tegeticula corruptrixOlle Pellmyr
Wing expanse 22.5-35 mm. Forewing white or occasionally more or less tan colored (at higher elevation); hindwing uniformly dark brown, or darker brown along front edge and near apex, gradually lighter due to sparser scaling toward back corner. Female with reduced maxillary tentacles. Male genitalia with aedeagus 2.2-2.8 mm long, 0.06-0.08 mm in cross section; female genitalia with posterior apophyses 9.0-12.9 mm long, corpus bursae with signa 0.5-1.0 mm in diameter.
This very large non-pollinating species, approached in size only by superficiella and elatella, is readily distinguished by the reduced tentacles in the female. Internally quite variable, and more than one good species may be covered under this name. Genitalia are highly characteristic for identification; a diagnostic key is provided.
The species is known from the fleshy-fruited Yucca baccata, Y. treculeana (Y. torreyi), Y. schidigera and the capsular-fruitedY. glauca, Y. baileyi, including var. intermedia, Y. elata (Y. verdiensis). (Pellmyr 1999). Females oviposit into full-size fruit, laying eggs directly into developed seed. The larva feeds on developing seeds. Pupation occurs in a cocoon in the soil.
Documented from southwestern California, Arizona, New Mexico, northern Coahuila, western and southernmost Texas, Colorado, and the westernmost Plains of Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana.
Typical habitat includes grasslands, shrub desert, rocky hillsides, open pine forest, and shrubby grassland. Altitudinal range 0-2300 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 corruptrix http://tolweb.org/Tegeticula_corruptrix/12470/1996.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 01 January 1996 (under construction).