Systematics and biology of some species of Micrurapteryx Spuler (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae) from the Holarctic Region, with re-description of M. caraganella (Hering) from Siberia.

Kirichenko, N., Triberti, P., Mutanen, M., Magnoux, E., Landry, J.-F., and Lopez-Vaamonde, C. (2016). "Systematics and biology of some species of Micrurapteryx Spuler (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae) from the Holarctic Region, with re-description of M. caraganella (Hering) from Siberia.", ZooKeys, 579, pp. 99-156. doi : 10.3897/zookeys.579.7166  Access to full text

Abstract

During a DNA barcoding campaign of leaf-mining insects from Siberia, a genetically divergent lineage of a gracillariid belonging to the genus Micrurapteryx was discovered, whose larvae developed on Caragana Fabr. and Medicago L. (Fabaceae). Specimens from Siberia showed similar external morphology to the Palearctic Micrurapteryx gradatella and the Nearctic Parectopa occulta but differed in male genitalia, DNA barcodes, and nuclear genes histone H3 and 28S. Members of this lineage are re-described here as Micrurapteryx caraganella (Hering, 1957), comb. n., an available name published with only a brief description of its larva and leaf mine. Micrurapteryx caraganella is widely distributed throughout Siberia, from Tyumen oblast in the West to Transbaikalia in the East. Occasionally it may severely affect its main host, Caragana arborescens Lam. This species has been confused in the past with Micrurapteryx gradatella in Siberia, but field observations confirm that M. gradatella exists in Siberia and is sympatric with M. caraganella, at least in the Krasnoyarsk region, where it feeds on different host plants (Vicia amoena Fisch. and Vicia sp.). In addition, based on both morphological and molecular evidence as well as examination of type specimens, the North American Parectopa occulta Braun, 1922 and Parectopa albicostella Braun, 1925 are transferred to Micrurapteryx as M. occulta (Braun, 1922), comb. n. with albicostella as its junior synonym (syn. n.). Characters used to distinguish Micrurapteryx from Parectopa are presented and illustrated. These findings provide another example of the potential of DNA barcoding to reveal overlooked species and illuminate nomenclatural problems.

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