News of e Lepidopterists’ Society Volume 59, Number 4
On 18 August 2017, SRJ uploaded to BugGuide.net
(http://bugguide.net/node/view/1427183) two images
of an unknown moth which he photographed around
a small pond on his property in Pella, Marion County,
Iowa (Figs. 1–2). The ponds were put into the yard 16 or
17 years ago and stocked with Acorus americanus and
several species of Carex about 15 years ago These images
immediately caught the attention of the rst author (KA)
who suspected that the distinctive moth belonged to either
Heliodinidae or Glyphipterigidae. Initial examination of
reference material (Heppner 1985; Hsu & Powell 2004)
did not yield a satisfactory match among the described
North American species. An image on the Barcode of Life
Data Systems (http://v4.boldsystems.org/index.php/
Taxbrowser_Taxonpage?taxid=396400) of a pair of
wings of Lepidotarphius perornatella (Walker) from South
Korea provided a clue. After examining Walker’s original
description and subsequent authors’ gures, KA relayed
his identication to SRJ, who then proceeded to collect
and send ve specimens to VN and JFL at the Canadian
Lepidotarphius perornatella (Walker,
1864) (Lepidoptera: Glyphipterigidae)
new to North America
Kyhl Austin1, Vazrick Nazari2, Jean-François Landry2, Stephen R. Johnson3
1 Davidson College, 209 Ridge Road, PO Box 6418, Davidson, North Carolina 28035 firstname.lastname@example.org
2Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Ottawa Research and Development Centre,
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
3Independent ecologist; 103 Independence Street, Pella, Iowa email@example.com
National Collection (CNC) for genitalia dissection,
imaging, and conrmation of the suggested identication.
SRJ observed and photographed several more individuals
between September 3–25, including a mating pair on
September 25 (Fig 3). SRJ also observed this behavior:
individuals when disturbed rose from near ground level
and landed at mid-level leaf to begin rapid (1 s to 0.5 sec)
leg waving. This “eye-catching” display would continue for
5 or more minutes. Individuals performing this display
were highly noticeable to the eye. It evoked a deceiving
behavior to elicit confusion in a potential predator, or
alternatively to attract a mate. Both males and females
performed this behavior.
Dissection and slide mounting of genitalia were performed
by JFL following standard methods (Landry 2007). Images
of the live moths were taken with a Cannon EOS Rebel
T6i camera and 90 mm Tamron Macro lens. Slide-mounted
genitalia were photographed with a Nikon DS-Fi1 digital
camera mounted on a Nikon Eclipse 800 microscope at
100x magnication, and
of multiple photos of
different focal planes
into single deep-focus
images using Nikon’s
NIS 2.3 Elements. The
specimens are deposited
in the CNC. Unfortu-
nately when received,
the unpinned specimens
had become partly
covered in mold, which
hindered attempts at
DNA barcoding as well
as caused some of the
abdomens and genitalia
to break up upon
dissection. Photos of set
specimens are shown in
Figs. 1–2. First images of Lepidotarphius perornatella (Walker) from Pella, Marion County, Iowa. Photos
by Stephen R. Johnson, taken 1.IX.2017 and 5.IX.2017.
Winter 2017 News of e Lepidopterists’ Society
Volume 59, Number 4
The family Glyphipterigidae was recently expanded
to include three subfamilies, Glyphipteriginae,
Acrolepiinae, and Orthoteliinae (Nieukerken et al. 2011).
Glyphipteriginae are a subfamily of small, often iridescent
or strikingly marked, primarily day-ying moths with
a cosmopolitan distribution. Little is known about the
biology of most species, but those whose host plants are
known feed primarily on sedges, rushes, and various other
monocots. Worldwide, there are about 345 described species
(Heppner 1985). In North America the Glyphipteriginae
are represented by ve genera and 40 species (Heppner
1985; Heppner 1997a, b; Pohl et al. 2015). The North
American fauna was revised by Heppner (1985).
Lepidotarphius Pryer currently includes a single, strikingly
colored species, Glyphipteryx perornatella Walker, native
to East Asia. Arita & Heppner (1992) reported it feeding on
Acorus calamus (Acoraceae) and always being found in close
proximity to its host. This echoes Pryer (1877), who reported
that this species is “occasionally taken amongst reeds [and]
not uncommon at ponds on the Shanghai race-course.”
Lepidotarphius perornatella (Walker, 1864) (Figs.
Glyphipteryx perornatella Walker, 1864: 840, 1040.
Lepidotarphius splendens Pryer, 1877: 235, pl. 4, f. 13.
Staintonia fulgens Erschoff, 1877: 347.
Material examined. 5 specimens. 4 ♂, 1 ♀, USA: IA: Marion
Co., Pella, 41.402395, -92.906659, August 2017, Stephen
R. Johnson. Slides MIC7942 ♂, MIC8013 ♂, MIC8014 ♀.
Fig 3. Mating pair, photo by Stephen R. Johnson, 25.IX.2017.
Known distribution. East Asia (Far East Russia, China,
Japan, Taiwan [expected], South Korea) (Arita & Heppner,
1992; Korea Biodiversity Information System). This is a
new record for the United States, known only from one
location in Marion Co., Iowa.
Description. (Figs. 1-3). Forewing length: 13–18 mm (Arita
& Heppner 1992). Head, thorax and tegulae brilliant
metallic blue-green. Abdomen mostly bright orange
dorsally and ventrally. Basal three-fths of forewing of
same color as head and thorax, distal two-fths bright
orange. The forewing two contrasting colors are divided by
an incomplete silver line running from the costa to near the
inner margin. The blue-green metallic scales sometimes
bleed through this line towards the apex. Inside the orange
portion are ve silver spots; two positioned along the costa,
one on either side of the apex, and one centrally. Male
genitalia. (Fig. 4). Tegumen reduced to thin V-shaped
band. Uncus and gnathos absent. Subscaphium developed,
elongate. Vinculum transversely pentagonal with anterior
margin V-shaped and markedly elongate, rod-like saccus.
Valva heavy and constituting nearly the entire genitalia,
divided into an elongate dorsal and ventral lobes with
the inner surface densely covered with spiniform setae.
Fig. 4. Male genitalia (preparation MIC 8013, specimen
CNCLEP00174811), dorsal and lateral views.
News of e Lepidopterists’ Society Volume 59, Number 4
Phallus slender, thin, cornuti absent. Female genitalia.
(Fig. 5). Relatively simple. Sternum 8 subdivided into
two lateral, weakly sclerotized parts, caudal margin
setose. Ostium bursae situated on membrane between
S7 and S8, antrum short, cylindrical, weakly sclerotized.
Ductus bursae straight, with small weakly sclerotized
ring at inception with corpus bursae. Signum absent.
Anterior apophysis with base divided two arms. Posterior
apophysis with slight jog in caudal fourth. Ovipositor about
twice as long as S8. Papillae anales slightly thickened.
Lepidotarphius perornatellus can be easily distinguished
from any other described species of North American
micromoth by the metallic blue-green coloration of the
head, thorax and basal three-fths of the forewings, and
the bright orange distal two-fths of the forewing. Its
coloration is distinct from that of all the known North
American Glyphipterigidae. Supercially, it is reminiscent
of Heliodinidae, almost all of which have forewings with
areas of bright orange and spots of raised silver scales.
However, in heliodinids, the orange area extends over most
of the forewing surface including the basal half, whereas
in L. perornatellus the orange is restricted to the distal
portion of the forewing. Likewise, the dots of raised silver
scales are distributed over most of the forewing surface in
heliodinids whereas they are restricted to the distal area in
L. perornatellus. The genitalia are also highly distinctive.
We suggest that this species was likely introduced through
shipment of its host plant, Acorus calamus L., a semi-
aquatic monocot imported for medicinal & horticultural
The taxonomic status of Acorus in North America has been
a historically contentious issue. Some confusion exists in
the literature about whether Acorus is native or introduced,
but at present, the consensus seems to be that there are two
species present in North America: A. calamus L., a non-
native sterile triploid of Asian origin brought over by Eu-
ropean settlers for medicinal uses, and recorded from most
of the eastern United States and Canada (Nova Scotia east
to Manitoba and south to Colorado, Texas, and Georgia) as
well as along the west coast (Washington south to north-
ern California); the second species, A. americanus Raf.,
is a native fertile diploid congener with a more northern
distribution (Nova Scotia south to northern Virginia and
west along the northern Great Plains to Idaho, Alaska,
and the Northwest Territories) (Thompson 2000).
Arita, Y., Heppner, J.B. 1992. Sedge Moths of Taiwan (Lepidoptera:
Glyphipterigidae). Tropical Lepidoptera, 3(2): 1–40.
Erschoff, N. 1877. Neuer Lepidopteren aus den verschiedenen
Provinzen des Russischen Reiches. Horae Societatis
Entomologicae Rossicae, 12: 347.
Gaedike, R. 1997. Yponomeutoidea: Acrolepiidae. Lepidopterorum
Catalogus (new series), 5 (55), i–viii, 1–20.
Heppner, J.B. 1997a. New Glyphipterix sedge moths from the
Southeastern United States (Lepidoptera: Glyphipterigidae).
Holarctic Lepidoptera, 4: 67–69.
Heppner, J.B. 1997b. New Diploschizia sedge moths from Florida
(Lepidoptera: Glyphipterigidae). Holarctic Lepidoptera, 4:
Heppner, J.B. 1985. The sedge moths of North America (Lepi-
doptera: Glyphipterigidae). Fauna and Flora Publications,
Gainesville, FL. 254 pp.
Korea Biodiversity Information System. 2017. Online resource,
accessed September 2017 (KA).
Landry, J.-F. 2007. Taxonomic review of the Leek Moth genus
Acrolepiopsis (Lepidoptera: Acrolepiidae) in North America.
The Canadian Entomologist, 139: 319–353.
Pohl, G.R., Cannings, R.A., Landry, J.-F., Holden, D.G., Scudder,
G.G.E. 2015. Checklist of the Lepidoptera of British
Columbia, Canada. Entomological Society of British
Columbia Occasional paper no. 3. 308 pp.
Pryer, W.B. 1877. Descriptions of new species of Lepidoptera from
North China. Cistula Entomologica, 2: 231-235.
Nieukerken, E.J. Kaila, L., Kitching, I.J., Kristensen, N.P., Lees,
D.C., Minet, J., Mitter, C., Mutanen, M., Regier, J.C., Simon-
sen, T.J., Wahlberg, N., Yen, S.-H., Zahiri, R., Adamski, D.,
Baixeras, J., Bartsch, D., Bengtsson, B.Å., Brown, J.W.,
Bucheli, S.R., Davis, D.R., De Prins, J., De Prins, W., Epstein,
M.E., Gentili-Poole, P., Gielis, C., Hättenschwiler, P.,
Hausmann, A., Holloway, J.D., Kallies, A., Karsholt, O.,
Kawahara, A., Koster, J.C., Kozlov, M., Lafontaine, J.D.,
Lamas, G., Landry, J.-F., Lee, S., Nuss, M., Penz, C., Rota,
J., Schmidt, B.C., Schintlmeister, A., Sohn, J.C., Solis, M.A.,
Tarmann, G.M., Warren, A.D., Weller, S., Yakovlev, R.,
Zolotuhin, V., Zwick, A. (2011) Animal biodiversity: An out-
line of higher-level classication and survey of taxonomic
richness: Order Lepidoptera Linneaus, 1758. Zootaxa, 3148:
Thompson, S.A. 2000. Acoraceae. In Flora of North America
North of Mexico, vol. 22, Oxford University Press, pp. 124–127.
Walker, F. 1864. List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects
in the Collection of the British Museum, 30: 840, 1040.
Fig. 5. Female genitala (preparation MIC 8014, specimen CNCLEP00174813).