Stigmella confertae Diškus & Stonis,

Stonis, Jonas R., Diškus, Arūnas, Remeikis, Andrius, Davis, Donald R., Solis, M. Alma & Torres, Nixon Cumbicus, 2016, The first record of Baccharis L. (Asteraceae) as a host-plant genus for Nepticulidae (Lepidoptera), with description of new Stigmella species from South America, Zootaxa 4136 (1), pp. 101-128: 124-126

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Stigmella confertae Diškus & Stonis

sp. nov.

8. Stigmella confertae Diškus & Stonis  , sp. nov.

( Figs. 3View FIGURE 3, 97–104View FIGURES 97 – 103View FIGURES 104 – 107)

Type material. Holotype: ♀ (see Remarks), ECUADOR: Napo Province, ca. 10 km W Papallacta (páramo), 0° 21 ' 45 "S, 78 ° 11 ' 35 "W, elevation 3700–3800 m a.s.l., mining larvae on Baccharis conferta Kunth  , 13.i. 2005, field card no. 4862, leg. A. Diškus, J. R. Stonis, genitalia slide nos AD 638 ♀ ( ZMUC). Paratype: 1 ♀ (see Remarks), same label data as holotype, genitalia slide no. AD 642 ♀ ( ZMUC).

Diagnosis. The new species differs from all other known Neotropical Stigmella  in the female genitalia by the combination of a very large accessory sac, small corpus bursae with indictinctive comb-like pectinations, and large pointed anterior apophyses. The host-plant Baccharis conferta  also makes this species highly distinctive.

Male. Unknown.

Female ( Fig. 103View FIGURES 97 – 103). Head: frontal tuft ochre; collar and scape cream; antenna longer than half the length of forewing; flagellum with 27–28 segments (n= 2), fuscous. Thorax and tegula fuscous. Forewing unicolorous (fascia indistinct or absent; see Remarks), fuscous with purple iridescence. Abdomen fuscous.

Female genitalia ( Fig. 104View FIGURES 104 – 107). Total length about 675 µm. Abdominal apex broadly rounded, about 110–120 µm broad. Anterior and posterior apophyses almost equal in lenght; anterior apophyses very broad proximally, strongly narrowing (pointed) distally; posterior apophyses 110–145 µm long, very slender. Vestibulum very broad, without sclerites. Corpus bursae with folded distal part and with broader, oval-shaped, 260–265 µm long, 180–205 µm broad, basal part, without signa; pectinations comb-like, indistintive, hardly visible ( Fig. 104View FIGURES 104 – 107). Accessory sac very large, folded; ductus spermathecae slender, with one distinct, strongly chitinized plate-like structure.

Bionomics. Larvae mine in leaves ( Figs 100–102View FIGURES 97 – 103). Host-plant: Baccharis conferta Kunth  ( Asteraceae  ) ( Fig. 98View FIGURES 97 – 103). Larvae bright green with dark grey-green intestine and dark brown head; mine in early January (and judging on numerous vacant leaf-mines) also in December. Leaf-mine as a gallery strongly widening and contorted in distal third (therefore resembling a blotch) ( Figs 100, 101View FIGURES 97 – 103). Usually but not always the distal part of leaf-mine is in distal portion of the leaf-blade ( Fig. 102View FIGURES 97 – 103). Black frass ( Fig. 101View FIGURES 97 – 103) filling most of gallery except in the final part. Old leafmines appear brownish cream, distinctive ( Fig. 102View FIGURES 97 – 103). Larval exit slit on upper side of the leaf. Cocoon grey-ochre to ochre; length 3 mm, maximum width 1.5–1.6 mm.

Distribution ( Fig. 3View FIGURE 3). This species occurs high in the equatorial Andes ( Ecuador: Napo Province) at altitudes between 3700–3800 m, in páramo habitats ( Figs 97, 99View FIGURES 97 – 103).

Etymology. The species is named after the host-plant Baccharis conferta  .

Remarks. This distinctive high altitude new species, associated with Baccharis conferta  as a host-plant, is described from the genitalia slides dissected from adults still enclosed within the pupa shell. It seems, that this species is difficult to rear indoors (mortality rate is about 90–95 %; the causes of the high mortality remains unknown).


Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen