Neoleucinodes elegantalis ( Guenée, 1854 ),

Bernard Landry, 2016, Taxonomic revision of the Spilomelinae (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae s. l.) of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, Revue suisse de Zoologie 123 (2), pp. 315-399: 357

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.155309

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Neoleucinodes elegantalis ( Guenée, 1854 )


Neoleucinodes elegantalis ( Guenée, 1854) 

Figs 37View Figs 33 - 40, 115View Figs 113 - 115, 161View Figs 158 - 162

Leucinodes elegantalis Guenée, 1854: 222  .

Neoleucinodes elegantalis (Guenée)  : Causton et al., 2006: 141.

‒ Roque-Albelo & Landry, 2015.

Material examined: 1 ♀ from the Galápagos Islands: – Santa Cruz: Academy Bay. Deposited in BMNH.

Diagnosis: The mostly hyaline white wings with dark brown patches terminally toward apex and basally, in addition to a mostly rust brown patch medially on dorsum ( Fig. 37View Figs 33 - 40) will easily separate this species from the other Galápagos Spilomelinae. The forewing length of the single, unspread Galápagos specimen known is 12.5 mm (wingspan about 26 mm), but the species varies in this respect between 8 and 13 mm (see Hayden et al., 2013).

Biology: Known as the Tomato fruit borer, the larva of this species has been recorded to feed on a number of Solanaceae  species, but especially in the genus Solanum ( Hayden et al., 2013)  . Eggs are preferentially laid on young fruits, 1-3 cm in diameter. Newly hatched larvae immediately start boring into the fruit. Larvae consume seeds and fruit flesh and after five moults exit the fruit to pupate in a rolled leaf edge or among plant debris on the ground ( Hayden et al., 2013). The only specimen recorded from the Galápagos was collected in the littoral or arid zone in August 1969.

Distribution: Based on BMNH specimens (perhaps not all correctly identified), this native Western Hemisphere denizen of the tropical and subtropical regions is found in Trinidad, Mexico, Guatemala, British Guiana, Surinam, Colombia, and Brazil. Hayden et al. (2013) report a wide distribution from Mexico through the Antilles, Central and South America to Peru and Argentina. It is reported from Florida, USA according to Heppner (2003), but it is not present in North America according to Hayden et al. (2013). Only one specimen, collected on Santa Cruz, is known so far from the Galápagos. Academy Bay is where Puerto Ayora is located. This is the touristic hub and most populated area of the archipelago. Neoleucinodes elegantalis  likely still occurs there in gardens.

Remarks: The single known Galápagos specimen was determined with Capps (1948) and Hayden et al. (2013). The female holotype from Brazil was not examined. There are other, similar species of this genus on continental South and Central America.














Neoleucinodes elegantalis ( Guenée, 1854 )

Bernard Landry 2016

Neoleucinodes elegantalis (Guenée)

Causton C. E. & Peck S. B. & Sinclair B. J. & Roque-Albelo L. & Hodgson C. J. & Landry B. 2006: 141

Leucinodes elegantalis Guenée, 1854 : 222

Guenee M. A. 1854: 222