Sinoe robiniella ( Fitch, 1859 )

Lee, Sangmi & Brown, Richard L., 2012, Review of the genus Sinoe (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) with descriptions of two new species, Zootaxa 3332, pp. 49-59 : 51-55

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.208573


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Sinoe robiniella ( Fitch, 1859 )


Sinoe robiniella ( Fitch, 1859)

( Figs. 1 −3 View FIGURES 1 − 9 , 10 View FIGURES 10 − 12 , 13 View FIGURES 13 − 15 )

Anacampsis robiniella Fitch, 1859: 835 .

Gelechia robiniella ; Chambers, 1878: 146.

Recurvaria robiniella ; Dyar, 1903: 501; Forbes, 1923: 301; McDunnough, 1939: 67; Schaffner, 1959: 35.

Sinoe robiniella ; Hodges, 1965: 264; Hodges, 1983: 20; Godfrey et al., 1987: 13; Robinson et al., 2002: 406; Lee et al., 2009: 9.

Sinoe fuscopalidella Chambers, 1873: 231 .

Sinoe fuscopallidella ; Chambers, 1878: 143, missp.

Gelechia robiniaefoliella Chambers, 1880: 225 ; Comstock, 1880: 225.

Re-description. Adult ( Figs. 1−3 View FIGURES 1 − 9 ): Wingspan 9−11.4 mm. Head and thorax white mixed with gray and brown. Antenna brownish gray, 2 / 3 length of forewing, each flagellomere with basal row of scales dark brown and apical row gray. Labial palpus with outer side of second segment dark brown, except apex white, inner side dark brown intermixed with white; third segment with two black annuli. Forewing varying from brown to gray, costa with brownish black spots at base, 1 / 3 length, and 2 / 3 length, some specimens with third dark brown spot on near base; subbasal fascia dark brown and with raised scales, extending from dorsum obliquely toward middle of costa; discal cell with two small spots, pretornal spot distinct or indistinct, preterminal area with dark brown spot beyond discal cell. Hindwing light brown to gray with gray fringe; male hair pencils and sex scales absent.

Male genitalia ( Fig. 10 View FIGURES 10 − 12 ). Uncus elongate, rounded apically, subequal in length with gnathos; gnathos slender, longer than tegumen; valva without costal part, with saccular part elongate, bent medially, setose; vinculum projecting posteriorly as pair of long, digitiform processes, almost 0.5 x length of phallus, apices rounded; phallus without cornuti, subequal in length to saccular part of valva, fulcrum well developed.

Female genitalia ( Fig. 13 View FIGURES 13 − 15 ). Apophyses posteriores 2.5 x length of apophyses anteriores; apophyses anteriores 1.5 x length of abdominal segment VIII; sterigma membranous; ductus bursae looped; signum rhomboid.

Diagnosis. Sinoe robiniella can be distinguished from the following two new species by the forewing with a median streak in discal cell reduced to a spot, the male hindwing without hair pencils and sex scales, the male genitalia with the uncus rounded apically and subequal in length with the gnathos, vinculum projecting posteriorly as a pair of long, digitiform processes, valva without a costal part, and the female having a rhomboid signum and looped ductus bursae.

Types. Anacampsis robiniella : Neotype here designated: 3, with five labels “Kentucky. Chambers,” “ Type 1533 ”, “slide 3 No. 915 ( MCZ 1172),” “ Sinoe fuscopalidella, Ky, Chamb ,” and “ Lectotype, Sinoe fuscopalidella, Desig. by Sangmi Lee, 2011.” The neotype is missing the head, and it is deposited in the MCZ.

The preceding description of S. robiniella agrees with the lectotype of S. fuscopalidella and with most other specimens that have been identified as S. robiniella (excluding the following new species). The lectotype of S. fuscopalidella was selected as the neotype of A. robiniella to provide objective synonymy with the type species of Sinoe . Although S. fuscopalidella was described from Kentucky, it is a subjective junior synonym of G. robiniaefoliella , which was reared from black locust in New York ( Comstock 1880). The selection of any recently collected specimen as a neotype is rejected because future molecular data may show that it is not conspecific with S. fuscopalidella , the type species of the genus.

Sinoe fuscopalidella : Lectotype here designated: same specimen and data as the neotype of Anacampsis robiniella . This is an objective junior synonym of Anacampsis robiniella . Two paralectotypes in the MCZ are represented by specimens lacking all body parts except for a single forewing, one of which is labeled “ Lectotype, R.W. Hodges.” The latter was never formally designated as a lectotype.

Gelechia robiniaefoliella : Neotype here designated, 3, with two labels “No. 245, Tineid on locust, iss. Jan. 2 / 80 ” and “ Neotype, Gelechia robiniaefoliella, Desig. by Sangmi Lee, 2011.” The specimen is intact, except for missing the apical portion of one front wing. The valvae are separated to show the genitalic structures that verify its conspecificity with Sinoe fuscopalidella . The specimen is in a gelatin capsule below a balsa mounting block with residue of resin at its tip to which the specimen must have been originally attached. No pinhole is present in the neotype. A second gelatin capsule on the same pin of the neotype holds a piece of pin with a portion of a broken thorax. This portion of a thorax is extraneous to the intact neotype, but is retained on the pin of the neotype following curatorial procedures of not removing incorrect labels or other items placed on loaned material. The neotype is deposited in CUIC. What is left of what may have been Chambers’ type specimen is represented by a corroded pin without a specimen that bears a label “ Gelechia robiniaefoliella Chambers Type ” and another label with data similar to the neotype: “No. 245, Tineid leaf spinner on locust, iss. Dec. 8 / 79.” A pupal exuvia with the same label data is on another pin. A second pupal exuvia on a third pin bears the same label data as the Chamber’s original type, except “iss. Jan. 7 / 80.” The neotype and the lost type specimen of Chambers are considered to be part of same series of specimens reared from locust, as described by Comstock (1880). This is a subjective junior synonym based on similarity of genitalia with the neotype of S. robiniella .

Hosts. Fabaceae : Robinia pseudoacacia L. ( Comstock 1880; Godfrey et al. 1987; Schaffner 1959) and Gleditsia sp. Robinson et al. (2002) listed Amorpha fruticosa L. as a host based on the manuscript ledger of reared material received by Meyrick for identification, but this host cannot be verified in the absence of a voucher specimen.

Biology. Comstock (1880) described the larva of G. robiniaefoliella , the junior synonym of S. robiniella , as feeding between two webbed leaflets of R. pseudoacacia in New York and having a body length of 8 mm. Larvae were found in late August, with pupation, according to Comstock, occurring within the webbed leaves from mid- September to mid-October, by which time all the webbed leaflets had fallen to the ground. Schaffner (1959) reported the larval stage as extending from August to spring and the pupal stage from May to July with adults emerging June to July in New Hampshire. Godfrey et al. (1987) reported moths emerging in mid-May from larvae collected the previous fall from black locust in Illinois. We consider it possible that the overwintering stage is a larva in the pre-pupal stage.

Material examined (n= 120: 31 males, 87 females, 2 sex unknown). CANADA: Ontario: Lac Simcoe, Waverly, ex. Robinia pseudoacacia , em. 2 Apr 1962, F.I.D.S. (1 Ƥ). Lindsay, Centreton, ex. Gleditsia sp., em. 11 Mar 1962, F.I.D.S. (13); Pantypool, ex. Gleditsia sp., em. 13 Mar. 1962, F.I.D.S. (13). USA: Alabama: Cleburne Co., Cheaha State Park, 33 º 29 ’05”N 85 º 48 ’ 52 ”W, 15 May 1998, R.L. Brown and J. MacGown (13, genitalia slide MEM 1479). Arkansas: Green Co., Crowley’s Ridge St. Pk., 24 Jul 1990, R.L. Brown (1 Ƥ). District of Columbia: Washington, Sep 1900 (1 Ƥ). Illinois: Putnam Co., 23 Jun 1846, M.O. Glenn (13). Indiana: Elk Co., 21 Jun 1997, J. Vargo (13, 1Ƥ), 26 July 1997 (13), 14 Aug 1997 (13), 29 Aug 1997 (13), 8 Jun 1998 (13, 1Ƥ), 10 Jun 1998 (1 Ƥ), 14 Aug 1998 (5 Ƥ). St. Joe Co., 26 Jul 1999, J. Vargo (3 Ƥ, slide MEM 2594), 28 Jul 1999 (1 Ƥ, wholebody slide MEM 2314). Elkhart Co., Bristol, 31 May 2008, J. Vargo (13), 14 Jun 2008 (13, 4Ƥ). Kentucky: [Chamber’s types] (33). Maryland: Calvert Co., Scientists Cliffs, 2179 Bluebell Rd., 15 m, 38.5195 ºN 76.5136 ºW, 3 Aug 2002, J.-F. Landry (1 Ƥ), 31 Jul 2006 (2 Ƥ), 1 Aug 2006 (3 Ƥ), 5 Aug 2006 (3 Ƥ), 8 Aug. 2006 (13, 2Ƥ), 2 Aug 2007 (2 Ƥ), 3 Aug 2007 (4 Ƥ), 9 Aug 2007 (2 Ƥ), 10 Aug 2007 (6 Ƥ), 11 Aug 2007 (13, 2Ƥ). Mississippi: Grenada Co., T 21 NR 2 E,Sec 12,13N &R 3 E,Sec 7 S, 18 N, 28 Aug − 3 Sep 1991, R.L. Brown (13, genitalia slide MEM 1481). Lee Co., Tombigbee St. Park, 5−6 Jun 1995, R.L. Brown (13, genitalia slide MEM 2313). Winston Co., Tombigbee Natl. Forest, 33 º 12 ’ 53 ”N 89 º06’ 10 ”W, 19 Jul 1999, D.M. Pollock (13, genitalia slide MEM 1447). Warren Co., Bovina , 26 Aug 1974, B. Mather (1 Ƥ); Vicksburg, 27 Apr 2002, R. Patterson (13, genitalia slide MEM 1449), 9 Sep 1983, B. Mather (1 Ƥ). Wilkinson Co., Clark Creek Natural Area, 24 Apr 1993, J.-F. Landry & B. Landry (13, 2Ƥ). New York: Bronx, 28 May 1944, A. Zerkowitz (1 Ƥ). Ohio: Hamilton Co., Cincinnati, 1 Jun 1905, A.F. Braun (1 Ƥ), 10 Aug 1903 (23, genitalia slide USNM 94327). Pennsylvania: Adams Co., Arendtsville, 29 May 1922, S.W. Frost (1 Ƥ). Allegheny Co., Pittsburgh, 8 Jul 1906, H. Engel (1 Ƥ); Oak Station, 12 Jun 1907, F. Marloff (1 Ƥ), 10 Aug 1907 (13), 11 Aug 1907 (13), 26 Jul 1910 (13). Beaver Co., New Brighton, 1 Jul 1907 (13, genitalia slide USNM 94330), 15 Jul 1905 (2 Ƥ). Philadelphia, 22 Aug 1891 (1 Ƥ). North Carolina: Haywood Co., Great Smoky Mts. Natl. Park, 1.75 km from Purchase Knob house, 1417 m, 35.581 ºN 83.071 ºW, 10−12 Aug 2006, J. Adams & I. Finkelstein (1 Ƥ). Tennessee: Sevier Co., Gatlinburg, Cobbly Nob, Greenbrier Resort, 520 m, 35.7628 ºN 83.3554 ºW, 19 May 2005, J.-F. Landry & P. Hebert (13); nr. Great Smoky Mts. Natl. Park, University of Tennessee Field Station, 497 m, 35.739 ºN 83.4235 ºW, 13 Aug 2006, J. de Waard & K. Pickthorn (1 Ƥ). Wisconsin: Sauk Co., Spring Green Natural Conservancy Preserve, 27 Jun 1995, J.-F. Landry & B. Landry (13, 4Ƥ). West Virginia: Jefferson Co., 30 May 1899, W.D. Kearfott, em. 25 Jul 1899 from Locust, (2 Ƥ), em. 1 Aug 1899 from Locust (5 Ƥ), em. 30 Jul 1899 from locust (13, 3Ƥ, male genitalia slide USNM 94328), em. 30 Jun 1899 from locust (2 Ƥ), em. 7 May 1899 (1 Ƥ), em. Mar 1900 (2 Ƥ), em. 24 Mar 1900 (3 Ƥ), em. 27 Mar 1900 (4 Ƥ), em. 28 Mar 1900 (23), em. 29 Mar 1900 (13, 1Ƥ, male genitalia slide USNM 94329).

Distribution and flight period. Eastern United States from New York west to Indiana south to Mississippi and Arkansas with flight times from late April through September in southern latitudes and from late May through August in northern latitudes

Discussion. Fitch (1859) described A. robiniella , for which he gave the common name "Flattened Locust Leaf Miner," based on one or more adults that he reared from larvae mining leaflets of black locust in New York. Fitch described the adult as "...a minute moth 0.45 [= 11 mm] wide across its spread wings, which are blackish brown on their outer half, tawny yellow on their inner side, and marked with an oblique white band before the middle, a broad grayish white band or large triangular spot on the middle, and half way from this to the tip a white spot on the outer and a pale rose red one opposite it on the inner margin, and also a small white spot on the tip and on the base."

Fitch described the larva as being “ 0.18 long” (= 4.5 mm), flat, deeply constricted between segments, and with prolegs present on A 3−5. This form of larva resembles those of a group of Gracillariidae , including a locust leaf miner Parectopa robiniella (Clemens) , that make a flat mine on top of the leaf. However, Fitch described the mines as being “blister-like” on the undersides of the leaflets and separating the upper and lower parenchymal layers. Such tentiform mines on the underside of the leaflet are typical of those made by cylindrical larvae in the Phyllonorycter (= Lithocolletis ) group of gracillarids, e.g., the locust leaf miner, Macrosaccus robiniella ( Clemens) (Clemens 1863 , Davis and De Prins 2011). The larva with a body length of 4.5 mm is more consistent with the size of gracillariid larvae than with the size of larvae of S. robiniella , described by Comstock as being eight mm in length. Based on the conflicting descriptions of the larva, tentiform mine, and adult moth, it is presumed that Fitch had leaf miners of two genera of Gracillariidae as was as leaf webbers of Sinoe robiniella in the same sample he was rearing.

Thus, the selection of the neotype for A. robiniella , which is also the lectotype of its junior objective synonym, S. fuscopalidella , stabilizes the name of this species as well as the name for the type species of Sinoe . This action also circumvents any association of the name with two species of Gracillariidae that also feed on locust as leaf miners.


Museum of Comparative Zoology


Cornell University Insect Collection


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History














Sinoe robiniella ( Fitch, 1859 )

Lee, Sangmi & Brown, Richard L. 2012

Sinoe robiniella

Lee 2009: 9
Robinson 2002: 406
Godfrey 1987: 13
Hodges 1983: 20
Hodges 1965: 264

Recurvaria robiniella

Schaffner 1959: 35
McDunnough 1939: 67
Forbes 1923: 301

Gelechia robiniaefoliella

Chambers 1880: 225
Comstock 1880: 225

Gelechia robiniella

Chambers 1878: 146

Sinoe fuscopallidella

Chambers 1878: 143

Sinoe fuscopalidella

Chambers 1873: 231

Anacampsis robiniella

Fitch 1859: 835