Rhectocraspeda periusalis (Walker, 1859)

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 : 369-371

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https://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.155309

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scientific name

Rhectocraspeda periusalis (Walker, 1859)


Rhectocraspeda periusalis (Walker, 1859)

Figs 49, 50 View Figs 49 - 56 , 123 View Figs 122 - 124 , 169 View Figs 168 - 172

Botys periusalis Walker, 1859: 564 .

Caprinia periusalis (Walker, 1859) : Peck et al., 1998: 227.

Rhectocraspeda periusalis (Walker) : Causton et al., 2006: 141. ‒ Roque-Albelo & Landry, 2015.

Material examined:

Holotype: ♂ from the USA ( BMNH).

Other specimens: 15 ♂, 13 ♀ from the Galápagos Islands: – Isabela: Tagus Cove; V[olcan]. Darwin, 300 m elev[ation].; V. Darwin, 1000 m elev.; 1 km W P[uer]to Villamil; 11 km N Pto Villamil; ± 15 km N Pto Villamil; 3 km N S[an]to Tómas, Agr[iculture]. Zone; Sierra Negra, pampa zone, 1000 m alt[itude].; pampa zone. – Pinta: 400 m elev. – San Cristóbal: 4 km SE Pto Baquarizo [sic]; 1 km S El Progreso. – Santa Cruz: 4 km N Puerto Ayora; agriculture zone, near (NNW) Bella Vista, GPS: 223 m elev., S 00° 41.297’, W 90° 19.670’; 2 km W Bella Vista; Media Luna, pampa zone. – Santiago: Central [camp], 700 m elev. Deposited in CDRS, CNC, MHNG.

Diagnosis: Although the males of this dark brown species with darker brown markings ( Fig. 49 View Figs 49 - 56 ) are easily separated from other species by virtue of their thickened antennae at base and enlarged anal sector of the hindwing, females ( Fig. 50 View Figs 49 - 56 ) will be best separated with the key presented above under Herpetogramma phaeopteralis (Guenée) . The wingspan of the available males is 20-22 mm, that of the females 18-19 mm.

Biology: Known as the Eggplant webworm ( Heppner, 2003) the larva has been reared on several species of Solanaceae , including many tomato species ( Solanum spp.), potato ( Solanum tuberosum L.), and tobacco ( Nicotiana tabacum L.), but also on other plants in the Acanthaceae , Amaranthaceae , Cucurbitaceae , Myrtaceae , Phytolaccaceae , Piperaceae , and Rosaceae ( Robinson et al., 2014) . In the Galápagos moths were collected between sea level and 1000 m in elevation, mostly in uninhabited areas or islands, in January until May.

Distribution: Based on BMNH specimens this widespread Western Hemisphere native described from the USA is also found in Jamaica, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Argentina. Ferguson et al. (1991) also mention it from Bermuda and as a migrant in the eastern USA as far north as Massachusetts (see also Patterson et al., 2015). In the Galápagos it has been found so far only on the four islands listed above.

Remarks: External characters of the male holotype in the BMNH were found to match Galápagos specimens. The holotype has no abdomen, but the wing pattern and the enlarged anal angle of the hindwing are deemed sufficient to insure proper identification.


Invertebrate Collection


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle














Rhectocraspeda periusalis (Walker, 1859)

Bernard Landry 2016

Caprinia periusalis

Causton C. E. & Peck S. B. & Sinclair B. J. & Roque-Albelo L. & Hodgson C. J. & Landry B. 2006: 141
Peck S. B. & Heraty J. & Landry B. & Sinclair B. J. 1998: 227