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Diversity of Pollinator Moths

  • Atsushi KawakitaEmail author
  • Makoto Kato
Chapter
Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)

Abstract

Gracillariidae, the family to which Epicephala belongs, is a large group of miniature moths with roughly 100 recognized genera and 2000 recognized species (De Prins and De Prins 2016). They have a global distribution and are found almost everywhere there are plants, except for extremely harsh environments (e.g., the arctic). Gracillariidae is one of several lepidopteran families that consist almost entirely of leaf-mining species, although the leaf-mining habit itself is known to occur in about 30 moth families (Powell et al. 1999). In most gracillariid species, early-instar larvae have remarkably flat head capsules without chewing mandibles, and feed exclusively on cell sap within the nongreen, epidermal layer of the leaf (sap feeder; Fig. 5.1). Later-instar larvae then feed on the palisade layer and finally the spongy layer of the leaf with functional mandibles, and excrete granular frass (tissue feeder; Fig. 5.1). The larvae of the genus Phyllocnistis are exceptional in that they spend all their instars as sap feeders in the leaf epidermal layer. Gracillariid moths are thus unique among insects in that they undergo hypermetamorphosis, a process by which some larval instars become functionally and morphologically distinct from other instars.

Keywords

Active Pollination Epicephala Gracillariidae Flueggea Glochidion Ornixolinae Phyllanthus Phylogeny Proboscis Seed parasite 

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Ecological ResearchKyoto UniversityOtsuJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Human and Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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