Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes



Genus Donacaula

Donacaula sp. - Donacaula Donacaula Donacaula - Donacaula n-sp-four - male NMW2018 Moth #154 - Donacaula Donacaula longirostrella - Donacaula longirostrallus Donacaula sp. - Donacaula Donacaula spp. - Donacaula longirostrallus moth - Donacaula - male
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea (Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths)
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Schoenobiinae
Genus Donacaula
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Donacaula Meyrick, 1890
There are over 20 species of the genus Donacaula in America north of Mexico.(1) Based on an analysis of DNA barcoding data and the unpublished revision of the genus (below), at least 29-38 species are found in North America when the longirostrallus complex of at least 5 species probably deserving its own genus is excluded.
This guide to identification of Nearctic Donacaula spp. is based on my (ASH) effort to work out the range of variation in each species and should be used with caution. I have listed the BOLD BINs for each species names where I felt I could make an association with a reasonable degree of confidence. Species concepts are those in the unpublished treatment of the genus by Martínez. Tentative conclusions about phylogeny come from a phylogenetic tree generated through BOLD comprising all sequenced Schoenobiinae and (as applicable) equivalent analyses of individual BINs, all generated September 2020.

D. aquilellusBOLD:AAA4101 — substantial (to 1.8%) sequence divergence within the BIN suggests aquilellus may be a species complex. BOLD:AAI6118 includes a single specimen lying just outside this BIN and may be considered part of this complex.

D. nitidellusBOLD:AAA4102 — Large sequence divergences suggest nitidellus may be a species complex. In both whole-subfamily and single BIN analyses, a clade comprising three specimens from coastal MS resolved as sister to the remainder of the BIN. Of these three specimens, one male was examined by Martínez in her revision and determined as nitidella, while the other two, both female, were apparently not determined. The remaining specimens are from NC, SC, MS, AL, OK, and MB and exhibit substantial sequence divergence, though the two analyses generated somewhat differing phylogenies for this clade. The type locality for this species is Brownsville TX, and there is good chance the images shown here (all from RI) represent an undescribed species rather than true nitidellus. The BIN shows specimens that are, at least in wing pattern, phenotypically very similar to dispersellus, suggesting a close affinity between these species complexes.

D. undescribed 1BOLD:AAB7737 — most likely undescribed

D. dispersellus — Specimens fitting dispersellus in external appearance are placed in two BINs, each the other's closest relative but separated by substantial sequence divergence (>4%): BOLD:AAI6119, BOLD:AAB7735

D. melinellusBOLD:AAA4099 — Sequence divergence of up to 2% suggests this BIN may represent a species complex. BOLD:ABZ1234, comprising a single specimen, lies just outside this BIN and may be considered part of the same complex. Additional sampling would be needed to determine the genetic structure of this complex, which resolves as sister to the nitidellus/aquilellus complex in the whole subfamily analysis. The species was described by Clemens, so the type locality may be in PA.

D. n. sp. 4 (manuscript name flavusella) — BOLD:AAA4106 — Sequence divergence suggests this BIN may represent a species complex.

D. sordidellusBOLD:AAE8462 — In the whole-subfamily phylogeny, this species resolved as sister to the maximellus clade.

D. maximellus — Specimens fitting maximellus in external appearance are placed in two very closely related BINs (~1.4% divergence). The sequenced specimens may represent two recently isolated populations or two genotypic extremes of a single diverse population. In the whole-subfamily phylogeny, this complex resolved as sister to sordidellus.

D. n. sp. 1 (manuscript name luridusella) — BOLD:AAI6121

D. n. sp. 5 (manuscript name quadrisella) — Not yet barcoded

D. n. sp. 6 (manuscript name parealis) — BOLD:AAA4100 — Very large (>3%) sequence divergences suggest this BIN represents a species complex.

D. n. sp. 9 (manuscript name microlinealis) — BOLD:AAA4108 — The California specimens may represent a separate species, as they diverge substantially (1.6-2.2%) from the other members of the BIN and, unlike them, do not match the descriptions and habitus photos for the species in Martínez.

BOLD:AAA4103 — ~2% sequence divergence suggests this BIN may represent two species, one represented by a specimen from Port Arthur, TX and the other by three specimens from near Naples, FL and one from near Morehead City, NC. There is also substantial but smaller (~.8%) sequence divergence between the FL and NC specimens. All records in this BIN are coastal.

BOLD:AAI9801 — most likely undescribed
BOLD:ACT3917 — very likely undescribed

D. uxorialis — Not yet barcoded
D. tripunctellus — Not yet barcoded
D. pallulellus — Not yet barcoded
D. n. sp. 2 (manuscript name tannisella) — Not yet barcoded
D. n. sp. 3 (manuscript name linealis) — Not yet barcoded
D. n. sp. 7 (manuscript name sinusella) — Not yet barcoded
D. n. sp. 8 (manuscript name ravella) — Not yet barcoded

D. n. sp. 10 (manuscript name ochronella) — Not yet barcoded


D. longirostrallusBOLD:AAF5260 — Martínez noted the distinctiveness of both male and female genitalia for this species and suggested it may belong in its own genus. DNA analysis supports this notion and additionally indicates "longirostrallus" is in fact a complex of at least five species.
D. nr. longirostrallusBOLD:AAA4104
D. nr. longirostrallusBOLD:AAG4718
D. nr. longirostrallusBOLD:AAU7758
D. nr. longirostrallusBOLD:AAA4110

BOLD:AAC9877 D. forficella (Palearctic)
BOLD:AAE84627 D. mucronella (Palearctic)
Donacaula dispersella bores in stems of spikerushes (Eleocharis).
Print References
Frohne, W. C. 1939. Observations on the biology of three semiaquatic lacustrine moths. Transactions of the American Microscopical Society 58(3):327-348.
Meyrick, E. 1890. On the classification of the Pyralidina of the European fauna. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London. 38(13): 466.
Martínez, E. L. 2010. A revision of the New World species of Donacaula Meyrick and a phylogenetic analysis of related Schoenobiinae (Lepidopteral: Crambidae). Dissertation Mississippi State University pp.1-233 (PDF download)