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Subfamily Acentropinae

Moth unknown - Elophila gyralis Moth - Petrophila schaefferalis Unknown Moth - Elophila obliteralis Waterlily Borer - Elophila gyralis Chrysendeton medicinalis Elophila tinealis - Hodges #4754 - Elophila tinealis 9052214 pyr - Elophila obliteralis Crambid Snout Moth - Petrophila confusalis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
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 Acentropinae
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
The classification of the Acentropinae has been in a state of flux for 30+ years (Munroe 1995, Solis 2007, Scholtens & Solis 2015)(1). It was formerly known as Nymphulinae.(1) The subfamily used to be divided into three tribes: Acentropini, Argyractini, and Nymphulini, but the most recent checklist (Scholtens & Solis 2015) does not recognize tribes.
Numbers
About 50 species in 15 genera in our area(1).
Identification
The following overview of the "Argyractini" has been moved from the guide page for that tribe. Two additional genera in the Nymphulini which are often confused with Argyractini are also discussed. Note that this is not a complete list of all genera in the Acentropinae, just a subset which share characteristics of white rays in the outer part of the forewings and black ("Cataclystiform") spots on the margin of the hindwings.
As previously classified, the Argyractini in North America consisted of five genera which may be distinguished as follows:
Argyractis - a single tiny whitish species in Florida.


Eoparargyractis - three species in eastern U.S.; forewing has an arched dark brown basal line; two white radiating rays in outer forewing are different widths (inner one narrower).


Neargyractis - a single species mainly on Atlantic Coast from Rhode Island to Florida; dark brown forewing with a distinctly paler AM band.


Petrophila - about 17 species across North America; most species show characteristic equal-width white rays in outer forewing; eyespots on margin of hindwing variable in number; details on hindwing often most useful for species separation. Examples:


Usingeriessa - two species of southwestern U.S.; dark gray-brown on forewings with white in postmedian band; narrow white rays on outer forewing flank a wide dark brown triangle.


Two genera in the (former) Nymphulini also share the characters of having white rays or wedges in the outer forewing and black spots on the margin of the HW.
Chrysendeton: Most species show bold white blotches on the forewings.

Neocataclysta (one species): Has a white median band on forewing bordered outwardly by a sharply dentate brown PM line, and appears to have three pale wedges in the outer forewing.
Remarks
Most aquatic Lepidoptera are in this subfamily.(2)(3)
Print References
Lange, W. H., Jr. 1956. Aquatic Lepidoptera. Ch. 11, In: R. L. Usinger (ed.). Aquatic Insects of California. Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley.
Munroe, E. 1972, 1973. The Moths of North America North of Mexico. Fascicle 13.1A, 13.1C. Scopariinae, Nymphulinae. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation.
Munroe, E. et al. 1995. Pyraloidea In: Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera, Checklist: Part 2, Hybaleoidea - Pyraloidea - Tortricoidea. J. B. Heppner (ed.). Assoc. for Tropical Lepidoptera.
Solis, M. Alma, 2007. Phylogenetic studies and modern classification of the Pyraloidea (Lepidoptera) (read online)
Solis, M. Alma, 2019. Aquatic and semiaquatic Lepidoptera, pp.765-789 In: Introduction to Aquatic Insects of North America, R. W. Merritt, K.W. Cummins, and M.B. Berg (Eds.). 5th edition, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa. 1480 pp.
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Pyraloidea (Lepidoptera) of America North of Mexico
Scholtens, B.G., Solis, A.M. 2015. ZooKeys 535: 1–136. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.535.6086.
2.Aquatic Insects of North America
R. W. Merritt, K. W. Cummins, M.B. Berg. 2008. Kendall/Hunt.
3.Aquatic and semiaquatic Lepidoptera, pp.765-789 In: Introduction to Aquatic Insects of North America
Solis, M.A. 2019. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa.