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Photo#340239
Acrolepiopsis heppneri

Acrolepiopsis heppneri
5 miles south of Charleston, Coles County, Illinois, USA
October 3, 2009
Size: Length, 6.75mm
Acrolepiopsis heppneri (Acrolepiidae), reared from larva on Smilax tamnoides; larva collected 5 miles south of Charleston, Coles County, Illinois, 18 September, 2009; adult emerged 3 October, 2009. Top panel, adult; center panel, pupa in meshlike cocoon typical of Acrolepiidae; bottom panel, leaf of S. tamnoides with feeding damage of three A. heppneri larvae; the black frass tube (at arrow) adjacent to the leaf midvein is diagnostic for A. heppneri damage, as opposed to that of other leaf skeletonizers that feed on this plant; inset at lower right-hand corner, mature larva of A. heppneri (male individual, as indicated by the bright orange testis).

This is one of two univoltine species of Acrolepiopsis that feed on S. tamnoides in Illinois (for an account of the other species, A. incertella, see here). Unlike A. incertella, which occurs as a larva in early May (central Illinois), the larva of A. heppneri feeds in late summer and early autumn. Both species overwinter in the adult stage.

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