The mystery of the tiny Urticaceae-feeders: documentation of the first leaf-mining Nepticulidae (Lepidoptera) species from equatorial America associated with Phenax, Boehmeria and Pilea

Jonas R. Stonis, Arūnas Diškus, Andrius Remeikis, Alex K. Monro


The paper presents the first documentation of Urticaceae-feeding Nepticulidae species in South America and describes four new species: two species feeding on Phenax Wedd. (Stigmella singularia Diškus & Stonis, sp. nov. and S. lata Diškus & Stonis, sp. nov.), one species on Boehmeria Jacq. (S. boehmeriphaga Diškus & Stonis, sp. nov.), and one species on Pilea Lindl. (S. auripurpurata Diškus & Stonis, sp. nov.); all from the equatorial Andes. In addition, leaf-mines of an unknown Stigmella taxa feeding on Phenax are documented. The newly discovered Urticaceae-feeding Nepticulidae exhibit some morphological and taxonomical diversity: two species groups, Stigmella singularia and S. marmorea, are revealed (the latter is designated in the current paper).


the Andes; Boehmeria Jacq.; leaf-mines; Nepticulidae; new species; Pilea Lindl.; Phenax Wedd.; pygmy moths; South America; Stigmella Schrank; Urticaceae

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ISSN 1392-0146 (Print)
ISSN 2029-0578 (Online)