Leucinodes africensis , Mally, Richard, Korycinska, Anastasia, Agassiz, David J. L., Hall, Jayne, Hodgetts, Jennifer & Nuss, Matthias, 2015

Mally, Richard, Korycinska, Anastasia, Agassiz, David J. L., Hall, Jayne, Hodgetts, Jennifer & Nuss, Matthias, 2015, Discovery of an unknown diversity of Leucinodes species damaging Solanaceae fruits in sub-Saharan Africa and moving in trade (Insecta, Lepidoptera, Pyraloidea), ZooKeys 472, pp. 117-162: 125-129

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scientific name

Leucinodes africensis

sp. n.

Taxon classification Animalia Lepidoptera Crambidae

Leucinodes africensis  sp. n. Figs 2, 14-15, 24, 32, 35, 38-39, 42-43


West Africa, 11 June 1848, H. S. Le Marquand leg.

Material examined.

Type-specimen. Holotype ♂ [red-circled label] "Holo- | type", "WEST AFRICA: | H.S. Le Marquand. | 11. xi. 48", BM Pyralidae  slide 23118 (BMNH). - Additional material.GHANA. 1♀ Kumasi, leg. J. D. G. Sanders, BMNH Pyralidae  slide No. 23130 (BMNH); LIBERIA. 1♂ Kpaine, 7°10'N 9°07'W, 12.viii.1953, leg. Dr W. Peters, BMNH Pyralidae  slide No. 23148 (BMNH); CÔTE D’IVOIRE. 1♂ Abidjan, 19.xi.1952, leg. L. Sheljuzhko, prep. RM330 (ZSM); 1♂ Bouaké, Inepa, 14.-15.vi.1983, col. Stam, prep. RM693 (RMCA); 1♀ Bingerville, 11.vi.1961, leg. J. Decelle, prep. RM704 (RMCA]; 1♀ Mont Nimba, Xealé, 6.ii.1959, leg. M. Condamin & R. Roy, prep. RM743 (MNHN); NIGERIA. 1♀ Lagos, 31.viii.1987, leg. Boorman, BMNH Pyralidae  slide No. 23127 (BMNH); 1 ex. Oyo, Ibadan, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, 7.501N 3.906E, 240m, 15.iii.2006, leg. S.E. Miller & T.M. Kuklenski, DNA Barcode USNM ENT 196725 (USNM); GABON. 1♂ Ntoum, xii.1986, leg. A. Pauly, prep. RM685 (RMCA); DR CONGO. 1♂ Sankuru, Dimbelenge, i.-ii. 1957, leg. M. Fontaine, prep. RM697 (RMCA); 1♀ Elisabethville, 20.ii.1934, leg. Ch. Seydel, prep. RM696 (RMCA); ANGOLA. 1♂ 3♀ prov. Uíge, Negage, market, 7°45'39.4"S 15°16'00.6"E, 1213 m, 21.iii.2013, fruits of Solanum aethiopicum  , e.l. 19., 20., 21.iv.2013, leg. M. Nuss, 1♂ prep. RM643, DNA vouchers SMTD Lep1562 & Lep1563 (SMTD); 2♀ same data, but 30.i.2014, fruits of Solanum aethiopicum  , e.l. 16.ii.2014, leg. M. Nuss (SMTD); WEST AFRICA. 1♂ ii.-xi.43, leg. H. S. Le Marquand, BMNH Pyralidae  slide No. 23118 (phallus lost) (BMNH); TANZANIA. 2♀ Oldeani, 22.x.1961 & 9.xii.1961, leg. J. Killand, preps RM334 & RM634 (ZSM); THE NETHERLANDS (IMPORT). 1♂ Schiphol (Amsterdam), import Ghana, 18.ix.2009, ex larva 22.ix.2009, ex pupa 1.x.2009, leg. P. Dekker, det. M v. d. Straten, prep. RM501, DNA voucher SMTD Lep946, DNA Barcode BC MTD 01816 (NPPO); 1♀ Schiphol (Amsterdam), import Ghana, 18.ix.2009, ex larva 23.ix.2009, ex pupa 1.x.2009, leg. P. Dekker, det. M. v. d. Straten, prep. RM640 (NPPO); GREAT BRITAIN (IMPORT). 1 ♂ London Airport, import Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), 1965; 1♂ 1♀ import Nigeria, ex tomatoes, London Airport xi.1965 (FERA); for additional FERA material see Suppl. material 2.


The frons is less strongly bulged than in Leucinodes orbonalis  . In wing pattern this species is indistinguishable from those of Leucinodes orbonalis  , Leucinodes rimavallis  , Leucinodes pseudorbonalis  , Leucinodes kenyensis  and " Leucinodes  spp.", but distinguished from Leucinodes malawiensis  by the absence of the forewing basal transversal streak and the presence of the apical half moon-shaped patch, and from Leucinodes laisalis  , Leucinodes ethiopica  and Leucinodes ugandensis  by the predominantly white forewing ground colour. In male genitalia it is distinguished by: the long ventrad fibula (as in Leucinodes rimavallis  , short and triangular in Leucinodes malawiensis  , broad and stout in Leucinodes laisalis  ); the elongate, straight or hook-shaped, sometimes branching distal sacculus process projecting towards the valva apex (similar in Leucinodes rimavallis  ); the apically thin, subulate juxta (similar in Leucinodes rimavallis  ); the prominent oval saw blade-shaped sclerotization of the posterior phallus apodeme (as in Leucinodes rimavallis  ); it is distinguished from Leucinodes rimavallis  by the longer, more curved fibula with a slender base, the elongate distal sacculus process, which spans more than half the distance fibula base–valva apex, is straight or hook-shaped and sometimes exhibits a side branch, and the pointed valva apex (rounded in Leucinodes rimavallis  ). Female genitalia resemble those of Leucinodes pseudorbonalis  in having a swollen antrum, but they lack the posterior constriction of the ostium bursae.

Description of adults.

Head. As for the genus, with frons moderately bulged, base of each meron of labial palps with white scales.

Thorax. As for the genus, with dorsal side brown.

Wings. Forewing length ♂ 7.5-10.5 m, ♀ 7.0-11.5 m; wing pattern as in Leucinodes orbonalis  .

Abdomen. First segment whitish, remainder brown to grey.

Male genitalia. As for the genus, apart from: juxta base broad, semicircular, apical 2/3 of juxta thin, subulate; valvae broad, forming an oblong triangle; sacculus process porrect towards valva apex or apically bent, apex acanthaceous, sometimes with a similarly acanthaceous subapical side branch (sb in Fig. 14); ventrad fibula thin, spine-like, curved, crossing distal sacculus anterior to the sacculus process; valva apex pointed; posteriodorsal phallus apodeme with prominent oval saw blade-like sclerite, posterioventral apodeme with posteriodorsad oriented tapering process.

Female genitalia. As for the genus, apart from: colliculum-antrum complex in sagittal plane of sigmoid shape; dorsal surface of antrum exocuticle with longitudinal sclerotized strip running from sternite 8, bearing transverse ridges (Fig. 32); sternite 8 with anteriomedian recess, anteriolateral edges slightly dentate; apophyses anteriores with broadened central portion.

Immature stages.

Larva. Final-instar larvae of Leucinodes africensis  and Leucinodes orbonalis  cannot be definitively separated. In final instars of live specimens of Leucinodes africensis  , the majority of the abdominal D1 pinacula have a dark pigmented spot on the anteriomedian margin (illustrated on A2 in Fig. 35), although in the occasional pinaculum this is replaced by an unpigmented area, which can be contiguous with the unmelanized integument surrounding the pinaculum or separated from it by the melanized cuticle of the pinaculum; crochets are mesally triordinal, as in the East-Asian populations of Leucinodes orbonalis  . Pupa. length ca. 8.5 m; no consistent features separate the pupae of Leucinodes orbonalis  and Leucinodes africensis  .


Latinized africensis, derived from the continent of Africa from where the type material originates and referring to the widespread distribution of this species on the African continent.


Known from West Africa ( Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria), Angola, DR Congo, Gabon, and Tanzania; intercepted with plant imports from Ghana and Zimbabwe to Great Britain and the Netherlands. At least in the southern DR Congo (Lubumbashi) Leucinodes rimavallis  occurs sympatrically with Leucinodes africensis  .


Solanaceae  : Solanum aethiopicum  L. (Angola, leg. Nuss 2013), Solanum lycopersicon  L., Solanum melongena  L.


This species is very similar to Leucinodes rimavallis  , but both COI Barcoding data and constant morphological differences in genitalia separate the two species.