Ypsolophidae, Ochsenheimeriinae

A group with only a few species, all in one genus. They are restricted to the Palaearctic, but Ochsenheimeria vaculella has been introduced into the United States in the sixties, forming a minor pest in cereal crops. The biology of many species is still unknown, but the general pattern is that the young larve often distribute by ballooning, and, once arrived at a suitable host (sometimes Juncaceae or Cyperaceae, but mostly Poaceae) mine for about a week in a leave, then continue as a stem borer. The larvae may be collected by sweeping, which relates with the fact that they need several stems to complete their development. The leaf mines have not been described. The larvae, as far as known, are extremely slender, white, with short setae, and four, rather well developed abdominal prolegs with 0-14 crochets in a single transversal row. The thoracic feet bear, next to the tarsal claw, a long and strongly thickened seta (Davis, 1975a, 1987a; Emmet, 1985b).

The systematic position of the genus Ochsenheimeria is moot. Davis and Emmet place it in as a distinct family within the Tineoidea, others see a relations with the Yponomeutoidea, and the Fauna Europaea (2014) considers it a subfamily Ochsenheimeriinae within the Ypsolophidae.

references

Davis (1975a, 1987a), Emmet (1985b).

mod 27.xi.2018