Canadian Forest Service Publications

Paraclemensia acerifoliella (Lepidoptera: Incurvariidae) in western Canada: a newly discovered host, an expanded range, and biogeographical considerations. 2014. Pohl, G.; Jaegar, C.; Nazari, V.; Schmidt, C.; Richard, D.; Gosche, S. The Canadian Entomologist 147(4):459-471.

Year: 2014

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35836

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.4039/tce.2014.72

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Mark record


The maple leafcutter moth (Paraclemensia acerifoliella (Fitch) (Lepidoptera: Incurvariidae) has been discovered in western Canada, feeding on saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia (Nuttall) Nuttall ex Roemer (Rosaceae)), a previously undocumented host. New records are detailed, and historical records are reviewed and assessed. Western populations are compared morphologically, genetically, and ecologically to populations feeding on maple (Acer Linnaeus; Sapindaceae) in eastern Canada. Paraclemensia Busck species host plants are discussed in relation to the hypothesised phylogenetic history of the genus. Although maple feeding is hypothesised to be the ancestral condition in the genus Paraclemensia, Rosaceae feeding (including Amelanchier) is hypothesised to be a derived capability of the P. acerifoliella species group.

Plain Language Summary

This work is intended to make entomologists and berry producers aware of a new potential pest in western Canada. It provides details of the recent discovery of the Maple Leafcutter Moth (Paraclemensia acerifoliella) in western Canada, on a previously unknown host plant: saskatoon trees (Amelanchier alnifoliella). These trees produce saskatoon berries, an economic crop in western Canada. The moth was previously known only in eastern Canada, where it is a pest of maple trees. A revised geographic range is given, and the life history of the moth on saskatoon is detailed and compared with the previously known life history on maple. This moth may be a minor problem to berry crop growers, but it is not expected to be a serious pest of saskatoon trees, because it feeds on leaves quite late in the summer. The discovery of a new host is of scientific interest because it changes our understanding of the evolution of these moths, and how they have adapted to their host plants.