Aquatic Insects of Michigan

by Ethan Bright, Museum of Zoology Insect Division and School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan

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Aquatic and Semiaquatic Lepidoptera (Moths) of Michigan

Except for a few common species in the family Cambridae (or Pyralidae, see Munroe and Solis 1999, Solis 2007), our knowledge about the distribution of aquatic Lepidoptera in Michigan is limited. Most Lepidoptera associated with aquatic habitats are semiaquatic, burrowers or miners of emergent aquatic or shoreline vegetation. Life stages with physiological or behavioral adaptations to the aquatic environment are restricted to a number of genera of Cambridae.

The Aquatic and Semiaquatic Lepidoptera of Michigan is a project in its infancy: at this time the purpose of this page is a placeholder for the aquatic Lepidoptera within the Aquatic Insects of Michigan web project. Please contact the author regarding additional verified species' records and locations. Genera are donoted in bold green; species denoted in bold blue have been recorded in Michigan; other species denoted in bold are likely to occur based on their known distribution. You can use the Find function in your web browser to locate families, genera, and species. Synonomous species (indented) are listed below the current valid species (denoted in bold) with its taxonomic status indicated.

    CAMBRIDAE

      Acentria Stephens, 1829 (Subfamily Acentropinae) (aquatic)

        Acentria ephemerella Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775 - Scholtens and Balogh 1996; Scholtens 1996: 144; Nielson 1998: 12 (e. European introduction; adult female spends adult life in water)
          (comb.) Tinea ephemerella Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775
          (syn.) Phalaena nivea Olivier, 1791
          (syn.) Acentria nivea (Olivier, 1791)
          (syn.) Phryganea nivea Olivier, 1791
          (syn.) Phryganea nivosa Stephens, 1834
          (syn.) Acentropus nevae obscurus Tengström, 1869
          (syn.) Acentropus newae Kolenati, 1858
          (syn.) Acentropus badensis Nolcken, 1869
          (syn.) Acentropus garnonsii Curtis, 1834
          (syn.) Acentropus germanicus Nolcken, 1869
          (syn.) Acentropus latipennis Möschler, 1860
          (syn.) Bombyx phryganea Hübner, 1809
          (syn.) Bombyx sembris Hübner, 1809
          (syn.) Zancle hansoni Stephens, 1833
          (syn.) Setina ephemera Hübner, 1819

      Chilo Zincken, 1817 (Subfamily Crambinae) (semiaquatic)

        Chilo plejadellus Zincken, 1821 - Nielson 1998: 13
          (syn.) Chilo oryzaeellus Riley, 1882
          (syn.) Chilo prolatella Grote, 1881
          (syn.) Chilo sabuliferus Walker, 1863

      Donacaula Meyrick, 1890 (=Schoenobius) (Subfamily Schoenobiinae) (semiaquatic)

        Donacaula longirostrella (Clemens, 1861) Schoenobius (orig.) - Scholtens 1996: 149; Nielson 1998: 12
        Donacaula melinella (Clemens, 1860) Schoenobius (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 185 (as S. melinellus dispersellus); Scholtens 1996: 148-149; Nielson 1998: 12
          (syn.) Donacaula albicostellus Fernald, 1888
          (syn.) Donacaula dispersellus Robinson, 1870
          (syn.) Donacaula uniformellus Dyar, 1917
        Donacaula sordidella (Zincken, 1821) Chilo (orig.)- McCafferty and Minno 1979: 185; Nielson 1998: 12

      Elophila (=Munroessa) Lange, 1956 (Subfamily Acentropinae) (aquatic)

        Elophila faulalis (Walker, 1859) Leucochroma (orig.) - Nielson 1998: 11
          (comb.) Munroessa faulalis (Walker, 1859)
          (syn.) Munroessa pacalis Grote, 1881
        Elophila icciusalis (Walker, 1859) Leucochroma (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 183 (as Munroessa icciusalis icciusalis); Scholtens 1996: 144 (as Munroessa icciusalis)
          (comb.) Munroessa icciusalis (Walker, 1859)
        Elophila gyralis serralinealis (Barnes & Benjamin, 1924) Hydrocampa (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 183 (as Munroessa gryalis serralinealis); Scholtens 1996: 144 (as Munroessa gyralis (Hulst)); Dorn et al. 2001 (as Munroessa gyralis)

      Eoparargyractis Lange, 1956 (Subfamily Acentropinae) (aquatic)

        Eoparargyractis plevie Dyar, 1917 Elophila (orig.) - Nielson 1998: 11

      Neocataclysta Lange, 1956 (Subfamily Acentropinae)

        Neocataclysta magnificalis (Hübner, 1796) Pyralis (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 182; Nielson 1998: 11
          (syn.) Cataclysta helipalis Clemens, 1860
          (syn.) Neocataclysta heliopalis (Clemens, 1860)

      Nymphula Schrank, 1802 (=Hydrocampa) (Subfamily Acentropinae) (aquatic)

        Nymphula ekthlipsis (Grote, 1876) Hydrocampa (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 182; Scholtens 1996: 143-144; Nielson 1998: 11

      Occidentalia Dyar & Heinrich, 1927 (=Acigona)(Subfamily Crambinae)

        Occidentalia comptulatalis (Hulst, 1886) Crambus (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 185; Scholtens 1996: 152 (as Acigona comptulatalis)
          (syn.) Acigona comptulatalis Hulst, 1886

      Ostrinia Hübner, 1825 (=Pyrausta) (Subfamily Pyraustinae) (semiaquatic)

        Ostrinia pentitalis (Grote, 1876) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 182; Nielson 1998: 11

      Parapoynx Hübner, 1825 (=Paraponyx) (Subfamily Acentropinae) (aquatic)

        Parapoynx allionealis (Walker, 1859) Paraponyx (orig.,sic) - Scholtens 1996: 144; Nielson 1998: 18; Merritt et al. 2002: 154
        Parapoynx badiusalis (Walker, 1859) Cymoriza (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 183; Scholtens 1996: 144; Nielson 1998: 18
        Parapoynx curviferalis (Walker, 1866) Oligostigma (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 183; Nielson 1998: 18
        Parapoynx maculalis (Clemens, 1860) Sironia (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 183; Scholtens 1996: 144; Nielson 1998: 18; Merritt et al. 2002: 155
        Parapoynx obscuralis (Grote, 1881) Oligostigma (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 183; Scholtens 1996: 144; Nielson 1998: 18

      Petrophila Guilding, 1830 (=Parargyractis) (Subfamily Acentropinae) (aquatic)

        Petrophila bifascialis (Robinson, 1869) Cataclysta (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 184 (as Parargyractis bifascialis); Scholtens 1996: 144; Nielson 1998: 18
        Petrophila canadensis (Munroe, 1972) Parargyractis (orig.) - Scholtens 1996: 144; Nielson 1998: 18
        Petrophila fulicalis (Clemens, 1860) Cataclysta (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979; Nielson 1998: 18

      Synclita Lederer, 1863 (Subfamily Acentropinae) (aquatic)

        Synclita obliteralis (Walker, 1859) Isopteryx (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 183; Scholtens 1996: 144; Nielson 1998: 11

      Thopeutis Hübner, 1818 (Subfamily Crambinae) (semiaquatic)

        Thopeutis forbesellus (Fernald, 1896) Chilo (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 185

    COSMOPTERIGIDAE (semiaquatic)

      Cosmopteryx Hübner, 1825

        Cosmopterix callichalca Meyrick, 1922 - Koster 2010: 298-300, 567 (miner of Schizachyrium scoparium)
          (syn.) Cosmopterix dicacula Hodges, 1962
        Cosmopterix clemensella Stainton, 1860 - Koster 2010: 311-312, 539 (miner of Carex lacustrus)
          (syn.) Cosmopterix hermodora Meyrick, 1919
        Cosmopterix damnosa Hodges, 1962 - Koster 2010: 312-314, 538 (unknown, found in wet forest, may not be semiaquatic)
        Cosmopterix fernaldella Walsingham, 1882 - Koster 2010: 330-332, 540 (miner of Carex spp.)
        Cosmopterix gemmiferella Clemens, 1860 - Koster 2010: 337-338, 540 (miner of Dichanthelium dichotomum, Zizania miliacea?)
        Cosmopterix montisella Chambers, 1875 - Koster 2010: 371-373, 541 (unknown, may not be semiaquatic)
        Cosmopterix nitens Walsingham, 1889 - Koster 2010: 278-379, 543 (miner of Phragmites australis)
        Cosmopterix scirpicola Hodges, 1962 - widespread, Koster 2010: 395-397, 543 (miner of Scirpis spp.)

      Lymnaecia Stainton, 1851

        Lymnaecia phragmitella Stainton, 1851 - Nielson 1998: 6 (miner of Typha latifolia)

    NEPTICULIDAE (=Stigmellidae) (miners of semiaquatic plants)

      Stigmella Schrank, 1802 (=Nepticula)

        Stigmella fuscotibiella (Clemens, 1862) Nepticula (orig.) (mines Salix discolor)
          (syn.) Nepticula ciliaefuscella Chambers, 1873
          (syn.) Nepticula discolorella Braun, 1912
        Stigmella rhamnicola (Braun, 1916) Nepticula (orig.) (mines Rhamnus lanceolata)
          (syn.) Nepticula rhamnella Braun, 1912

    NOCTUIDAE (=Phalaenidae) (semiaquatic)

      Archanara Walker, 1866 (Subfamily Phalaenidae)

        Archanara laeta (Morrison, 1875) Nonagria (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 181
        Archanara oblonga (Grote, 1882) Nonagria (orig.) - Cole 1931: 10; McCafferty and Minno 1979: 181
          (syn.) Nonagria permagna Grote, 1883
          (syn.) Nonagria subcarnea Kellicott, 1883
        Archanara subflava (Grote, 1882) Nonagria (orig.)- Cole 1931: 10; McCafferty and Minno 1979: 181

      Bellura Walker, 1865 (=Arzama) (Subfamily Phalaenidae)

        Bellura densa (Walker, 1865) Arzama (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 181
          (syn.) Sphida oecogenes Dyar, 1913
        Bellura gortynoides Walker, 1865 - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 181; Merritt et al. 2002: 154
          (syn.) Arzama vulnifica Grote, 1873
          (syn.) Arzama diffusa Grote, 1878
          (syn.) Arzama melanopyga Grote, 1881
        Bellura obliqua (Walker, 1865) Edema? (orig.) - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 181
          (syn.) Arzama obliquata Grote & Robinson, 1868
          (syn.) Sphida anoa Dyar, 1913
          (syn.) Sphida gargantua Dyar, 1913
          (syn.) Bellura obliqua race pallida Barnes & Benjamin, 1924

      Homophoberia Morrison, 1875 (=Neoerastria) (Subfamily Phalaenidae)

        Homophoberia apicosa (Haworth, 1809) Phytometra (orig.) - cited in Poole: (accessed: 12/2012) http://www.nearctica.com/moths/noctuid/condica/homophoberia_apicosa.htm)
          (syn.) Erastria nigritula Guenée, 1852
          (syn.) Miana undulifera Walker, [1857] 1856
        Homophoberia cristata Morrison, 1875 - McCafferty and Minno 1979: 181 (as N. caduca)
          (syn.) Eustrotia caduca Grote, 1876
          (syn.) Neoerastria caduca (Grote, 1876)
            (syn.) Eustrotia retis Grote, 1879

        Meropleon Dyar, 1924 (=Oligia) (Subfamily Phalaenidae)

          Meropleon diversicolor (Morrison, 1875) Demas (orig.) - IL, IN (McCafferty and Minno 1979: 180)

        Simyra Ochsenheimer, 1816 (Subfamily Phalaenidae)

          Simyra insularis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1868) Leucania? (orig.) - http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/large_map.php?hodges=9280 (widespread)
            (syn.) Leucania henrici Grote, 1873
            (syn.) Simrya henrici (Grote, 1872)
            (syn.) Leucania evanida Grote, 1873
            (syn.) Simyra evanida (Grote, 1873)
            (syn.) Ablepharon fumosum Morrison, 1874
            (syn.) Simyra fumosa (Morrison, 1874)
            (syn.) Ommatostolidea julithae Benjamin, 1933

      TORTRICIDAE Latreille, 1803 (semiaquatic)

        Archips Hübner, 1822 (=Choristoneura)

          Archips obsoletana Walker - Cole 1931: 11; (see also Claassen 1921)
          other species: argyrospila (Wlk., 1863), mortuana Kft., 1907, rosana (L., 1758), semiferana (Wlk., 1863), negundana (Dyar, 1902), fervidana (Clem., 1860), georgiana (Wlk., 1863), purpurana (Clem., 1865), grisea (Rob., 1869), cerasivorana (Fitch, 1856), striana (Fern., 1905), alberta (McD., 1923), dissitana (Grt., 1879), packardiana (Fern., 1886) (Nielsen 1998)

    References

      Claassen PW. 1921. Typha insects: their ecological relationships. Cornell University Agricultural Experimental Station Memoir 47: 459-529, pls. 29-48.
      Cole AC. 1931 Typha insects and their parasites. Entomological News 62: 6-11.
      Dorn NJ, Cronin G, Lodge DM. 2001. Feeding preferences and performance of an aquatic lepidopteran on macrophytes: plant hosts as food and habitat. Oecologia 128: 406–415.
      Koster JC. 2010. The genera Cosmopterix Hübner and Pebobs Hodges in the New World with special attention to the Neotropical fauna (Lepidoptera: Cosmopterigidae). Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden 84(10): 251-575, figs 1-271.
      Lange WH. 1996. Aquatic and semiaquatic Lepidoptera. pp. 387-398 in Merritt RW, Cummins KW (eds.). An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America, 3rd Edition. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co.: Dubuque, Iowa, USA. xiii + 862 pp.
      Merritt RW, Benbow ME, Hudson PL. 2002. Wetland macroinvertebrates of Prentiss Bay, Lake Huron, Michigan: diversity and function group comparison. The Great Lakes Entomologist 35(2): 149-160.
      McCafferty WP, Minno MC. 1979. The aquatic and semiaquatic Lepidoptera of Indiana and adjacent areas. The Great Lakes Entomologist 12(4):179-187.
      Munroe EG, Solis MA. 1999 Pyraliodea, pp. 233-256. In Kristensen N (ed.) Lepidoptera, moths and butterflies, Vol. 1, Arthropoda, Insect, Vol. 4, Part 35. Handbook of Zoology. Walter de Bruyter & Co., Berlin, Germany. 491 pp.
      Nielsen MC. 1998. Preliminary List of Michigan Moths: The Microlepidoptera. Newsletter of the Michigan Entomological Society 43(4):1, 4-14.
      Scholtens B. 1996. Moths of the Douglas Lake Region (Emmet and Cheboygan Counties), Michigan: V. Crambidae and Pyralidae (Lepidoptera). The Great Lakes Entomologist 29(3): 141-160.
      Scholtens BG, Balogh GJ. 1996. Spread of Acentria ephemerella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in central North American. The Great Lakes Entomologist 29(1): 21-24.
      Solis MA. 2007. Phylogenetic studies and modern classification of the Pyraloidea (Lepidoptera). Revista Colombiana de Entomología 33(1): 1-9.
      Solis MA. 2008. Aquatic and semiaquatic Lepidoptera. pp. 553-569 in Merritt RW, Cummins KW, Berg MB (eds.). An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America, 4rd Edition, Revised Printing. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co.: Dubuque, Iowa, USA. xvi, f. 39, 1158 pp.

    Page edits:

      May 08, 2014
      • updating list
      • correction of typos
      December 01, 2012
      • Incorporated information from Koster 2010 for Cosmopterix.
      • Incorporated information from Claassen (1921) and Cole (1931)
      November 17, 2012
      • Acentria nivea placed in synonomy of A. ephemerella.
      • Beginning to keep track of changes to the web site pages
      • Updated nomenclature to reflect Solis (2008), maintaining other families from Lange (1996); added records from Nielson (1998)

    Page created: September 10, 2003 - Last updated: May 8, 2014 (EB)