Skip to main content

Taxonomic review of the leek moth genus Acrolepiopsis (Lepidoptera: Acrolepiidae) in North America

  • Jean-François Landry (a1)

The North American species of Acrolepiopsis are reviewed and include six described species: A. assectella (Zeller), A. californica Gaedike, A. heppneri Gaedike, A. incertella (Chambers), A. leucoscia (Meyrick), and A. reticulosa (Braun). Acrolepiopsis liliivora Gaedike is considered a junior synonym of A. californica (new synonymy). Acrolepiopsis assectella, commonly known as the leek moth, is a recently invasive alien species in North America and a pest of the plant genus Allium, including leek, onion, garlic, and related cultivated plants. A key to species based on adults is provided, diagnostic characters including male and female genitalia are illustrated, and geographical distribution, host plants, and larval feeding pattern and damage (where known) are given. Diagnostics and illustrations are presented also for A. sapporensis (Matsumura); known as the Asiatic onion leafminer, it is very similar to A. assectella and is an invasive alien species present in Hawaii, though not in North America. Adult diagnostic characters of the genus Acrolepiopsis, the family Acrolepiidae, and the superfamily Yponomeutoidea are also provided and illustrated. DNA barcoding data (short sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene) obtained for five of the six species revealed interspecific differences averaging 8.1%, whereas intraspecific variation was ≤ 0.16%, and provided unequivocal species separation matching morphology-based identifications.

L'auteur passe en revue les espèces d'Acrolepiopsis d'Amérique du Nord. Il reconnaît six espèces: A. assectella (Zeller), A. californica Gaedike, A. heppneri Gaedike, A. incertella (Chambers), A. leucoscia (Meyrick) et A. reticulosa (Braun). Il considère A. liliivora Gaedike comme un synonyme récent de A. californica (synonymie nouvelle). Acrolepiopsis assectella, appelée communément teigne du poireau, est une introduction récente et invasive sur le continent nord-américain, et un ravageur des ails (Allium spp.), y compris les poireaux, les oignons, l'ail et autres espèces cultivées. Il fournit un tableau d'identification des adultes, présente et illustre les caractères diagnostiques des génitalia mâles et femelles, donne la répartition géographique, les plantes nourricières et le mode d'alimentation des larves (lorsque connu). Il présente aussi les caractères diagnostiques de la mineuse asiatique de l'oignon, A. sapporensis (Matsumura), un espèce invasive à Hawaii qui n'est pas connue du continent nord-américain mais qui ressemble beaucoup à A. assectella. Il donne et illustre des caractères diagnostiques permettant de reconnaître le genre Acrolepiopsis, la famille des Acrolepiidae et la superfamille des Yponomeutoidea. Les codes-barres génétiques (de courtes séquences du gène mitochondrial de la sous-unité I de la cytochrome oxydase c), obtenus pour cinq des six espèces, présentent des différences interspécifiques de 8.1 % en moyenne, alors que la variation intraspécifique est ≤ 0.16 %, et permettent la séparation sans équivoque des espèces qui correspond à l'identification basée sur les traits morphologiques.

Hide All
Agassiz, D.J.L. 1996. Yponomeutidae. In The moths and butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 3. Edited by A.M. Emmet, . Harley Books, Colchester, England. pp. 39110.
Callow, K., Fraser, H., and Landry, J.-F. 2003. The leek moth. An introduced pest of Allium present in Ontario and Quebec. Available from [accessed 6 November 2006].
Canadian Food Inspection Agency. 20012003. Summary of plant quarantine pest and disease situations in Canada 2003: Leek moth (Acrolepiopsis assectella) [online]. Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, Ontario. Available from [accessed 6 November 2006].
Carter, D.J. 1984. Pest Lepidoptera of Europe. Dr. W. Junk Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, Lancaster.
Chambers, V.T. 1872. Micro-Lepidoptera. The Canadian Entomologist, 4: 4144.
Chambers, V.T. 1873. Micro-Lepidoptera. The Canadian Entomologist, 5: 1215.
Chang, W.X.Z., Tabashnik, B.E., Artlet, B., Malvar, T., Ballester, V., Ferre, J, and Roderic, G.K. 1997. Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation among geographic strains of diamondback moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 90: 590595.
Clarke, J.F.G. 1965. Catalogue of the type specimens of Microlepidoptera in the British Museum (Natural History) described by Edward Meyrick, Vol. 5. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London.
Dooh, R., and Hebert, P.D.N. 2005. Canadian Barcode of Life Network. Available from [accessed 7 November 2006].
Dugdale, J.S., Kristensen, N.P., Robinson, G.S., and Scoble, M.J. 1998. 8. The Yponomeutoidea. In Lepidoptera, moths and butterflies. Vol.1: Evolution, systematics, and biogeography. Handbuch der Zoologie / Handbook of Zoology, Vol. IV, Arthropoda: Insecta, Part 35. Edited by Kristensen, N.P.. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin and New York. pp. 119130.
Duponchel, P.-A.-J. 1842. Nocturnes. In Histoire naturelle des Lépidoptères ou Papillons de France, Supplément aux tomes 4e et suivants. Edited by Godart, J.B.. Méquignon-Marvis, Paris. pp. 1554 + 40 pls. [51–90].
Dyar, H.G. 1903. A list of North American Lepidoptera and key to the literature of this order of insects. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, 52 (1902): xix + 1723.
Forbes, W.T.M. 1923. The Lepidoptera of New York and neighboring states. Primitive forms, Microlepidoptera, Pyraloids, Bombyces. Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station Memoir 68, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Gaedike, R. 1970. Revision der paläarktischen Acrolepiidae. Entomologische Abhandlungen, 38: 154.
Gaedike, R. 1984. Revision der nearktischen und neotropischen Acrolepiidae (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Abhandlungen, 47 (1983): 179194.
Gaedike, R. 1994 a. A new species of Acrolepiopsis and the description of the female of A. californica (Acrolepiidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 48(1): 4650.
Gaedike, R. 1994 b. Zur Kenntnis der ostpälaarktischen Acrolepiidae (Lepidoptera). Beiträge zur Entomologie, 44: 319328.
Gaedike, R. 1996. Acrolepiidae. In The Lepidoptera of Europe, a distributional checklist. Edited by Karsholt, O. and Razowski, J.. Apollo Books, Stenstrup, Denmark. pp. 6061.
Gaedike, R. 1997. Acrolepiidae. Lepidopterorum Catalogus (New Series), Fasc. 55. Association for Tropical Lepidoptera and Scientific Publishers, Gainesville, Florida.
Garland, J.A. 2002. Pest fact sheet — leek moth Acrolepiopsis assectella (Zeller, 1839). Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Canada, 34(3): 129153.
Ghalia, A.A., and Thibout, E. 1983 a. Action du poireau (Allium porrum) sur l'activité reproductrice après la diapause imaginale chez le teigne du poireau, Acrolepiopsis assectella. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 33: 188194.
Ghalia, A.A., and Thibout, E. 1983 b. Influence des facteurs périodiques sur le développement de la teigne du poireau Acrolepiopsis assectella (Zell.) et valeur adaptative de la diapause reproductrice (Lep. Yponomeutidae). Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France, 88: 316323.
Hajibabaei, M., deWaard, J.R., Ivanova, N.V., Ratnasingham, S., Dooh, R.T., Kirk, S.L., Mackie, P.M., and Hebert, P.D.N. 2005. Critical factors for assembling a high volume of DNA barcodes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 360: 19591967.
Hajibabaei, M., Janzen, D.H., Burns, J.M., Hallwachs, W., and Hebert, P.D.N. 2006 a. DNA barcodes distinguish species of tropical Lepidoptera. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(4): 968971.
Hajibabaei, M., Smith, M.A., Janzen, D.H., Rodriguez, J.J., Whitfield, J.B., and Hebert, P.D.N. 2006 b. A minimalist barcode can identify a specimen whose DNA is degraded. Molecular Ecology Notes. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-8286.2006.01470.x.
Handfield, L., Landry, J.-F., Landry, B. and Lafontaine, J.D. 1997. Liste des Lépidopterès du Québec et du Labrador. Fabreries Supplément 7.
Hebert, P.D.N., Cywinska, A., Ball, S., deWaard, J.R. 2003. Biological identifications through DNA barcodes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 270: 313321.
Heinemann, H.v. 1870. Die Schmetterlinge Deutschlands und der Schweiz. Band II, Heft I.C.A. Schwetschke & Sohn, Braunschweig, Germany.
Heppner, J.B. 1987. Acrolepiidae (Yponomeutoidea). In Immature insects, Vol. 1. Edited by Stehr, F.W.. Kendall-Hunt, Dubuque, Iowa.
Heppner, J.B., and Duckworth, D.A. 1983. Acrolepiidae. In Check list of the Lepidoptera of America north of Mexico. Edited by Hodges, R.W., Dominick, T., Davis, D.R., Ferguson, D.C., Franclemont, J.G., Munroe, E.G., and Powell, J.A.. E.W. Classey Ltd. and The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, London.
Inoue, H. 1954. Check list of the Lepidoptera of Japan. Part 1: Micropterigidae — Phaloniidae. Rikusuisha, Tokyo.
Knudson, E., and Bordelon, C. 2003. Illustrations of Lepidoptera from Texas. Publication 6, Part II. Texas Lepidoptera Survey, Houston, Texas.
Kyrki, J. 1984. The Yponomeutoidea: a reassessment of the superfamily and its suprageneric groups (Lepidoptera). Entomologica Scandinavica, 15: 7184.
Kyrki, J. 1990. Tentative reclassification of holarctic Yponomeutoidea. Nota Lepidopterologica, 13: 2842.
Landry, J.-F., and Landry, B. 1994. A technique for setting and mounting Microlepidoptera. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 48(3): 205227.
Landry, J.-F., and Parker, D.J. 2000 (June 28). Pest Identification Report No. 00-1250. Agriculture Canada, Plant Protection Division. [Unpublished.] Available from D.J. Parker, Plant Quarantine Pest, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Building 18, 960 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6, Canada.
Labeyrie, V. 1966. Sous-famille des Acrolepiinae. In Entomologie appliquée à l'agriculture. Traité. Tome II. Lépidoptères. Premier volume. Edited by Balachowsky, A.S.. Masson et Cie, Paris. pp. 233249.
Lecomte, C. 1976. Premières observations sur la biologie et les dégâts de la teigne du poireau Acrolepiopsis (Acrolepia) assectella Zeller (Microlépidoptère Plutellidae) sur le littoral algérois. Bulletin de la Société d'Histoire Naturelle de l'Afrique du Nord, 67: 4956.
Mason, P.G., Appleby, M., Callow, K., Allen, J., Fraser, H., and Landry, J.-F. 2006. Leek moth Acrolepiopsis assectella (Lepidoptera: Acrolepiidae) a pest of Allium spp.: biology and minor use insecticide registration. Final project report to ‘Improving Farming Systems Program’, AAFC Pest Management Centre (May 15, 2006). Available from P.G. Mason, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Centre, 960 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6, Canada; summary available from [accessed 6 November 2006].
Matsumura, S. 1931. 6000 illustrated insects of Japan-Empire. Tokyo. [In Japanese.]
Meyrick, E. 1927. Plutellidae. Exotic Microlepidoptera, 3(12): 357360.
Moriuti, S. 1961 a. Three important species of the Acrolepia (Lepidoptera: Acrolepiidae) in Japan. Entomological Laboratory, University of Osaka Prefecture Publication, 6: 2333.
Moriuti, S. 1961 b. A new Acrolepia (Acrolepiidae) from Japan. Tyô to Ga, 12: 3031.
Moriuti, S. 1964. Taxonomic notes on two Acrolepia-species of Japan. Insecta Matsumurana, 27: 3537.
Moriuti, S. 1972. Seven new species of Acrolepiidae from Japan and Formosa (Lepidoptera). Kontyû, 40: 243254.
Moriuti, S. 1974. A new Japanese acrolepiid (Lepidoptera). Tyô to Ga, 25: 111112.
Moriuti, S. 1975. The identity of Diplodoma marginepunctella Stephens f. sapporensis Matsumura (Lepidoptera, Acrolepiidae). Kontyû, 43: 250.
Moriuti, S. 1982. Acrolepiidae. In Moths of Japan. Edited by Inoue, H., Sugi, S., Kuroko, H., Moriuti, S., and Kawabe, A.K.. Tokyo, Kodansha. Vol. 1, pp. 203206; Vol. 2, pl. 8, 233, 249.
Pohl, G.R., Bird, C.D., Landry, J.-F., and Anweiler, G.G. 2005. New records of Microlepidoptera in Alberta, Canada. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 59(2): 6182.
Poole, R.W. 1996. Nomina Insecta Nearctica. Vol. 3: Diptera, Lepidoptera, Siphonaptera. Entomological Information Services, Rockville, Maryland.
Ratnasingham, S., and Hebert, P.D.N. 2007. BOLD: The Barcode of Life Data System ( Molecular Ecology Notes (OnlineEarly Articles). doi:10.1111/j.1471-8286. 2007.01678.x.
Scaltriti, G.P., and Rezzadore, G. 1982. Leek moth: biology and control prospects. Informatore Agrario, 38: 2151521522.
Semenov, A.E., and Kuznetsov, V.I. 1956. Siberian onion moth Acrolepia alliella, sp. n. as a new pest of onions in the Far North. Zoologicheskii Zhurnal, 35: 16761680. [In Russian.]
Staudinger, O., and Wocke, M.F. 1871. Catalog der Lepidopteren des Europaeischen Faunengebiets. Dr. O. Staudinger & Herman Burdach, Dresden, Germany.
Thibout, E. 1972. Glandes exocrines mâles et femelles intervenant dans le comportement de pariade d'Acrolepia assectella [Lépidoptère: Plutellidae]. Annales de la Société entomologique de France (N.S.), 8: 475480.
Walsingham, L. 1882. Notes on Tineidae of North America. Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 10: 165204.
Zimmerman, E.C. 1978. Insects of Hawaii. Vol. 9. Microlepidoptera. The University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Canadian Entomologist
  • ISSN: 0008-347X
  • EISSN: 1918-3240
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-entomologist
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed