Greya solenobiellaOlle Pellmyr
Wing expanse 9.5-14.5 mm. Forewing white, heavily irrorated with an almost equal amount of gray; females generally more white. Numerous faint undulating streaks between costa and hind margin; maculation generally more distinct in females, and female specimens with "glazed" pattern are sometimes found. Hindwing uniformly gray.
Comparison with Similar Species
This is a geographically widespread species that is highly variable in wing pattern. It is particularly difficult to discern from G. suffusca; the premier distinguishing traits are behavioral, and they are listed under G. suffusca. Occasional males may be almost as uniformly white as G. subalba. The two other described species of the group have distinctive checkerspot patterns in the female, and the males are more gray (and smaller in the case of powelli) than generally found in solenobiella.
Host, Oviposition, and Larval Feeding Habits
Feeds exclusively on Yabea microcarpa (Apiaceae). The female cuts and oviposits into young fruits, and the larva feeds on the developing seeds for the first one or two instars. The life history of later stages is unknown.
Known from southwesternmost Oregon south to the Los Angeles area of California, along the coast and in the Sierra Nevada.
Grassy areas in dry to moderately moist oak or mixed deciduous forest. Many sites are located in the oak-pine transition zone. Elevational range, sea level to 1500 m.
In a phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data, G. suffusca was nested within G. solenobiella (Brown et al 1994), appearing as the sister taxon of a G. solenobiella collected at the type locality for suffusca. It is evident that speciation of G. suffusca occurred so recently that the mitochondrial lineages have not yet been assorted. Greya suffusca reflects speciation based on a host shift, and obvious behavioral changes are associated with this shift.
Brown, J.M., O. Pellmyr, J.N. Thompson & R.G. Harrison. 1994. Phylogeny of Greya (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae), based on nucleotide sequence variation in mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and II: congruence with morphological data. Mol. Biol. Evol. 11:128-141.
Davis, D.R., O. Pellmyr & J.N. Thompson. 1992. Biology and systematics of Greya Busck and Tetragma n. gen. (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae). Smiths. Contrib. Zool. 524:1-88.
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University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA
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Pellmyr, Olle. 1996. Greya solenobiella http://tolweb.org/Greya_solenobiella/12325/1996.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 01 January 1996 (under construction).