Moths of North Dakota


Family Prodoxidae: Yucca moths

Diagnosis: Fw with accessory cell above discal cell and long intercalery cell (about 1/3 length of discal cell). Labial palpi three segmented, maxillary palpi five segmented. Females of most common species with maxillary tentacles (see biology).

Diversity: Worldwide 12 genera and 80 species; North America at least 33 species in 10 genera; North Dakota two species in two genera.

Checklist numbers: 175- 181, 183- 211.

Biology: Most U.S. species closely associated with Agavaceae–Yucca. Female uses maxillary tentacles to form a pollen ball which she places in stigma, fertilizing the flower. Larvae feed on developing seed pod and seeds. Other species utilize yucca seed pods (or other plant parts) but do not fertilize the flowers.


moth image


Further reading:

Davis, Donald R. 1967. A revision of the moths of the subfamily Prodoxinae (Lepidoptera: Incurvariidae). Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus. 255: 170 pp.

Davis, Donald R., Olle Pellmyr, and John N. Thompson. 1992. Biology and systematics of Greya Busck and Tetragma, new genus (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae). Smithson. contrib. Zool. 524: 88 pp.

Davis, Donald R., Chapter 6. The Monotrysian Heteroneura, pp. 65- 90 in Kristensen, Neils P. ed. 1999. Lepidoptera, moths and butterflies. Part 35, Vol. 1 in Handbook of Zoology. Maximilian Fischer ed. Walter de Gryter, New York. 491 pp.

Scoble, Malcom J., Chapter 10. Early Heteroneura, pp. 213- 224 in The Lepidoptera: form, function, and diversity. Oxford Univ. press. 1982. 404 pp.



Last updated: 03/27/02

Gerald M. Fauske
Research Specialist
202 Hultz Hall
Fargo, ND 58105

Published by the Department of Entomology 

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