|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication:||2016|
|Authors:||J. R. Stonis, Diškus, A., Remeikis, A., Karsholt, O.|
|Keywords:||Conservation, Ecuador, Lepidoptera, Nepticulidae, New species, Peru, Rosaceae, Stigmella polylepiella|
Despite the fact that Polylepis forests constitute the natural but threatened vegetation in much of the high Andes and are very important for their ecological functions, no leaf-mining Nepticulidae (Insecta: Lepidoptera, Nepticuloidea) associated with Polylepis Ruiz & Pav. as a host-plant have been recorded previously. In this paper, for the first time, we report on four discoveries of Polylepis-feeding Nepticulidae species in Ecuador and Peru. From the high Andes of Peru, we describe a new species Stigmella polylepiella Diškus & Stonis, sp. nov., whose larvae throughout all instars are leaf-miners in leaves of Polylepis racemosa Ruiz & Pav. and spin a unique shaped cocoon inside the leaf-mine. We also provide illustrations and short descriptions of male genitalia and leaf-mines of two other new Stigmella Schrank species, whose larvae are leaf-miners on Polylepis pauta Hieron. in Ecuador; these two taxa are documented but left unnamed because they are described from dissected developed pupae, not emerged adults. Additionally, we document leaf-mines of an unknown Nepticulidae taxon associated with Polylepis racemosa in the Peruvian Andes.