Amalafrida Heinrich

Thomas J. Simonsen and Richard L. Brown

Last updated:  Dec.15, 2009

Taxonomic Synonymy
Amalafrida Heinrich, 1939, Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus. 86: 385
Type species: Cactoblastis leithella Dyar, 1928. By monotypy.

Diagnostic Characters
Adult
Amalafrida is probably close to Sigelgaita, but it was not included in an analysis of  phylogenetics relationships (Simonsen 2008). Amalafrida can be distinguished by the following combination of characters: 1) male antenna bipectinate with a row of 3-5 flattened, spiniform setae on each of the inner pectinations of the basal five flagellum segments, 2) maxillary palpus fan-shaped, 3) male abdomen 8 with two pair of ventrolateral scale tufts (Heinrich 1939).

Larva
According to Heinrich (1939) and Mann (1969) the larvae are greyish with a tendency towards darker transverse bands.

Larval Hosts
Stem feeders in various Platyopuntia. (Heinrich 1939, 1956; Mann 1969).

Life History
The larvae are solitary feeders (Mann 1969).

Distribution
The genus is known to occur in northern Venezuela and Columbia, in the Caribbean (Curaçao), and in southern Mexico. (Heinrich 1939, 1956; Mann 1969).

Species
     leithella