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Alberada Heinrich

Thomas J. Simonsen and Richard L. Brown

Last updated:  Dec.15, 2009

Taxonomic Synonymy
Alberada Heinrich, 1939, Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus. 86: 350
Type species: Melitara parabates Dyar, 1913. Original designation.

Diagnostic Characters
Species of Alberada are generally large micro moths (indeed some of the largest members of Phycitinae). They are most similar to species of Melitara (especially M. prodenialis and M. dentata), but are generally more boldly marked. Alberada is most easily distinguished from Melitara by the following characters: 1) hind wing M2+3 and CuA1 share a relatively long common stem, 2) Female antenna simple (Neunzig 1997, Simonsen 2008).

According to Heinrich (1939) and Mann (1969) the larvae are blue without spots or bands.

Larval Hosts
Stem feeders in Cylindropuntia. (Heinrich 1939; Mann 1969; Neunzig 1997).

Life History
Eggs laid singly or in short sticks. (Heinrich 1939; Mann 1969).

The genus is known to occur in Mexico and southwestern USA north to Wyoming. Distributions of several species are poorly known, and several undescribed species may occur, especially in western Mexico (Heinrich 1939, 1956; Neunzig 1997; Simonsen unpublished).