Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Brown, Richard L.

Committee Member

Ervin, Gary N.

Committee Member

Baker, Gerald T.

Committee Member

Solis, M. Alma

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Entomology and Plant Pathology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


Phylogenetic relationships of 13 genera of Schoenobiinae (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) are postulated based on traditional characters of genitalia and wing venation and new characters of the descaled whole body. The phylogenetic analysis yielded one most-parsimonius tree (length 287 steps, CI= .36, RI= .62) that resulted in a monophyletic clade of all genera of Schoenobiinae examined. The monophyly of the Schoenobiinae is supported by a Bremer support value of five. Donacaula is not congeneric with the type-species of Schoenobius, S. gigantellus. The analysis confirms Lewvanich‘s hypothesis that Scirpophaga, Donacaula, Schoenobius, Catagela, and Helonastes are closely related. Based on this analysis, the New World genera appear to have originated in the Neotropical region with four independent dispersals to the Nearctic Region. The revision of Donacala resulted in recognition of 20 species that were previously described and descriptions of ten new species. Neotypes were designated for D. sordidella, D. unipunctella, D. tripunctella, D. dispersella, D. aquilella. Lectoypes were designated for D. albicostella, D. pallulella, D. immanis, D. pulverealis. Donacaula bicolorella was synonymized with D. roscidella, D. uniformella with D. albicostella, D. lanceolella with D. immanis, and D. amblyptepennis with D. longirostrella. Adults, wing venation, and genitalia of New World species of Donacaula are illustrated for the first time, and new distributional records are reported. A key to species, diagnoses, and photographs of imagoes and male and female genitalia are provided.