The traits found in yucca plants and yucca moths that enabled them to cooperate were originally suspected to have arisen due to coevolution. About 9 genera and 98 species. The Prodoxidae are a family of moths, generally small in size and nondescript in appearance. In the Southwest, one of their most iconic partners is the Joshua tree. The name Yucca Moth is used here to refer to the species Tegeticula yuccasella, whereas elsewhere it may be used to refer to a larger group of species that exhibit similar life history and behaviour. YUCCA MOTHS MATE INSIDE THE YUCCA BLOOM. Distinguishing coevolution from covicariance in an obligate pollination mutualism: Asynchronous divergence in Joshua tree and its pollinators. Godsoe, W.K.W., Yoder, J.B., Smith, C.I., & Pellmyr, O. Non-pollinating Yucca Moths have a maxillary palp without a maxillary tentacle. Stem cuttings, rhizomes, and offsets are additional means of propagation. from Chris Smith. alism between yucca plants (Asparagaceae: Agavoideae) and yucca moths (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae) ( Powell, 1992 ; Pellmyr, 2003 ) that has both mutualistic and antagonistic components. The fruit develops into an oblong, woody capsule with flat, glossy black, seeds. The Yucca Moth is typically 0.4 inches to 0.5 inches (12mm to 13mm) in size and has the following descriptors / identifiers: white, black, gray, white, speckled, spotted, dots, flying, garden pest. My colleague Chris Smith placed glue traps on Joshua tree flowers at the contact zone to estimate how often adult moths of each pollinator species visited each type of tree in the mixed population. The Yucca moth (Promiba ijuccaseUa) approaching flower of the yucca plant (left). Host specificity and reproductive success of yucca moths (Tegeticula spp. Hummingbirds visit the flowers. the Yucca Moth be listed as endangered in Alberta. In fact, yucca flowers emit a fragrance each night that attracts the aptly-named yucca moth. The vast majority of larvae of the smaller T. antithetica were also found inside their “native” tree’s fruit — but a handful did emerge from large-flowered western trees. (2003). In addition to putting on a showy display, the leaves have many practical uses. The yucca moth (Tegeticula yuccasella) is distributed throughout the United States and just reaches Canada in the Milk River region. The yucca moth larva hatches inside the green developing ovary of the flower during late spring and summer and begins to feed on the maturing seeds. Joshua trees are pollinated by two different species of moths, which occur in different parts of the tree’s range: the larger Tegeticula synthetica in the west, and the smaller T. antithetica in the east. Black. (2008). Each variety of moth is adapted to a single species of yucca. The moths emerge when the yucca These moths are important for the plant’s survival, as they are its only pollinator. Read our Commitment to Diversity | Read our Privacy Statement. The common name Small Soapweed stems from this trait. Small mammals, birds and reptiles nest in this plant. The flowers are white or greenish. After splitting the leaves, they can be used as a tying material. data from the Joshua tree and four species of yucca moth, we combined paleaodistribution modeling with coalescent-based analyses of demographic and phylgeographic history. Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae) mirror patterns of gene flow between host plant varieties of the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia: Agavaceae). Play Value: Attracts Pollinators Wildlife Food Source Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems): Particularly resistant to damage by deer. yucca moth specimens, the two men sparred over Darwinian evolutionary theory at the 6 March 1871 meeting of the academy. AR, CO, IA, KS, MO, MT, ND, NE, NM, OK, SD, TX, WY. $40.00 $50.00 On Sale. Its roots are used to make soap. Printed locally in California. Printed locally in California. In a paper just released online at Molecuar Ecology ahead of publication, genetic tests on moth larvae provide the latest piece to the puzzle of why there are two kinds of Joshua tree — because the tree’s pollinators need to match its flowers [PDF]. Additional species of both moth genera were discovered on Y. brevifolia and Y. whipplei in California. Summary of status report Yucca Moths in Canada appear to be undergoing a decline as indicated by the Dogs, cats: Vomiting; Horses: liver disease, dermatitis. The moth’s larvae depend on the seeds of the yucca plant for food, and the yucca plant can only be pollinated by the yucca moth. This mechanism could create the genetic pattern we see in Joshua tree populations. When the eggs hatch, the moth larvae eat some of the seeds inside the developing fruit. 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