Non-pollinating Yucca Moth
Scientific Name: Tegeticula corruptrix
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2013
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Image of Non-pollinating Yucca Moth
Non-pollinating Yucca Moths are small white moths of the family Prodoxidae. They have a wingspan of 22.5-35.0 mm, and are mostly easily identified by their large size relative to other yucca moths. Non-pollinating Yucca Moths have a maxillary palp without a maxillary tentacle. (Updated 2017/05/24)
Distribution and Population
Yucca moths are found within Soapweed stands throughout the Great Plains from Texas north to Alberta and from the Rocky Mountains east to the Mississippi River. In Canada, Soapweed occurs at three locations: along the Milk River (Pinhorn, AB), its tributary, the Lost River (Onefour, AB) and Rockglen, SK. There are several single plants or small patches of Soapweed reported in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan; however, most of these plants were transplanted from native populations in Alberta or the United States. (Updated 2017/05/24)
Soapweed occupies well-drained, sparsely vegetated, south-facing coulee slopes along the Milk River drainage in southeastern Alberta and in Rockglen, SK. The area has hot, dry summers and low precipitation with large daily temperature variation and weather extremes like high winds or heavy rain. Coulee habitat of this nature is rare and naturally limiting to the Soapweed. Intervening prairie, which is needed for range expansion, may have declined in quality for Soapweed because of fire suppression and lack of disturbance. (Updated 2017/05/24)
Non-pollinating Yucca Moths are obligate seed predators of Soapweed in Canada. They do not pollinate and lay eggs in early stage Soapweed fruit. After hatching, larvae feed on Soapweed seeds. In late summer, larvae emerge from the fruit, burrow into the soil, and enter prepupal diapause. They remain in this state for up to several years, before emerging from the soil as adults. Non-pollinating Yucca Moths rely on the mutualism between Yucca Moths and Soapweed for survival as fruit production is required for reproduction by the Non-pollinating Yucca Moth. (Updated 2017/05/24)
Soapweed is naturally limited in Canada by its obligate relationship with the Yucca Moth, its habitat type, and its peripheral distribution and isolation from other populations in its range. Other non-anthropogenic threats include herbivory by wild ungulates and insects and extreme weather events like high winds or heavy rains. The primary sources of anthropogenic threats to the expansion of Soapweed into adjacent habitats include habitat alteration and degradation through agriculture, oil and gas development and off-road vehicle use. Soapweed is collected for the horticultural trade and for medicinal use (threat currently negligible). (Updated 2017/05/24)
Federal ProtectionThe Non-pollinating Yucca Moth is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
In Alberta, the Non-pollinating Yucca Moth is not protected under any provincial statute.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Amended Recovery Strategy for the Soapweed (Yucca glauca) and Yucca Moth (Tegeticula yuccasella) and Recovery Strategy for the Non-pollinating Yucca Moth (Tegeticula corruptrix) and the Five-spotted Bogus Yucca Moth (Prodoxus quinquepunctellus) in Ca
Status First posting on SAR registry
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
12 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (2 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (2 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Document Posting Plans (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Yucca Moth Tegeticula yuccasella, Non-pollinating Yucca Moth Tegeticula corruptrix and the Five-spotted Bogus Yucca Moth Prodoxus quinquepunctellus in Canada (2013)Yucca Moths are small white moths with an 18-27.5 mm wingspan. They have specialized maxillary tentacles used to handle the pollen of Yucca spp., with which they engage in an obligate pollination-seed predation mutualism.
Amended Recovery Strategy for the Soapweed (Yucca glauca) and Yucca Moth (Tegeticula yuccasella) and Recovery Strategy for the Non-pollinating Yucca Moth (Tegeticula corruptrix) and the Five-spotted Bogus Yucca Moth (Prodoxus quinquepunctellus) in Canada (2017)The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is the competent minister under SARA for the Soapweed, Yucca Moth, Non-pollinating Yucca Moth and the Five-spotted Bogus Yucca Moth and has prepared the federal component of this recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the Province of Alberta and Agri and Agri-Food Canada, as per section 39(1) of SARA. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub sections 41(1) or (2)). The Province of Alberta led the development of the attached recovery strategy for Soapweed and Yucca Moth species (Part 2) in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2006 (2006)2006 Annual Report to the The Minister of the Environment and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
Recovery Document Posting Plans
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