Dried leaves from this plant can be used to weave baskets, mats, and sandals. The coarse fibrous foliage of Yucca are of little value to mammalian herbivores. California yucca moth , laying an egg into the Common yucca flower's ovary prior to inserting into the stigma the pollen she holds in her tentacles.... giant dagger yucca, yucca faxoniana, dependent on the pronuba moth for pollination. These insects, known as yucca moths, are grey, white, or sometimes black, are between one-quarter inch to an inch in size, and at first glance seem entirely unremarkable. This moth is the only insect that has success in pollinating the yucca flower and developing fruit and is the moths' only food source. Moths emerge 10 to 18 days later, completing the life cycle. Smith, C.I., Drummond, C., Godsoe, W.K.W., Yoder, J.B., & Pellmyr, O. Attracts butterflies. One species, Tegeticula maculata, is a mutualistic seed-eating pollinator that feeds on seeds within fruits, and the three other species in the genus Prodoxus are commensalists (Davis, 1967, Powell and Mackie, 1966). In fact, yucca flowers emit a fragrance each night that attracts the aptly-named yucca moth. The yucca moth (Tegeticulla yuccasella) on soapweed yucca at The Nature Conservancy's Niobrara Valley Preserve in north-central Nebraska. The yucca moth community on H. whipplei contains four species that differ in how they interact with the plant and where they feed within the plant. (2010). The fruit develops into an oblong, woody capsule with flat, glossy black, seeds. The Prodoxidae are a family of moths, generally small in size and nondescript in appearance. This should create asymmetric gene flow, with pollen moving from eastern trees to western trees, but not the reverse. Male and female adults emerge when the yucca plant begins to bloom. On the other hand, smaller T. antithetica might be able to lay eggs in a larger western-type flower without this risk. The Yucca Moth is a relatively small, slender-winged brown moth with a whitish head. The yucca moth is silvery, white and small in size. Then, holding the pollen ball in specially adapted mouth parts, she flies to another plant and pierces the ovary of the flower with her. Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  The roots contain saponins, which is harmful to some animals. chihuahuan desert. The early developmental stages of the moth (the larvae, or caterpillars), are found inside Yucca flowers (also known as Soapweed), where they feed on developing seeds. The Prodoxidae are a family of moths, generally small in size and nondescript in appearance. After being lured out of the ground, the yucca moths (Tegeticula yuccasella) in Central Texas spend their days resting on the yucca plants near the flowers. It is ranked globally as G4 (apparently secure). This obligate, mutualistic relationship means that the moth cannot survive without the yucca’s food and shelter, and the yucca cannot survive without the moth’s pollination. Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae) mirror patterns of gene flow between host plant varieties of the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia: Agavaceae). Yucca species endemic to the Great Plains and Texas were transplanted to a common garden in Syracuse, New York and exposed to the local pollinator moth population over 3 years. Description. The fruit, flowers, flower buds, stem and seedpods can be eaten. There is no recovery team or plan currently in place for the Yucca Moth or its host, the Soapweed. 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]. At these sites, trees look like the eastern type (meaning they likely have eastern nucDNA, though we haven’t tested that yet) but have cpDNA that matches nearby populations of western-type trees [PDF]. The forewings are white and can have up to 18 small dark spots. They are small, white, and grub-like, turning pink to dark red with age. If this is the case, moths probably can’t pollinate western trees with eastern pollen, but they might be able to do the reverse. Department of Entomology. A recovery plan was developed to set goals, objectives, strategies, and management actions to Each variety of moth is adapted to a single species of yucca. For yucca moths, does (flower) size matter? Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day). Chris and I then collected fresh fruit from trees in the contact zone, and caught yucca moth larvae as they chewed their way out. alism between yucca plants (Asparagaceae: Agavoideae) and yucca moths (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae) ( Powell, 1992 ; Pellmyr, 2003 ) that has both mutualistic and antagonistic components. It is a host plant for the Yucca Moth. The yucca moth, Tegeticula yuc- casella was discovered on Yucca filamentosa in Missouri3, and Riley4 also discovered a similar ‘ bogus yucca moth’ (Prodoxus) that does not transport pollen but depends upon the inflorescence scape for larval feeding. The Yucca Moth is a relatively small, slender-winged brown moth with a whitish head. Bug Bytes: Yucca Moth But thanks to its showy, fragrant stalks of beautiful white flowers, it's a popular addition to gardens west of the divide too. Host specificity and reproductive success of yucca moths (Tegeticula spp. Printed locally in California. High heat, such as baking, will also destroy this compound. Play Value: Attracts Pollinators Wildlife Food Source Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems): Particularly resistant to damage by deer. Out of its center arises the stalk of a bright, beautiful flower that looks something like a white lily. View this species on GBIF . Yucca plants are deer resistant, but they aren’t repulsive to other creatures. Coevolution and divergence in the Joshua tree/yucca moth mutualism, Marr, D., & Pellmyr, O. https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/yucsch/all.html The key component of yucca moth habitat is the occurrence of yucca plants. If a larger moth attempts to lay eggs in a smaller flower, it may be do more damage to the flower than the “native” pollinator would, triggering the tree to kill the flower. KEY RESULTS: Local moths visited all but one of the Yucca species, but had drastically lower rates of successful larval development on non-natal Yucca spe- (2008). 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