Yucca moths are widely recognized for their role as highly specific pollinators and seed-eaters on yuccas, making them part of one of the major models of obligate mutualism. Here we describe Tegeticula antithetica Pellmyr (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae), a new pollinator species of Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree). Biological information is provided. Molecular phylogenetic data show the two pollinators of Y. brevifolia to be sister taxa, and a molecular clock estimates their divergence to ≈10.7 million years ago. This is the first documented instance of pollinator moth divergence and speciation within a host plant. The known geographic ranges of the two species do not overlap. We discuss the historical biogeography of Y. brevifolia and its implications for moth diversification.
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Vol. 96 • No. 6