Many North American Mompha species feed on members of the evening primrose family, Onagraceae. Onagraceae is a cosmopolitian family with 17 genera and 655 species, with the center of diversity in the North American Southwest. This region is also a hot-spot for the largest genus within the evening primrose family, Oenothera; with 120 or so species.
For a master’s thesis, surveying Mompha diversity across the entirety of Onagraceae would be impossible because it would take years to complete! I have decided to instead focus my efforts on Oenothera that occur in the North American Southwest.
Overlapping ranges, isolated populations, and multiple feeding niches within Oenothera will allow me to evaluate how host plants and biogeography have shaped speciation and distribution of associated Mompha.
Pictures of Oenothera Serrulata