Omiodes meyricki Swezey

Meyrick’s Leaf-roller (Omiodes meyricki)

This species was described in 1904, it was found in the lowland rainforest around the Akaka falls near the northeastern coast of Hawai’i, Hawaiian Islands.

Meyrick’s Leaf-roller was one of several Hawaiian endemic leaf-roller species that were able to adapt to non-native host plants that had been brought by the first Polynesian settlers, its larvae fed on banana leafes. It is thus somewhat strange, at first glance, that these apparently quite adabtable moths disappeared during the early 20th century, but let’s just take a second look …:

In the late 19th, the early 20th century, and unfortunately up to this day, the Hawaiian Islands were and are merely considered by the American- and European settlers as some kind of tropical growing field for the production of cheap beef, coffee, pineapples etc.. The settlers not only brought new plants to the islands, they also unintentionally imported a lot of pest insects that spread all over the islands, thus it was thought to be the best to bring their natural enemies to the islands as well. However, some of them, like the two wasp species Cremastus flavoorbitalis (Cameron) and Trichogramma minutum Riley are anything but specialized to a single host, these two were alos found to parasitize the eggs of endemic moth species, including Meyrick’s Leaf-roller. [1]



[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 8; Lepidoptera: Pyralidae. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1958


Depiction from: ‘Otto H. Swezey: The sugar cane leaf-roller (Omiodes accepta): with an account of allied species and natural enemies. Report of work of the Experiment Station of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association. Entomological series. Bulletin 5: 1-60. 1907′

(public domain)


edited: 23.09.2019