Philodoria pipturicola Swezey

Mamaki-mining Philodoria Moth (Philodoria pipturicola)

The Mamaki-mining Philodoria Moth was described in 1915; it is known only from the region around Punalu’u near the northeast shore of O’ahu, Hawaiian Islands.

The species has a wingspan of about 0,6 to 0,7 cm; the head is grayish fuscous, the thorax is slate gray fuscous colored, the abdomen is dark fuscous; the forewings are fuscous suffused with orange patches and some white bands, the hindwings are dark fuscous.

This is one of the species that was reared from mines, thus its host plant is established as the endemic māmaki (Pipturus sp.); the mine is a serpentine at the beginning and later becomes a blotch, the larva emerges from the mine to spin a light brown cocoon on some matching surface.


The species was also recorded from Maui, these records however, were misidentifications with another species, the Haelaau Philodoria Moth (Philodoria haelaauensis Kobayashi, Johns & Kawahara). [2]


[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 9; Microlepidoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1978
[2] Shigeki Kobayashi; Chris A. Johns; Akito Y. Kawahara: Revision of the Hawaiian endemic leaf-mining moth genus Philodoria Walsingham (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae): its conservation status, host plants and descriptions of thirteen new species. Zootaxa 4944(1): 1-715. 2021


edited: 18.03.2021