Carposina sp. ‘new species 3’

Oahu Leaf-mining Carposina Moth (Carposina sp.)  

This species is basically known only from an account made in 1913 by the entomologist Otto Herman Swezey.:

The larvae mine the leaves of Rollandia racemosa [Cyanea humboldtiana (Gaudich.) Lammers, Givnish & Sytsma]. They feed largely in the midrib, following it outwardly, but eat lateral tunnels out into the mesophyll on both sides as they proceed. Usually there is but one larva in a leaf. I have found this in but one locality so far, on Mt. Olympus, Oahu. The leaves of the shrub were very commonly attacked by it. The leaves are quite large and are not entirely killed by the injury, but many may be seen with the injured portion decayed away leaving an irregular hole or space in mid-portion of leaf. The full-grown larva emerges and passes below to pupate in a slight cocoon amongst dead leaves or trash.” [1]

There appears to have also existed at least one specimen, but it seems to have been lost; because no leaf-mining species of that genus is found today in the type locality or on O’ahu, to be precise, this species is considered extinct. [2]



[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 9; Microlepidoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1978
[2] Camiel Doorenweerd; Kyhl A. Austin; Daniel Rubinoff: First confirmed record of leaf mining in the fruitworm moths (Carposinidae): A new species feeding on an endemic Hawaiian Clermontia (Campanulaceae). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 53: 11-19. 2021


edited: 21.01.2022