Tag Archives: Lepidoptera

Philodoria opuhe Kobayashi, Johns & Kawahara

Opuhe-mining Philodoria Moth (Philodoria opuhe)

This species was described in 2021; it is apparently known from the Pu’u ‘Ohi’a (Mt. Tantalus) in the Ko’olau Mountains as well as from the Wai’anae Mountains both on the island of O’ahu, Hawaiian Islands.

The species is known to mine the leaves of the endemic ōpuhe spp. (Urera glabra (Hook. & Arn.) Wedd. and Urera kaalae Wawra).

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The species was originally included in the description of the Urera-mining Philidoria Moth (Philodoria ureraella(Swezey)), from which it, however, differs in several characters.

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[1] 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

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edited: 18.03.2021

Philodoria costalis Swezey

Makaha Philodoria Moth (Philodoria costalis)

This species was described in 1934; it is known only from the forests of the Makaha Ridge at elevations of about 915 m above sea level on the western side of Mt. Ka’ala on the island of O’ahu, Hawaiian Islands.

The species reaches a wingspan of about 0,7 to 0,8 cm; the head, the thorax and the abdomen are tawny brown; the forewings are tawny brown and bear orange-colored patches.

The species is known to have mined the leaves of endemic māmaki species (Pipturus sp.); the sole description of its biology is the following sentence.:

The larvae form “oval brown cocoons on the surface of the leaves ….” (Swezey, 1934: 525.)” [1]

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The species was not recorded during recent field work and might be extinct. [2]

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[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

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edited: 18.03.2021

Eupithecia dryinombra (Meyrick)

Wailuku Pug Moth (Eupithecia dryinombra)

The Wailuku Pug Moth was described in 1899, it is known only from the male type specimen.

The species reaches a wingspan of about 1,7 cm, it is rather pale and narrow-winged, there are obscure medial bands on its forewings that are marked by a series of short, disconnected longitudinal dashes.

The species inhabited the native rain forest above a place named Wailuku on the island of Moloka’i, Hawaiian Islands, a habitat that is now heavily degraded by introduced mammalian herbivores. 

The Wailuku Pug Moth was never recorded since its description and is likely extinct. [1][2]

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References:  

[1] E. C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 7, Macrolepidoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1958
[2] Steven L. Montgomery: Carnivorous caterpillars: The behavior, biogeography and conservation of Eupithecia (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in the Hawaiian Islands. GeoJournal 7.6: 549-556. 1983

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edited: 06.01.2019

Philodoria sp. ‘Hesperomannia’

Lanai Hesperomannia-mining Philodoria Moth (Philodoria sp.)

The Lanai Hesperomannia (Hesperomannia arborescens A. Gray) once occurred on the islands of Maui-Nui (Lana’i, Maui, Moloka’i) as well as on O’ahu; it is. however, now extirpated on the island of Lana’i; it survives today with less than 200 individuals on Maui, Moloka’i and O’ahu.

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A herbarium species of this plant species that had been collected on Lana’i was found to still harbor leaf mines, pupal cases and even pupae on the adaxial leaf surfaces, which can be assigned to the genus Philodoria. [1]

This genus is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and contains about 50 known species, most of which are restricted to single islands and are adapted to a single genus of host plant.

The only species known to be mining the genus Hesperomannia are the Hesperomannia-mining Philodoria Moth (Philodoria hesperomaniella Kobayashi, Johns & Kawahara) from Maui and O’ahu as well as a yet undescribed species from Kaua’i. [2]

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It is thus quite clear that the moth remains found on the herbarium sheet originate from another, apparently now extinct species. [1]

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[1] C. A. Johns; N. Tangalin; K. Bustamente; A. Y. Kawahara: Evidence of an undescribed, extinct Philodoria species (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) from Hawaiian Hesperomannia herbarium specimens. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 46, 55–57. 214
[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

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edited: 18.03.2021