Tag Archives: Philodoria sp.

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.


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]


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


[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


edited: 18.03.2021