Tag Archives: Xyloryctidae

Thyrocopa minor Walsingham 

Small Thyrocopa Moth (Thyrocopa minor)

This species was described in 1907; it is endemic to the island of Moloka’i, Hawaiian Islands. 

The moth has a wingspan of about 1.8 cm; the head is very light whitish brown with a few brown scales; the thorax is very light brown to brown; the forewings are mottled light brown and brown, the discal areas are clouded with poorly defined brownish spots in the cell, they bear poorly defined whitish bands running through the terminal areas and evenly spaced spots on the distal half of the costa and at the vain endings along the termen; the hindwings are brown, the anal margins are darker. 

The biology of this species in not known and it is apparently extinct.

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Depiction from: ‘Fauna Hawaiiensis; being the land-fauna of the Hawaiian Islands. by various authors, 1899-1913. Cambridge [Eng.]: The University Press 1913’

(public domain)

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References: 
[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 9; Microlepidoptera Part 2; Gelechioidea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1978 
[2] Matthew J. Medeiros: A revision of the endemic Hawaiian genus Thyrocopa (Lepidoptera: Xyloryctidae: Xyloryctinae). Zootaxa 2202: 1-47. 2009 

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edited: 15.02.2024

Thyrocopa sapindiella Swezey

Aulu Thyrocopa Moth (Thyrocopa sapindiella)

This species was described in 1913; it is known exclusively from specimens that were found in the Niu Valley near the southeastern coast of O’ahu, Hawaiian Islands.

The species reaches a wingspan of about 1.8 cm; the head is whitish brown; the thorax and the abdomen are very light whitish brown; the forewings are mainly very light whitish brown with a few brown scales scattered throughout and a very small, faint brownish spot in the cell; the hindwings are very light whitish brown.

The caterpillars are thought to feed on the leaves of the Hawaiian endemic ko’oloa (Abutilon spp.) and āulu (Sapindus spp.).:

The caterpillars were quite numerous on some trees. The small ones feed on the under surface of the leavs [sic], each producing a web covered with frass under which it feeds, eating off the surface of the leaf. The larger ones hide in rolled-together leaves, often several leaves in a bunch fastened together and there may be two or more caterpillars, each in a silken tunnel.

Pupa 9 mm. … The pupa is formed within the spun-together leaves where the caterpillar fed.
” [1]

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This species is now possibly extinct.

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References: 

[1] O. H. Swezey: One new genus and eighteen new species of Hawaiian moths. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 2: 269-280. 1908-1913
[2] Matthew J. Medeiros: A revision of the endemic Hawaiian genus Thyrocopa (Lepidoptera: Xyloryctidae: Xyloryctinae). Zootaxa 2202: 1-47. 2009 

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edited: 18.02.2024