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Wiseana copularis

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Wiseana copularis is a species of moth belonging to the family Hepialidae. It is endemic to New Zealand. This moth is one of several very similar looking species within the genus Wiseana and this group are collectively referred to as "Porina" moths. In its larvae form this species consumes pasture grasses and, if numerous, is regarded as a pest by New Zealand farmers reliant on good quality pasture for their stock.

Taxonomy

W. copularis was first described by Edward Meyrick in 1912 under the name Porina copularis.[3][4] Meyrick used material collected by Alfred Philpott from the West Plains district of Invercargill.[4] George Hudson discussed and illustrated this species under this name in his 1928 publication The Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand.[5] Pierre Viette placed this species within the genus Wiseana in 1961.[1] The lectotype specimen is held at the Natural History Museum, London.[2]

John S. Dugdale noted that the name despecta was misapplied by L. J. Dumbleton to this species in his 1966 publication Genitalia, classification and zoogeography of the New Zealand Hepialidae (Lepidoptera).[2][6] This error was perpetuated in subsequent agricultural literature.[2]

Description

The wingspan is 34–40 mm for males and 43–52 mm for females. The colour of the forewings varies from dark to pale brown. The hindwings are pallid to infuscate.[7] W. copularis has variable wing patternation and is visually very similar to four other species within the genus Wiseana.[8][9] It is possible to distinguish the male of W. copularis by the long rectangular antennal pectinations of the adult moth.[7] However the recommended technique to distinguish specimens down to species level is through microscopic examination of the genitalia of the species or alternatively mitochondrial DNA analysis.[8][9]

Distribution

This species is endemic to New Zealand.[3][10] It is common in the Wairarapa and Wellington districts as well as throughout the South Island.[8]

Biology and behaviour

W. copularis is on the wing from October to April.[8] They take flight just before dusk onwards and are attracted to light.[8] They only live for a few days.[11] Female moths have been observed fanning their wings just prior to copulation with a male.[12] Evidence suggests that the female moths release a sex pheromone to attract male moths prior to copulation.[12] After mating females lay between 500 - 2300 eggs in grass.[11] After 3 to 5 weeks the eggs hatch and the young larvae feed on leaf litter.[11][8] As they mature, at an age of between 4 and 15 weeks old, the larvae create a vertical tunnel in the soil from which they emerge at night to eat grass species surrounding their tunnel.[11][8] The tunnel entrance is concealed by silk and plant detritus.[8] At approximately 38 weeks they reach maturity having grown to a length of up to 7 cm.[11] The moth then enters the pupa stage of their life cycle which lasts approximately a month.[11] The moth pupates in their tunnel.[8]

Field collected larvae of this species have been successfully reared in the laboratory for research purposes.[13] During that study it was found that the survival to adulthood of the larvae was greatest at a temperature of 15 Celsius.[13] Eggs and immature larvae are vulnerable to dry weather and trampling by stock.[11] Once in their tunnel, they are relatively protected from dry conditions.[11] Larvae have also been shown to be at risk from bacterial infection.[14] Research has been undertaken on the possibility of exploiting this susceptibility to ensure biological control of larvae inhabiting farmland pasture.[14]

Habitat and host species

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A host plant for W. copularis - Lolium perenne

W. copularis prefer moist sites in shrub and grasslands.[8] Host species for the moth larvae include Lolium perenne and Trifolium repens.[15]

Interaction with humans

The larvae of this species have been implicated in pasture damage.[8][11] Farmers use an insect growth regulator such as Diflubenzuron where they believe moth larvae infestation may cause significant damage to their pasture.[11] The interactions of this species with the Māori food crop kūmara has also been investigated, indicating that this species may have fed on kūmara in traditional kūmara gardens.[16]

References

  1. ^ a b Nielsen, Ebbe S.; Robinson, Gaden S.; Wagner, David L. (June 2000). "Ghost-moths of the world: a global inventory and bibliography of the Exoporia (Mnesarchaeoidea and Hepialoidea) (Lepidoptera)" (PDF). Journal of Natural History. 34 (6): 823–878. doi:10.1080/002229300299282. S2CID 86004391. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Dugdale, J. S. (1988). Lepidoptera - annotated catalogue, and keys to family-group taxa (PDF). Fauna of New Zealand. Vol. 14. pp. 1–269. ISBN 978-0477025188. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Porina copularis Meyrick, 1912". www.nzor.org.nz. Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  4. ^ a b Meyrick, Edward (1912). "Descriptions of New Zealand Lepidoptera". Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute. 44: 117–126 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
  5. ^ Hudson, G. V. (1928). The Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand. Wellington: Ferguson & Osborn Ltd. p. 363. OCLC 25449322.
  6. ^ Dumbleton, L. J. (1966). "Genitalia, classification and zoogeography of the New Zealand Hepialidae (Lepidoptera)". New Zealand Journal of Science. 9 (4): 920–981.
  7. ^ a b Dugdale, J. S. (1994). Hepialidae (Insecta: Lepidoptera) (PDF). Fauna of New Zealand. Vol. 30. pp. 1–164. ISBN 978-0478045246 – via Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hoare, Robert J. B. (2014). A photographic guide to moths & butterflies of New Zealand. Ball, Olivier. Auckland: New Holland Publishers (NZ) Ltd. p. 17. ISBN 9781869663995. OCLC 891672034.
  9. ^ a b Brown, B.; Emberson, R. M.; Paterson, A. M. (April 1999). "Mitochondrial COI and II provide useful markers for Wiseana (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae) species identification". Bulletin of Entomological Research. 89 (4): 287–293. doi:10.1017/S0007485399000437. hdl:10182/363. ISSN 1475-2670.
  10. ^ Gordon, Dennis P., ed. (2010). New Zealand inventory of biodiversity: Kingdom animalia : chaetognatha, ecdysozoa, ichnofossils. Vol. 2. p. 460. ISBN 978-1-877257-93-3. OCLC 973607714. OL 25288394M. Wikidata Q45922947.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Porina Wiseana spp. Identification, monitoring and management options". www.beeflambnz.com. December 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  12. ^ a b Allan, R. A.; Jimenez-Perez, A.; Wang, Q. (1999). "Preliminary evidence for a female sex pheromone in porina (Wiseana copularis)" (PDF). Proceedings of the NZ Plant Protection Conference. 52: 254–258. doi:10.30843/nzpp.1999.52.11581.
  13. ^ a b Allan, Rachel A.; Wang, Qiao; Jiménez‐Pérez, Alfredo; Davis, Lorraine K. (17 March 2010). "Wiseana copularis larvae (Hepialidae: Lepidoptera): Laboratory rearing procedures and effect of temperature on survival". New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research. 45 (1): 71–75. doi:10.1080/00288233.2002.9513495. S2CID 86740297.
  14. ^ a b Brownbridge, M.; et al. (2008). "Potential for biological control of porina (Wiseana spp.) with a novel insecticidal bacterium, Yersinia sp.(MH96) EN65 strain". Proceedings of the NZ Plant Protection. 61: 229–235. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.919.4299.
  15. ^ "PlantSynz - Invertebrate herbivore biodiversity assessment tool: Database". plant-synz.landcareresearch.co.nz. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  16. ^ H. Ehau-Taumaunu; S. D. G. Marshall; C. M. Ferguson; M. Mark-Shadbolt; R. M. MacDiarmid; M. O’Callaghan (9 March 2020). "The feeding habits of Wiseana (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae) species on a traditional Māori food crop". New Zealand Entomologist. 43 (1): 23–32. doi:10.1080/00779962.2020.1729934. ISSN 0077-9962. Wikidata Q104800558.
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Wiseana copularis: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Wiseana copularis is a species of moth belonging to the family Hepialidae. It is endemic to New Zealand. This moth is one of several very similar looking species within the genus Wiseana and this group are collectively referred to as "Porina" moths. In its larvae form this species consumes pasture grasses and, if numerous, is regarded as a pest by New Zealand farmers reliant on good quality pasture for their stock.

license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
partner site
wikipedia EN