Monday, 4 January 2010



There is a group of little moths that have their wings modified in such a way that they aqre like plumes. The Pterophoridae (Plume Moths) are the best example because there are many species and they are often common. Some like the Artichoke Plume Moth of California can be very damaging to artichoke crops if numbers of the caterpillars are abundant. Conversely, that is exactly what is desired from Lantanophaga pusillidactyla, a little moth that has been used to attempt to control Lantana, Lantana camara, a garden plant that has gotten out of control on a number of continents causing great damage by overtaking adjacent vegetation and literally smothering it to death.
A Plume moth. There are many species in Australia and the group needs a taxonomic revision.

Alucita phricodes is a member of the family Alucitidae. Closely related to the pterophorids, the alucitids are represented by about a dozen species in Australia and only about 150 worldwide. The larvae form galls or live in flowers or fruits. They never seem to be common. There is a characteristic behaviour that the adult performs on landing.

The peculiar moth above may be a tineodid (Tineodidae). There are only about 12 species in Australia and little is known of their biology. Perhaps, a reader may inform us on this moth.

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