GELECHIINAE, GELECHIIDAE, GELECHIOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)
This species was introduced into Australia deliberately from Florida, USA, in 1969 to control the introduced weed :
The caterpillar eats the flesh of the leaves, leaving the skeleton of veins.
The adult moth has pale brown forewings each with a pattern of dark diagonal lines. The hindwings are plain brown with long brown fringes. The species has several generations each year.
The caterpillars were tested on 65 different plants. They walked away from the 64 other plants, and would only fed on Baccharis halimifolia. About 25,000 moths were mass reared, and released at five locations.
The moth was originally from
and is now well established in Australia in
but does not seem to have had any impact on the weed.
A new species of moths of the superfamily Tineina from Florida,
Proceedings of the United States National Museum,
Volume 23 (1900), pp. 225-226.
G. Diatloff & W.A. Palmer,
The host specificity and biology of Aristotelia ivae Busck (Gelechiidae) and Lorita baccharivora Pogue(Tortricidae), two microlepidoptera selected as biological control agents for Baccharis halimifolia (Asteraceae) in Australia,
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington,
Volume 90 (1988), pp.458-461.
Mic Julien, Rachel McFadyen, & Jim Cullen (eds.),
Biological Control of Weeds in Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood (2012) p. 90.
(updated 25 January 2005, 25 February 2017, 3 December 2019)