Aristotelia ivae Busck, 1900
Groundsel Skeletoniser
GELECHIINAE ,   GELECHIIDAE ,   GELECHIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(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 :

  • Groundsel Bush ( Baccharis halimifolia, ASTERACEAE ).

    The caterpillar eats the flesh of the leaves, leaving the skeleton of veins.

    The adult moth has brown forewings sometimes with pale 'V' patterns, and plain brown hindwings. The species has several generations each year.

    The caterpillars were tested on 65 different plants. They walked away from the 64 other plants, and only fed on the Baccharis halimifolia. About 25,000 moths were mass reared, and released at five locations.

    The moth was originally from

  • U.S.A.,

    and is now well established in Australia in

  • Queensland,

    but does not seem to have had any impact on the weed.


    Further reading

    August Busck,
    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.


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    (updated 25 January 2005, 25 February 2017)