Aenetus djernaesae Simonsen, 2018
Marie's Ghost Moth
HEPIALIDAE,   HEPIALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Aenetus djernaesae
(Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Western Australia)

The Caterpillars of this species have been found living in tunnels bored into the stems of:

  • Common Boobialla ( Myoporum insulare, MYOPORACEAE ).

    Early instars appear to feed on fungal tissue on decaying wood on the forest floor. Later instars move to a foodplant, and bore into and feed on the bark, and later feed on callus tissue under the bark that is regrown by the plant after being damaged. The tunnel can reach a length of about 20 cms. The mouth of the tunnel becomes covered in with a large aglomeration off frass.

    Aenetus djernaesae
    pupa in tunnel
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Western Australia)

    The caterpillars pupate in their tunnels.

    Aenetus djernaesae
    empty pupal shell protruding from tunnel
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Western Australia)

    Before the adult moth emerges from the pupa, the pupa wriggles to be partly out of its tunnel.

    Aenetus djernaesae
    Female
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Western Australia)

    The female adult moths have green forewings, each with some variable brown markings. The females have orange hind wings. The female moths have a wingspan of up to 7 cms.

    Aenetus djernaesae
    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Western Australia)

    The male adult moths have green forewings, each with a submarginal white line. The hindwings of the males are white, each with a green hind margin. The male moths have a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    Aenetus djernaesae
    Female
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Western Australia)

    The moths are superficially similar to those of Aenetus blackburnii.

    The species is found in

  • Western Australia

    Aenetus djernaesae
    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Western Australia)


    Further reading :

    Paul Kay, Paul M. Hutchinson, & John R. Grehan,
    New rearing method, life cycle, tunneling behavior and ecological notes on the splendid ghost moth Aenetus djernaesae Simonsen, 2018 from Western Australia (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae),
    Journal of Insect Biodiversity,
    Volume 15, Part 2 (2020), pp. 2639.

    Thomas J. Simonsen,
    Splendid Ghost Moths and their Allies,
    A Revision of Australian Abantiades, Oncopera, Aenetus, Archaeoaenetus and Zelotypia (Hepialidae),
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Volume 12,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne (2018), pp. 43, 141-143, 244, plates 27C-27D.


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    (written 17 January 2020, updated 8 March 2020)