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Type: Article
Published: 2018-12-17
Page range: 43-51
Abstract views: 237
PDF downloaded: 1

A simple rearing technique for larvae and observations on the larval biology of Australian ‘splendid ghost moths’, Aenetus (Herrich-Schäffer, 1855) (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae)

22a Bolingbroke Ave, Fulham Gardens, SA, Australia, 5024
Research Associate, Section of Invertebrate Zoology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Avenue, PA, 15213.


Research Associate, Section of Invertebrate Zoology
Rearing method Alphitonia excelsa Ligustrum lucidum Fraxinus angustifolia host plants New South Wales Queensland South Australia Hepialidae


It is difficult to associate species of the wood-boring moth in the genus Aenetus with their host plant, because larvae develop inside live trees. A new method is described for rearing larvae of Aenetus eximia, A. lewinii, A. blackburnii, A. ligniveren and A. scotti in cut stems of trees containing larval tunnels by feeding them apple pieces. Larvae that completed development were reared from 49 to 396 days after collection from the field. Aspects of larval feeding webs and adult emergence are described, and new host records are documented. The rearing method is shown to provide an effective means of accurately determining the species of Aenetus developing inside a given host plant.  It was more convenient than obtaining pupae or emerging adults in the field, which is often not possible to do. The method should be useful for conducting surveys, particularly for species with wide distribution ranges. This method may also be effective for the study of other genera of callus feeding, stem boring Hepialidae, such as Archaeoaenetus, Endoclita, Phassus, Schausiana and Zeloptypia.


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