Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 10:53 AM

The enigmatic larva of Abablemma Nye (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) with notes on lichenivory and algivory in Macrolepidoptera

David L. Wagner,, University of Connecticut, 75 N Eagleville Rd U-3043, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Storrs, CT, Jadranka Rota,, University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75 N Eagleville Rd U-3043, Storrs, CT, and Tim L. McCabe, tmccabe@MAIL.NYSED.GOV, New York State Museum, CEC 3140, Albany, NY.

Abstract: The larva of Abablemma brimleyana (Dyar) is described and illustrated based on ex ova larvae reared to maturity on algae (Protococcus viridis). A last instar A. duomaculata (Barnes and Benjamin), collected from and reared to maturity on Physcia, a foliose lichen, and its lichen-encrusted cocoon, as well as a last instar Nigetia formosalis Walker reared ex ova on Protococcus, are also figured. Beating samples of lichens in the thorn scrub that yielded a single caterpillar of A. duomaculata larva also produced multiple individuals of Cisthene subrufa (Barnes and McDunnough) (Noctuidae: Arctiinae) and Glenoides lenticuligera A. Blanchard (Geometridae: Ennominae), both of which were reared to maturity on lichens. Nigetia formosalis, presently classified in the Scolecocampinae, is shown to be closely related to Abablemma Nye and transferred into the Hypenodinae. Larval and life history characters suggesting that the Araeopteroninae Fibiger 2005 may be a subjective synonym of the Hypenodinae Forbes 1954 are discussed. The paper concludes with a brief review of lichen and algal feeding in Macrolepidoptera and provides a listing of 37 macrolepidopterans that TLM and DLW have reared from green algae and foliose lichens.

Species 1: Lepidoptera Noctuidae Abablemma brimleyana
Species 2: Lepidoptera Arctiidae Cisthene subjecta