Living With Lepidoptera

Epimartyria auricrinella

Goldcap Moss-eater Moth
Image: Davis and Landry*

Early in the evolution of the Lepidoptera, the order split into two groups, one in which the adult mouthparts were modified to form a long proboscis for drinking nectar and other liquids. This adaptation contributed to the success of the Lepidoptera as the vast majority have this adaptation. Only 3 families of moths have members with a chewing type of mandible as adults.  In the largest of these families, Micropterygidae, all 110 described species worldwide have chewing mouthparts as adults. Only 3 species of Micropterygidae are present in North America, all in the genus, Epimartyria. Davis and Landry* reviewed the genus in 2012. There are two west coast species and an eastern species, Goldcap Moss-eater Moth Epimartyria auricrinella.

Epimartyria auricrinella is found in the Appalachian Mountains, the Northeastern US and Eastern Canada. It has not been reported in Indiana. It inhabits moist, swampy forests with liverwort, the host plant of the caterpillars. The caterpillars develop slowly, sometimes requiring two years to complete development.   The adults feed on pollen or the spores of ferns.

Donald R. Davis Jean-François Landry. 2012. A review of the North American genus Epimartyria (Lepidoptera, Micropterigidae) with a discussion of the larval plastron. ZooKeys 183: 37–83.
doi: 10.3897/zookeys.183.2556

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment, Taxonomy. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Living With Lepidoptera

  1. Pingback: Living With Lepidoptera | Entomo Planet

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