Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 16 - Nepticulidae (Insecta: Lepidoptera) - Abstract

Donner, H; Wilkinson, C 1989. Nepticulidae (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Fauna of New Zealand 16, 92 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 16. ISBN 0-477-02538-2 (print) ). Published 28 Apr 1989


Twenty-eight species of Nepticulidae are here recognised in the New Zealand fauna, 14 of them new. All are placed in genus Stigmella Schrank, and all except microtheriella Stainton are considered to be endemic. Two new synonymies are proposed: perissopa Meyrick with cypracma (Meyrick); and erechtitus Watt with ogygia Meyrick. Species identification leans heavily upon characters of the genitalia, and this is reflected in the keys to adults, the descriptions, and the illustrations; for twenty-six species genitalia are figured for the first time. The leaf-mining habit of the larvae is discussed in some detail, and the diagnostic value of aspects of the host-plant / larva association - such as mine morphology and host-plant specificity - is explained and illustrated. There is evidence of mining in New Zealand leaf fossils of middle Miocene age. The history of study of New Zealand's nepticulid fauna is reviewed, and the background to the present study is described. Criteria for the recognition of all life stages are described, and advice is given on methods of collection, rearing, and preparation of specimens. Records of confirmed associations between Stigmella species and foodplants are catalogued in an appendix. Drawings of adult facies are given for fourteen species.