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Pteridological Section/AFS

Shaw, Shane [1], Barker, Michael S. [2], Hickey, R. James [3], Rawlins, John E. [4].

Natural History of the Puerto Rican Soral Crypitic Lepidopteran.

Previous work demonstrated how lepidoptera may imitate fern sori by constructing cocoons that are similar in appearance and position to sori on the abaxial frond surfaces of ferns with highly visable sporangia. Although this discovery was the first to introduce soral crypsis, many unanswered questions on the lepidopteran taxonomy, habitat, and predators remained. Some of these questions were addressed with an additional collecting trip to Puerto Rico. Over two hundred larvae were collected and reared in attempts to identify this moth. The adult form of this moth was essential because the previous identification was based on the morphology of larvae mouthparts and molecular data that could only place the moth in the superfamily Gelechioidea. To date, a single female moth was reared that placed it in the Batrachedridae: Batrachedrinae. Current data suggest that it is a new species, however the male morphology is required for description and genus placement. The remaining larvae emerged as a variety of parasitoid wasps. These lepidopteran larvae were found and collected on fronds of Blechnum occidentale L.,Microgramma heterophylla (L.) Wherry, and Phlebodium aureum (L.) John Smith, located in southwest Puerto Rico. These ferns were located at mid elevations, growing in large patches on shady roadside banks. At each collecting site, lizards (Anolis punchellus) were usually present. These lizards may be a possible predator. These works provide a more robust description of the natural history of the Puerto Rican soral cryptic lepidopteran.


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1 - 348 Stoney Brook Lane, Orleans, Vermont, 05860, USA
2 - Indiana University, Department of Biology, Jordan Hall, 1001 East Third Street, Bloomington, Indiana, 47405, USA
3 - Miami University, Department of Botany, 316 Pearson Hall, Oxford, Ohio, 45056, USA
4 - Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Section of Invertebrate Zoology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15213, USA

Keywords:
Caribbean
crypsis
Ferns
lepidopteran.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 18-1
Location: 602/Hilton
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 1:45 PM
Abstract ID:241


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