[LEPS-L:8011] Long-lived leps

John Grehan jrg13 at psu.edu
Tue Nov 28 13:44:12 EST 2000

 > Another group of moths that I believe are long lived as larvae are
 > the carpenter moths (Cossidae).  The larvae are wood-boring insects
 > (like cerambycid beetles; xylem feeders) and can live quite a while
 > inside a tree.  Slow development due to poor diet?  I had a prof. who
 > said don't study these for a graduate degree if you want to graduate
 > any time soon.  Hard to find and long lived.
 > Cheers, Rich

I was "foolish" enough to study a long-lived species for a graduate degree.
I studies the tree-boring ghost moth Aenetus virescens in New Zealand. The
larva of this genus feeds primarily on callus produced by wounding the host
around the tunnel entrance, they are little different from Cossidae. By 
marking t
unnels of larvae on one host-plant I was able to establish that larval 
varied from as little as 8 months (rare) to four years (including pupation). It
is believed that on other hosts larval development of this species may even
be longer, but this remains to be confirmed.

I don't know how the nutrition of callus compares with wood - if that has 
anything to
do with the expanded life-span.

John Grehan


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