alien or not?

Chip Taylor chip at
Mon Aug 26 13:09:17 EDT 2002

Atteva punctella is native. The hosts are members of the 
Simaroubaceae - of which there are a few species in Florida and 
Arizona. This species now uses the widely distributed and introduced 
Ailanthus altissima. It does not winter in the northern states but 
appears to migrate north in April from unknown source areas in the 
southeastern and south central US. There are substantial areas with 
Ailanthus altissima in the west where the moth is unknown. I have 
seen large Ailanthus trees completely defoliated by the larvae in 
Missouri. The moth is probably toxic and will not be eaten by birds 
when given a choice of dead moths. This is a relatively easy species 
to rear and work with in the lab.

>She can find no confirmation as to whether this moth is alien or 
>native. Do any of you know? Ailanthus altissima is Asian in origin, 
>and such information as she has found so far makes no mention of any 
>other (native) hostplant.

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