Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 10, 2005
Publication Date: January 15, 2008
Citation: Solis, M.A. 2008. Aquatic Lepidoptera. In: Merritt, R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B., editors. Aquatic Insects of North America. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. p. 553-569.
Interpretive Summary: The damage caused by aquatic invasive weeds is estimated to cost $150-200 million annually. Aquatic Lepidoptera have been tested and used for the biological control of invasive weeds. This chapter summarizes biology and external morphology of 50 known aquatic caterpillars in North America. Illustrations and photographs are provided so that these species can be readily compared and identified by researchers. This information will be useful to students, ecologists, biological control workers of aquatic weeds, and regulatory personnel at U.S. ports.
The biology and external morphology of 50 aquatic lepidopteran species with life stages that have developed various methods for respiration in water is reviewed. Forty-nine species belong in the Acentropinae of the Pyraloidea. Some of the ecological literature is derived from studies for the control of invasive noxious aquatic weeds. Aquatic Lepidoptera associated with floating or emergent aquatic plants are briefly reviewed. Keys for the identification of larvae and adults and a table that summarizes ecological and distributional data for North American aquatic Lepidoptera are included.