Submitted to: Journal of the Australian Entomological Society
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/31/2003
Publication Date: 11/1/2005
Citation: Habeck, D.H., Balciunas, J.K. 2005. Larvae of nymphulinae (lepidoptera:pyralidae) associated with hydrilla verticillata (hydrocharitaceae) in north queensland. Journal of the Australian Entomological Society. 44(4):354-363. Interpretive Summary: Numerous non-indigenous plants have become established in the United States, and some have become serious weeds. Aquatic systems are also invaded by exotic weeds, and probably the most widespread and damaging in the U.S.A. is hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata). Hydrilla is a submersed plant that once established, frequently not only displaces native vegetation, but fills the entire water body, from bottom to top, thereby greatly altering species composition, ecosystem function, and limiting recreational use, irrigation and flood control. In this article, we review the five aquatic caterpillars that attack this weed in Australia. We also illustrate and describe these aquatic caterpillars. The information presented in this article will more fully document the biodiversity of Australia's fauna, and should assist scientists in selecting additional potential biological control agents that might be useful in controlling hydrilla.
Technical Abstract: The Australian Nymphulinae are reasonably diverse, and their aquatic caterpillars probably have an important role in determining the composition of aquatic macrophytes in Australian aquatic systems. Only 10% of the Nymphulinae larvae in Australia have been described. As part of a project of trying to develop biological control agents for hydrilla, Hydrilla verticillata (L. f.) Royle, we encountered a variety of Nymphulinae larvae feeding on this and other aquatic plants. In this paper, we illustrate, describe, and provide a key to five species of Nymphulinae larvae [Ambia ptolycusalis (Walker), Parapoynx diminutalis Snellen, P. nitens Butler, Margarosticha repetitalis (Warren), and Theila siennata (Warren)] which feed on Hydrilla in North Queensland.