Systematics and biology of the iconic Australian scribbly gum moths Ogmograptis Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae) and their unique insect-plant interaction

Horak, Marianne, Day, Max, Barlow, C, Su, Yu-Ning, & Cameron, Stephen L. (2012) Systematics and biology of the iconic Australian scribbly gum moths Ogmograptis Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae) and their unique insect-plant interaction. Invertebrate Systematics, 26, pp. 357-398.

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The larvae of particular Ogmograptis spp. produce distinctive scribbles on some smooth-barked Eucalyptus spp. which are a common feature on many ornamental and forest trees in Australia. However, although they are conspicuous in the environment the systematics and biology of the genus has been poorly studied. This has been addressed through detailed field and laboratory studies of their biology of three species (O. racemosa Horak sp. nov., O. fraxinoides Horak sp. nov., O. scribula Meyrick), in conjunction with a comprehensive taxonomic revision support by a molecular phylogeny utilising the mitochondrial Cox1 and nuclear 18S genes. In brief, eggs are laid in bark depressions and the first instar larvae bore into the bark to the level where the future cork cambium forms (the phellegen). Early instar larvae bore wide, arcing tracks in this layer before forming a tighter zig-zag shaped pattern. The second last instar turns and bores either closely parallel to the initial mine or doubles its width, along the zig-zag shaped mine. The final instar possesses legs and a spinneret (unlike the earlier instars) and feeds exclusively on callus tissue which forms within the zig-zag shaped mine formed by the previous instar, before emerging from the bark to pupate at the base of the tree. The scars of mines them become visible scribble following the shedding of bark. Sequence data confirm the placement of Ogmograptis within the Bucculatricidae, suggest that the larvae responsible for the ‘ghost scribbles’ (unpigmented, raised scars found on smooth-barked eucalypts) are members of the genus Tritymba, and support the morphology-based species groups proposed for Ogmograptis. The formerly monotypic genus Ogmograptis Meyrick is revised and divided into three species groups. Eleven new species are described: Ogmograptis fraxinoides Horak sp. nov., Ogmograptis racemosa Horak sp. nov. and Ogmograptis pilularis Horak sp. nov. forming the scribula group with Ogmograptis scribula Meyrick; Ogmograptis maxdayi Horak sp. nov., Ogmograptis barloworum Horak sp. nov., Ogmograptis paucidentatus Horak sp. nov., Ogmograptis rodens Horak sp. nov., Ogmograptis bignathifer Horak sp. nov. and Ogmograptis inornatus Horak sp. nov. as the maxdayi group; Ogmograptis bipunctatus Horak sp. nov., Ogmograptis pulcher Horak sp. nov., Ogmograptis triradiata (Turner) comb. nov. and Ogmograptis centrospila (Turner) comb. nov. as the triradiata group. Ogmograptis notosema (Meyrick) cannot be assigned to a species group as the holotype has not been located. Three unique synapomorphies, all derived from immatures, redefine the family Bucculatricidae, uniting Ogmograptis, Tritymba Meyrick (both Australian) and Leucoedemia Scoble & Scholtz (African) with Bucculatrix Zeller, which is the sister group of the southern hemisphere genera. The systematic history of Ogmograptis and the Bucculatricidae is discussed.

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ID Code: 57878
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1071/IS12022
ISSN: 1447-2600 (online) 1445-5226 (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY (060300) > Animal Systematics and Taxonomy (060301)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the author.
Copyright Statement: - author can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing)
- author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing)
Deposited On: 06 Mar 2013 22:43
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2013 11:11

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