Thyrocopa nihoa

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Thyrocopa nihoa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Xyloryctidae
Genus: Thyrocopa
Species:T. nihoa
Binomial name
Thyrocopa nihoa
Medeiros, 2009

Thyrocopa nihoa is a moth of the Xyloryctidae family. It is endemic to Nihoa in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Moth Group of mostly-nocturnal insects in the order Lepidoptera

Moths comprise a group of insects related to butterflies, belonging to the order Lepidoptera. Most lepidopterans are moths, and there are thought to be approximately 160,000 species of moth, many of which have yet to be described. Most species of moth are nocturnal, but there are also crepuscular and diurnal species.

Xyloryctidae family of insects

Xyloryctidae is a family of moths contained within the superfamily Gelechioidea described by Edward Meyrick in 1890. Most genera are found in the Indo-Australian region. While many of these moths are tiny, some members of the family grow to a wingspan of up to 66 mm, making them giants among the micromoths.

Nihoa The tallest of ten islands and atolls in the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Nihoa, also known as Bird Island or Moku Manu, is the tallest of ten islands and atolls in the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). The island is located at the southern end of the NWHI chain, 296 km (160 nmi) southeast of Necker Island. Nihoa is the closest NWHI in proximity to the eight main windward Hawaiian Islands at approximately 240 km (130 nmi) northwest of the island of Kauaʻi. The island has two peaks, 272 m (892 ft) Miller's Peak in the west, and 259 m (850 ft) Tanager Peak in the east. Nihoa's area is about 171 acres (0.69 km2) and is surrounded by a 142,000-acre (57,000 ha) coral reef. Its jagged outline gives the island its name, Nihoa, which means "tooth" in the Hawaiian language.

The length of the forewings is about 7 mm. Adults are on wing at least in August and September. The ground color of the forewings is brown with a few darker and lighter scales scattered throughout. The discal area is clouded with poorly defined blackish spots in the cell. There is a curving poorly defined whitish band running through the terminal area and evenly spaced spots on the distal half of the costa and along the termen at the vein endings. The hindwings are very light brown, except the anal margin, where faint spots are sometimes visible. The fringe is very light brown.

A reared specimen made a cocoon of thin white silk into which it incorporated a large and varied amount of debris. Included are numerous pellets of Lepidoptera frass, several kinds of plant parts and fragments, parts of dead insects, cast larval skins of insects, the larval cases of two species of Hyposmocoma , and representatives of terrestrial Mollusca of the families Tornatellinidae and Endodontidae.

Frass Waste from insects

Frass refers loosely to the more or less solid excreta of insects, and to certain other related matter.

<i>Hyposmocoma</i> genus of insects

Hyposmocoma is a genus of moths with more 350 species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The genus was first described by Arthur Gardiner Butler in 1881. Most species of Hyposmocoma have plant-based diets, but four species, such as Hyposmocoma molluscivora, eat snails. The caterpillars spin silk, which they then use to capture and eat snails. These are the first caterpillars known to eat snails.

Endodontidae family of molluscs

Endodontidae is a taxonomic family of very small air-breathing land snails and slugs, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Punctoidea.

Etymology

The name nihoa refers to Nihoa, the only locality where this moth occurs.


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