Friday, July 9, 2010

Maroga melanostigma

Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861)

Cherry borer. Cherry tree borer. Wattle stem borer. Pecan stem girdler.

Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861). Imbil, Queensland.

Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861).♀ - NT, 39 km E of Alice Springs Lat. 23' 41'' S Long. 134' 15'' E, 5. Oct. 1978, E.D. Edwards leg. (ANIC).

Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861).♂ - ACT, Black Mountain, Canberra, 3. Jan. 1961, I.F.B. Common leg. (ANIC). [AMO].

Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861).♂ - ACT, Higgins, 29. Nov. 1980, R. Denlo leg. (ANIC). [AMO].

Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861).♀ - Qld, Millmerran, 7. Nov. 1927, J. Macqueen leg. (ANIC). [AMO].

Cryptophasa melanostigma Wallengren, 1861 Lepidoptera. Species novas descripsit. In: Kongliga svenska fregatten Eugenies resa omkring Jorden under befäl af C.A. Virgin Åren 1851–1853. Vetenskapliga iakttagelser på H.M. Konung Oscar Den Förstes befallning utgifna af K. Svenska vetenskaps Akademien. 2 (Zoologi 1) (Insecta). 351–390, pls 6–7 pp. [387]. Holotype NHRM (Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm) ♀, Sydney, NSW.
Cryptophasa bipunctata Scott, 1864. Australian Lepidoptera and their transformations, drawn from the life by Harriet and Helena Scott. 1. London : John van Voorst [ii]+36 pp., pls 1–9 [9]. Syntype(s) whereabouts unknown, unknown number ♂♀, Sydney or Ash Island, NSW.
Cryptophasa bipunctata, Lewin. Scott, 1864. Australian Lepidoptera and their transformations, drawn from the life by Harriet and Helena Scott. 1. London : John van Voorst [ii]+36 pp., pls 1–9 [23].
Maroga gigantella Walker, 1864. Tineites. List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. Vol. 29, 562–835 pp. [827]. Syntype(s) BMNH 16♂♀, South Australia, Tasmania, Australia.
Cryptophasa bipunctata Scott. Walker, 1866. Supplement 5. List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. Vol. 35. 1534-2040 (1981).
Cryptophasa bipunctata. C. Crüger, 1867, Australian Lepidoptera and their transformations, (review and translation), Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung, 1867, 285-306, (292, 299).
Maroga unipunctana, Don. Meyrick, 1890, nec Donovan. Descriptions of Australian Lepidoptera. Part I. Xyloryctidae. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia  13: 23–81 (40).
Maroga gigantella. French, 1891, Handbook of Destructive Insects of Victoria, [112, Pl. XIII].
Cryptophasa unipunctata Don. Henry Edwards, 1891, nec Donovan. Edwards, H., Notes on the Habits and Earlier Stages of Cryptophasa unipunctata, Don. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 2 (5) [300-302]. [nomen nudum]. Reprinted 1891 in Insect Life, III, 384-386.
Maroga unipunctaria, Packard, 1895: Bombycine Moths of America North of Mexico, Including their Transformations and Origin of the Larval Markings and Armature, Memoirs of the National Academy Of Sciences, VII (5-300) [308] [nomen nudum].
Maroga unipunctana. Illidge, 1895: Xylorycts, or timber moths. Queensland Natural History Society Transactions, 1, 29-34 [31].
Maroga unipunctana, Don. Lower, 1896: A catalogue of Victorian Heterocera. Part xix. The Victorian Naturalist, 12: 149-152 [150].
Maroga unipunctana, Don. Turner, 1898. The Xyloryctidae of Queensland. Annals of the Queensland Museum 4: 1–32 [22].
Maroga unipunctana. Walsingham, 1898: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of London, vii-xii, following p. 444.
Maroga unipunctana, Don. n. syn. = melanostigma, Wlgrn.; = gigantella, Wkr. Walsingham and Durrant, 1900, Catalogue of Eastern and Australian Lepidoptera Heterocera in the Collection of the Oxford University Museum, Part II, Noctuina, Geometrina and Pyralidina by Colonel C. Swinhoe; Pterophoridae and Tineina by the Right Hon. Lord Walsingham, and John Hartley Durrant, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1-630 [550-551].
Cryptophaga unipunctata, Donovan. Froggatt, W. W., 1907, Australian Insects, Sydney, i-xiv, 1-449, 37 pls., (277-278).
Maroga unipunctana, Don. Lower, 1917, The Lepidoptera of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Part III, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 41, 369-377 [329].
Maroga gigantella. French, 1917: Two Destructive Insect Pests of Plane and Elm Trees in Victoria, The Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Victoria, 15, (308-310].
Cryptophasa unipunctata. French, 1917: Two Destructive Insect Pests of Plane and Elm Trees in Victoria, The Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Victoria, 15, (308-310].
Cryptophaga unipunctata, Don. Froggatt, 1923, Forest Insects of Australia, Sydney. i-viii, 1-171 (125-127).
Maroga unipunctana. Philpott, 1927: The Maxillae in the Lepidoptera. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Vol. 57, 721-745 [736].
Maroga tasmanica Turner, 1927, New and little known Tasmanian Lepidoptera. Part II. Papers and Proceedings of The Royal Society of Tasmania, 1926: 119–164 [139]. Syntype(s) ANIC unknown number ♂♀, Tasmania .
Cryptophasa gigantella Wlk., syn. Cryptophasa unipunctana, Donovan [Cryptophasidae]. Fletcher, T. B., 1929, A list of generic names used for Microlepidoptera. Memoirs of the Department of Agriculture of India,  11: 1-244 [134].
Cryptophasa unipunctata (Don.) Common, Australian Moths, Jacaranda Press, 1963, 1-128 (50-54) [51-52, fig 103.
Cryptophasa melanostigma. Common, 1970: Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies), The Insects of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 765-866 (824). Common, 1990, Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press. 227-230 [229].
Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861). Common, in Nielsen, Edwards, & Rangsi, 1996, Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera, 4: i-xiv, 1-529 & CD-ROM [88].
Cryptophasa melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861). Beccaloni, G. W., Scoble, M. J., Robinson, G. S. & Pitkin, B. (Editors). 2003. The Global Lepidoptera Names Index (LepIndex). World Wide Web electronic publication. [accessed 24 April 2010].
Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861). Edwards, E. D. (2003), Xyloryctinae. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. [accessed 17 June 2010].

Original description, Wallengren, 1891
Cryptophasa melanostigma.
Alis anticis supra albis, puncto discoidali minutissimo nigro, infra sordidiores; posticis utrinque fuscis, ad costam albis. ♀. Long. al. exp. 56 millim.
Patria: Sidney, mensa Octobris.
Statura fere Lith. quadrae. Lingua brevissima, haud ulla, fasciculo pendente albo occulta. Palpi maxillares brevissimi, abortivi, albi, apice nigro. Palpi labiales sat longi, reflexi, divergentes, articulo basali brevissimo; secundus longior, teretriusculus , infra albus, supra niger; ultimus niger, brevior, subulatus. Antennae infra, praesertim erga apicem, pilis rarioribus instructae, fuscae articulo basali crasso, supra nigro, infra albo. Caput album, in occipite obsolete flavescens; fascia a basi antennae usque ad os fusca. Thorax cum scapulis albus, unicolor. Abdomen infra album, supra nigrum 1. nigro-fuscum, marginibus segmentorum fasciculisque brevibus lateralibus fulvis; anus fulvus; ad scutellum fasciculi 2 e pilis longioribus fulvescentes. Pectus in lateribus nigricans, inter pedes album. Pedes flavicantes; tibiae anticarum in uno Iatere nigro-lineatae; tarsi omnes spinulosi; tibiarum posticarum calcaria , quae in medio sunt sita , fere aequalia. Alae antica supra albae, argenteo-subnitentes, puncto minutissimo nigro in disco; infra in flavedinem magis vertentes et erga angulum posticum infuscatae. Alae posticae utrinque nigro-fuscae , erga marginem internum obscuriores et ibi pilis longis nigricantibus vestitae; ad marginem anticum albae. Cilia alarum anticarum alba, posticarum grisescentia, erga angulum analem flaviscentia. Oviductus minutus, retractus.
Synonymic description, Walker, 1863
Maroga gigantella.
Mas et foem. Alba; caput antice nigrum; thorax plus minusve cinereus; abdomen nigrum; basi subochraceum, apice ochraceum; alae anticae nonnunquam cinereae, puncto discali exteriore nigro; posticae nigricantes, fimbria alba.
Male and female. White, shining. Head in front, palpi and antennae black. Thorax more or less cinereous. Abdomen black, dull ochraceous towards the base, blight ochraceous at the tip. Legs black, except the coxae; posterior tibiae fringed with ochraceous hairs. Fore wings in some instances more or less dark cinereous; a black point in the disk beyond the middle. Hind wings blackish; fringe white. Length of the body 10-12 lines [21.2 – 25.4mm]; of the wings 20-32 lines [42.3 – 67.7mm].
a — c. Tasmania. From the Entomological Society's collection.
d. South Australia. Presented by R. Bakewell, Esq.
e — l. Australia. Presented by Major-Gen. Hardwicke .
m. Tasmania. From Mr. A. J. Smith's collection.
n. Australia. From Mr. Damel's collection.
o — p. Tasmania. Presented by M. Allport, Esq.
Synonymic description, Scott 1964 
Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861). Pl. III: Scott, 1864

The caterpillar of C. bi-punctata is the only one of this genus we have as yet obtained, whose body is of that uniform pale tint which usually characterises the majority of the lepidopterous lignivora. It may be more minutely defined as being of a creamy-white throughout, with a slight pinkish dorsal line; the first segment yellowish and horny, the ultimate one and the head reddish. At maturity it attains to the length of 1 ½ to 2 inches.
We collected our larvae in August; early in the following moth they changed into chrysalids, which were in length from ¾ to 1 inch, light shining brown, with the anterior portion destitute of spines.
The perfect insects having remained about 6 weeks in the pupa state, were on the wing in October, and measured in expanse from 1 5/8 to 2 ¼ inches, according to sex, although we have occasionally obtained specimens of the female fully ¼ inch larger.
The Antennae ... (fig. 1) setaceous, the male minutely ciliated in tufts beneath.
The Labial palpi ... (fig 2) terminal thin and pointed, 2nd somewhat longer and more robust, basal small; the whole recurved in front to even with the head.
The Legs ... anterior pairs small, 2nd pairs larger, with 2 apical spurs on tibiae; posterior pairs (fig. 3) long and large, with 4 spurs on tibiae.
Of both sexes the anterior wings, thorax, and head, consist of a pure glistening-white, with a distinct black discal spot on each wing. The under wings are of a pale dusky hue, and glossy; abdomen yellowish, ringed with black; legs yellowish.
The male perfect insect, the caterpillar and chrysalis, are shewn in the accompanying drawing.
Cryptophasa melanostigma Wallengren = Cryptophasa bipunctata Lewin [sic]. First noted by Scott, 1864.

Cryptophasa bipunctata, Macleay Museum, University of Sydney. 

German translation of original description, Crüger, 1867
C. bipunctata. Die Raupe dieser Species ist ganz rahmweiss mit schwacher röthlicher Rückenlinie; das erste segment gelblich und hornig , das letzte und der Kopf röthlich. Erwaschen ist sie 1 ½ Zoll bis 2 Zoll. Im August gesammelt verpuppen sie sich im September; die Puppen waren ¾ - 1 Zoll, hell glänzend braun, ohne Dornen vorne. Die im October ausfliegenden Schmetterlinge spannten 1 5/8 bis 2 ¼ Zoll (♀ oft ¼ Zoll grösser noch). Fühler borstig, heim ♂ fein gewimpert in Büscheln unten. Endglied der Palpen dünn und zugespitz, zweites stärker und länger. Grundglied klein; die Krümmung nach oben wie beim vorigen. Vorderfüsse klein, zweite länger, zweigespornt, Hinterfusse länge unde breit viergespornt. Bei beiden Geschlechtern sind die Vorderflügel, kopf und brust silberweiss mit einem deutlichen schwarzen Scheibenpunkt; Hinterflügel dunkler und glänzend, Hinterleib gelblich, schwarz geringelt, Beine gelblich. Die Abbildung zeigt ein ♂, dessen Raupe und Puppe.
Synonymic description, Meyrick, 1890
Mar. unipunctana, Don.
(Tortrix unipunctana, Don., Ins. N. Holl.; Maroga gigantella, Walk. 827.)
Both sexes 39-74mm. Head in male ochreous-white, in female light ochreous. Palpi dark fuscous, second joint more or less ochreous beneath. Antennae dark fuscous. Thorax in male ochreous-white, in female light greyish-ochreous or fuscous. Abdomen dark fuscous, sides and margin of segment and anal tuft deep orange. Legs dark fuscous, middle and posterior tibiae orange, posterior tarsi in male white. Forewings oblong, costa in male slightly, in female gently arched, apex obtuse, hindmargin rather obliquely rounded; in male shining snow-white, in female pale whitish-grey or light fuscous; a black dot in disc at 2/3, variable in size, sometimes almost obsolete: cilia in male white, in female whitish or pale fuscous. Hindwings in male white, sometimes greyish-tinged on inner margin, in female fuscous, darker towards inner margin; cilia in male white, in female fuscous or whitish-fuscous, sometimes becoming white around apex.
Duaringa and Brisbane, Queensland; Newcastle and Sydney, New South Wales; Melbourne, Victoria; Mount Lofty, South Australia; Geraldton, West Australia; common, from October to December, Larva residing in a barricaded tunnel in stems of Acacia decurrens, A. longifolia, and other species of the genus, carrying in leaves or phyllodia for food, in September.

Other references

Cryptophasa bipunctata.
bipunctata, Scott, Austral. Lep. 9, pl. 3 —melanostigma, Wlgn.
Sydney. (Walker, 1866).

Edwards, 1891, Insect Life, III, p. 394

Notes on the Habits and Earlier Stages of Cryptophasa unipunctata, don.
By Henry Edwards.
(Communicated by A. Sidney Olliff.)
One of the most singular instances of the change of habits in a species of Lepidoptera that has come under my notice is to be found in that of the insect referred to in the present article. As far back as 1858, I was fully acquainted with the species, and raised a considerable number to the imago state. It was then only to be found on the black wattle. Acacia decurrens, the larva burrowing into the stems and younger branches, but, as far as my observations went, never attacking the trunk or the larger arms of the tree. It was not unusual to find specimens in the very early morning, (i.e., at 5 or 6 a.m.) at rest upon the leaves of the wattle, but later in the day they hid themselves from the sunlight, and were very rarely met with. On my return to the colonies, during the past summer, I was led to observe that many fruit trees in the garden of the Hon. George Coppin, at Richmond, near Melbourne, had been attacked by some pest, and were rapidly approaching destruction. Close investigation displayed the fact that some burrows had been made in the trees, somewhat similar to those of the Cossidae, the entrance to these burrows being artfully concealed by a small cap of fragments of wood and bark, so closely cemented together as to appear like a portion of the bark itself. Upon cutting down one of the diseased branches, and splitting it open, I found that the burrow passed almost at right angles to the very heart of the branch, and thence downward for a space of 15 or 16 inches. At the bottom of this burrow I found a full-grown larva, which, when disturbed, wriggled itself about with very rapid movements, crawling up and down its burrow with surprising quickness. Below the home of the first insect noted was another burrow of 12 inches in depth, and in this I found a healthy pupa, equally with the larva disinclined to leave its resting place. Wherever throughout the garden a dead branch was to be seen, it was always found to contain one or more of these insects in either the larva or pupa state, and their number can be guessed at when I say that not less than thirty trees had been more or less attacked by this destructive species. Those most affected were cherry, plum, apricot, nectarine, and peach, but I found also one pear and one quince tree each containing a larva, and it is possible that in the course of a short time, the apple trees may also suffer. As in the Cossidae, Aegeriadae, and other internal feeders, the pupa, when near the final change, works its way to the mouth of the burrow, and the moth, as it emerges, softens the cover of chips with which the entrance is closed, and so makes its escape. The pupa does not protrude, as is the case in the above-named families, but remains a little distance within the opening. The moths emerge from the pupa about 6 or 7 p.m., and may then be found adhering to the branches, often in copula. They are easily attracted by light, and no less than eighteen fine specimens were taken in one evening at a lamp placed rather high in the house.
They are exceedingly delicate insects, and are easily killed in the cyanide bottle, usually dying in from 20 to 25 seconds. Great care has to be exercised in handling them, as the fine silvery-white scales are very readily removed. The genus appears to be distinctly Tortricid, and has nothing in common (save its method of burrowing) with the Cossidae, in which it has been placed by some authors.
The following descriptions apply to the stages in which I was enabled to observe it :—
Larva. — Full grown. Tortricid in form, the head tapering in front, and truncate, pitchy, rugose, with slight dorsal channel. Mouth parts ample. Upper side of body, except the 2nd segment, which is pitchy, dull pale chocolate-brown. Under side sordid white. Spiracles pale pitchy, as are also the thoracic feet. On the dorsum is a series of double ovate shining spots, placed transversely, a little darker than the ground colour. These spots differ in intensity in various individuals. There are a few short hairs upon all the segments, and especially about the head and anal extremity. Length 35 mm.
Pupa.— Cylindrical, rounded in front, and tapering suddenly posteriorly. Colour bright chestnut-brown in life, changing to pitchy. The head, thorax, and wing cases darker than the rest. Surface very much roughened, the head and thorax being covered with transversely raised waved ridges. The abdominal segments are also wrinkled, but less rugosely. Wing cases broad, smooth, glossy, those of the antennae being strongly defined. Anal segment rounded. Cremaster short, bifurcate. Length 23 mm. Width across wing cases 8 mm.
This pretty species must now be included among the most injurious insects of Australia, but as it is eagerly sought by collectors, its numbers may be easily kept in check. I have seen it in two collections marked Morgia [sic] gigantella, Walk. (Edwards, 1891).

Plate XIII, Edwards, 1891

(Maroga gigantella.)
Order: Lepidoptera Heterocera. Family: Gelichidae ?
This pest of the cherry and peach grower is a Moth,
the larvae of which are terribly destructive to cherry and peach trees and sometimes to plums.
The larva is a pinkish-white grub (see Plate XIII, Fig. 3), hairy, and when full-grown, about two inches in length.
The perfect insect (see Plate XIII, Fig. 5) is white, shining; head in front and antennae black; fore-wings, in some instances, more or less greyish, the whole wings having a somewhat silky appearance, with a black spot on each; hind-wings darker, fringe white; length of the body, 10-12 lines [21.2 – 25.4mm]; spread of wings, 20 to 30 lines [42.3 – 63.5mm]. This insect (it is supposed) also attacks elm trees by boring into the thick branches, and is one of the worst of the wattleborers, and has left its native food for the less bitter wood of the cherry and peach.
Until quite recently, many persons have had their doubts as to the proper identity of this Moth, as the rearing of the grubs from the wood is, in some cases, a difficult matter; in others again, as several moths and beetles, nothing is easier, and I must confess a doubt as to whether I had got hold of the real culprit.
I am indebted to my friend, Mr. Henry Edwards, the well-known entomologist, now of America, who collected around Melbourne in the early days of the colony, for the proper identification of this insect, as he (Mr. Edwards) informs me that 30 years ago or more the same insect destroyed nearly the whole of the cherry trees in the old garden of the late Hon. H. Miller, who then lived at Richmond, and Mr. Edwards at once recognised both the larvae and the perfect insect, he having reared it from the cherry-wood. The larvae of this Moth have also been known to attack plum, apricot, nectarine, and even quince trees. (H. Edwards.) The name Maroga gigantella has been adopted from “Walker's list.” Mr. H. Edwards, however, in a very interesting paper, read recently before the Linnean Society of New South Wales, calls it Cryptophasa unipunctata (Don), and remarks that the insects are easily attracted by a light, so that the lamp [an engraving of which is here given] should be of extra value in the capture of this and other nocturnal kinds of insects.
The larvae of this Moth destroy the trees by boring, first tunnelling for some distance under the bark, and then gnawing their way right into the very heart of the tree (see Plate XIII., Fig, 3). The sawdust-like excrescence on the trees being quite sufficient indication of the presence of borers in general, and this one in particular.
The jaws of the larvae are very strongly made, which enable them to gnaw with great rapidity, it being perfectly surprising to find what a large amount of damage they are capable of doing during a single night. As an instance of the boring power of some even small grubs, I may mention the fact of the larva of a moth (the former about an inch in length) in one night having bored through a box in which I had had the grub confined, and nearly through a thick table of old seasoned cedar, so that in green wood it is hardly to be wondered at when they do so much damage to trees.
The losses caused by the depredations of this insect are very serious, and if not at once attended to, the grower of both cherries, peaches, and even apricots may suffer more severely than they have hitherto done.
Prevention and Remedies.
Remove, or if possible have removed, all old and badly infested wattle trees growing in the vicinity of the orchard. Give the tree when dormant a spraying or two with either kerosene emulsion, tar-water, Quibell's mixture, Phenyle, or any other solution which would tend to make the flavour of the surface of the bark unpalatable for the female to rest upon for the purpose of depositing her eggs. After pruning, paint the stumps with a solution of tar and grease. Remove all loose hark, and daub, with a common whitewash or similar kind of brush, any of the solutions into the crevices or crutches of the tree; and to prevent the larvae from descending from one tree and ascending another, a good plan would be to paint the lower portion of the stem with a mixture of kerosene, lime, tar, and grease.
When the presence of this borer is suspected, first clear away the sawdust-like matter before mentioned, the removal of which will indicate the direction taken by the grub, but as the holes are usually made in a horizontal position, the ordinary method of spraying should be somewhat departed from. If the spraying pump and nozzle be used, project, with as much force as can be commanded, the liquid into the hole, being guided by the direction taken by the grub.
In gardens where there are but a few trees, small pieces of stick dipped in a mixture of tar and carbolic acid (three parts of the former to one of the latter) could be driven into the holes, which will, in most cases, cause the grub to at once shrivel up and die. In large places this method would be, perhaps, too tedious, still the services of children might be utilized with advantage for this purpose, as the little sticks could be prepared by night around the family fire; and any active boy could go over a large number of trees in a very few days. The little sticks, as also the solution, could be carried in an old tin billy in front of the operator.
As the grubs of this Moth, if not destroyed, remain a long time in the trees (how long has not, I believe, been well ascertained), it will be all the more necessary to tackle them at once, as prevention is, after all, said to be better than the cure.

Fig 10, Edwards, 1891

The use of a lamp, such an one as is figured in this book, might be also tried with advantage in capturing the Moths, both males and females, which as a rule are not numerous.
The forcing of steam into the holes made by this and other boring insects would, I feel certain, be of great benefit, and as the Moth itself is not of a small size, and by its colour is somewhat conspicuous, there should not be much trouble in combating the ravages of this pest.
Old and abandoned orchards are fertile sources of infection, and should be carefully watched by growers and by all interested in fruit-growing as a profitable industry. (French, 1891).

Beginning with the larva, that of the Australian Oncopera intricata, when compared with the larva of the colossal Tineoid moth, Maroga unipunctaria, of South Australia, is the same in structure, though less specialized in the colors of the tubercles and in the sculpturing of the head, but it has the same shape of the body, the same arrangement of the one-haired tubercles, though the setae are smaller and shorter, and the same complete circles of crochets on all the abdominal legs. (Packard, 1895).

As a rule the trees are not seriously damaged by their burrows, though odd branches become sickly and die. The large Maroga unipunctana, however, is an exception, for it feeds on the bark and frequently eats completely round the stem, thus ringbarking the tree. Dogwood and wattle trees may often be found quite dead above from this cause. On the moth emerging the hole soon commences to close up and no external trace of it is left after a little time, except perhaps a slight scar which also in course of time disappears. The abovementioned M. unipunctana is said to be very destructive in Victoria to fruit trees, but I have not noticed its appearance here in such trees, possibly because my experience is limited to my own garden. I have, however, noted a large species amongst leguminous trees in the Botanic Gardens, one of which, in front of the curator's house, has been utterly destroyed by them. (Illidge, 1895).

634. M. unipunctana, Don. (Tortrix unipunctana, Don., Ins. New. Holl.; Maroga gigantella, Walk., 827; Maroga unipunctana, Meyr., Trans. Roy. Soc. S.A., 40, 1889 [sic]).
Melbourne, &c. (Lower, 1896).

The males appear to be gradually assuming a protective colouring, which in the conspicuous white females is wholly disregarded, with the single exception of M. unipunctana, which has a nearly white male and a grey female." (Walsingham, 1898).

Maroga unipunctana, Don. (Tortrix unipunctana,
Ins. N: Holl.; Maroga gigantella, Walker, 827.) Meyrick, 40. Brisbane: larvae feed on the bark of many different trees, spinning a web over the surface, and also tunnelling into the stem, which is  frequently ring-barked. Found on various species of Acacia, Jacksonia scoparia (Dogwood), Casuarina, and probably other native trees. In gardens is very destructive to Cassia and many leguminous trees, and also some trees of other orders. (Turner, 1898).


maroga, Wkr., Cat. Lp. Ins. BM. XXIX. 827 (1864); Meyr., Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Austral. XIII. 39 (1890); Trnr., Ann. Queensl. Mus., No. IV. 10, No. 8 (1897). [H. Edw., Ins. Life III. 386 (1891), wrongly quotes this genus as

3640. Maroga unipunctana, Don.
n. syn. = melanostigma, Wlgrn.; = gigantella, Wkr.5
   Tortrix unipunctana, Don., Gen. Ill. Ins. I. p. (..) PL (..) f. * (1805)1. Cryptophasa melanostigma, Wlgrn., Svensk. Fregatt. Eugenies Resa Zool. Ins. 387 (1861)2. Conchylis unipunctana, Wkr., Cat. Lp. Ins. BM. XXVIII. 369 (1863)3. Maroga gigantella, Wkr., Cat. Lp. Ins. BM. XXIX. 827 (1864)4. Maroga unipunctana, Meyr., Tr. Roy. Soc. S. Austral. XIII. 40, No. 26 (1890)5. Cryptophasa
unipunctana, H. Edw., Ins. Life III. 384-6, fig. 30 a-e (1891)6. Maroga unipunctana, Trnr., Ann. Queensl. Mus. No. IV. 22, No. 63 (1897)7.
   Types ♂♀. unipunctana, Don. (Francillon Coll.), Mus. [Oxf. ?]; melanostigma, Wlgrn., Mus. [ — ? — ]; gigantella, Wkr., ♂♀ Mus. Br.
   Larva in Acacia spp.6, A. decurrens5,6, longifolia5. Jacksonia scoparia7. Casuarina sp.7 Cassia sp.7, etc.7 Fruit-trees6, IX5. Imago X2,5, XI5, XII5.
   Hab. Australia. Queensland — Brisbane5,7, Duaringa5. N. S.Wales — Newcastle5, Sydney2,3,5. Victoria —Melbourne5,6. Tasmania4. S. Australia — Mt. Lofty5. W. Australia — Geraldton5.
   Mus. Oxf. One specimen New Holland, probably N. S. Wales; one specimen King George’s Sound1 (W. Australia).
[If No. 110 or any other specimen can be proved to have come from Francillon's Collection, this should be Donovan's type of unipunctana. Drnt. Det. 109-110 (1893).] (Walsingham and Durrant, 1900).

Fig. 142, Froggatt 1907

C. unipunctata is a very handsome satiny white moth about 1 ½ inches across the wings; the fore pair each have a single black dot in the centre; the abdomen is black fringed with yellow hairs forming a tuft at the extremity. In its native state the caterpillars feed upon the branches of our common honeysuckle (Banksia serrata), but have a very great liking for the branches of cherry trees in the orchards; where neglected, they often kill large branches by their attacks. (Froggatt, 1907).

Maroga unipunctana, Don.
Five specimens, October and November. I have bred a specimen from larva feeding on stem of Fusanus acuminatus (Santalaceae) [Santalum acuminatum, desert quandong]. (Lower, 1917).

Illustration from French, 1917

By C. French, Jun., Government Entomologist.
In addition to fungus diseases, many of the elm and plane trees growing in the public parks, gardens, and streets are affected with insect pests, one of the worst being the " Cherry Borer Moth " (Maroga gigantella, or sometimes called Cryptophasa unipunctata).
The caterpillar bores within the limbs of plane and elm trees, and protects the outside of its tunnel with a covering of web, gnawed bark and droppings. If numerous, the trees are seriously injured. The caterpillar is a pinkish-white insect, hairy, with a black head, and, when full grown, about 2 inches in length. The perfect insect is white, shining, front of head and antennae black; forewings, in some instances, more or less greyish, the whole wings having a somewhat silky appearance with a black spot on each; hind wings darker. The moth is about the size of the well-known vine moth Phalaenoides (Agarista) glycine.
The larvae of this moth destroy the trees by first tunnelling for some distance under the bark, and then gnawing their way right into the very heart of the tree. The sawdust-like excrescence on the trees being quite sufficient indication of the presence of borers in general, and this one in particular.
Prevention and Remedies.
Clear away the sawdust-like matter, the removal of which will indicate the direction taken by the grub. Remove as much of this material from the tunnel as possible, then soak a piece of rag or wadding in carbolic acid, plug this into it and close over with clay or soap. Another plan which is adopted is to probe the tunnel with a piece of strong wire, and in this way the grubs are often reached and destroyed. Spraying the trees with tar-impregnated water is also beneficial. The formula for coal-tar water is as follows :— Boil 1 lb. of coal-tar in 2 gallons of water, and while hot add from 50 to 100 gallons of water. Strain well before using. (French, 1917).

Froggatt, 1923, Forest Insects of Australia, Sydney. i-viii, 1-171 (125– 127).

The Wattle-stem or Cherry-tree Borer (Cryptophaga unipunctata Don.).
This moth was among the first insects figured from Australia by Donovan, in 1805; and, on account of its size and curious habits, it has been noticed by many writers.
Henry Edwards, the well-known American entomologist, contributed apaper to the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales in 1890, entitled “Notes on the habits and earlier stages of the Crytophaga unipunctata.” In this paper he stated that he had studied and bred this fine moth as far back as 1858, when it confined its attention to the stems of the black wattle (Acacia decurrens). Returning to Australia in 1890, he found that the moth had during the interval turned its attention to the softer woods of the cultivated fruit trees, plums, peaches, and particularly cherry trees, so that it is now popularly known to orchardists as the “Cherry
tree borer.”
In 1892 Olliff recorded it as an orchard pest in the Blue Mountains (Agricultural Gazette, vol. 3).
In 1899 I gave a general account of this moth as an orchard pest, accompanied by fine drawing illustrating its life-history. The life-history of this group of moths is very interesting, for, though they are not timber borers in the strict sense of the term, they do a considerable amount of damage in forests and orchards by killing out large branches of infested trees. Besides the black wattle, it has also been bred out of the stems of the Coastal Honeysuckle (Banksia serrata); and French, in his Handbook of the Destructive Insects of Victoria (Part I, page 18), calls it the “Cherry Borer” which, though correct, is a somewhat misleading name, for its true host plants are
The moth measures slightly over 1 ½ inch across the outspread wings. The antennae, palpi, eyes, and forelegs all black; the head, thorax, and wings are of a beautiful white satiny colour, with a single tiny block spot in the centre of the fore wings; the upper surface of the abdomen is black, fringed and marked with rich orange down, forming a thick tuft at the extremity. The medium and hind legs are armed with stout black spines at the base of the tibiae, and with another spine in the centre of the tibiae of the hind pair; they are clothed with rich orange yellow down to the tarsi.
The moth deposits her eggs upon the surface of the bark of the branches of the selected tree. The tiny larva at first feeds upon the surface of the bark, and sometimes forms a slight web; then it bores a lateral tunnel into the centre of the stem and turns downwards; it eats out a vertical shaft up to a couple of inchee in depth; keeping both these shafts open by gnawing their surfaces. They also come out and feed upon the surface of the bark surrounding the opening. They cover this opening with a mass of frass or gnawed wood and silken strands, forming a regular matted protective covering, and sometimes extending half-way round the infested branch. At night, as they increase in size, they come out and feed both on the bark and foliage; sometimes they drag a leaf down into the shelter of the burrow, and leave the tip sticking out through the web. Edwards says: “It was not unusual to find specimens in the very early morning, (i.e., at 5 or 6 a.m.) at rest on the leaves of the wattles, but later in the day they hid themselves from the sunlight and were very rarely met with.” I have noticed that later in the morning they are always just behind the web; if this web is torn off quickly they are exposed before they can scurry into the chamber behind.
The larva, when fully-grown, measures about l ½ inches in length. It is of a general dull reddish-brown colour, and is smooth and naked, with the exception of a few scattered hairs along the sides of the segments. It is provided with three pairs of small legs, and a pair of prolegs on the last three and segments. The anal tip is produced into a stout pair of claspers. When full fed the caterpillars pupate in the vertical shaft, often plugging up the top with a wad of silken web and chewed wood. This larva has apparently become almost omnivorous in its tastes under altered conditions, because, besides wattles, honeysuckles, and orchard trees, it also attacks street trees, such as elms and willows; and some years ago it did a great deal of damage to the willows growing in the streets of Bathurst.
Remedies. If noticed in time, these larvae can be killed very easily in the burrow before they pupate, by clearing away the webs round the lateral opening, and squirting a few drops of kerosene down into the vertical shaft with a sewing machine oil-can. The active caterpillar immediately crawls out and can be destroyed, and the hole can he filled tip with grafting wax. The insertion of a bit of copper wire is aslo effective if it is twisted round in the burrow. (Froggatt, 1923).

Has 3-jointed maxillary palpi. (from Philpott, 1927).

Crypt.        Maroga, Walker 1864 (CRYPTOPHASA, McLeay).
Cat. XXIX 827; type [unipunctana, Donovan =] gigantella, Wlk. [Australia].
(Fletcher, 1929).

Fig 112, Common 1963.

The larva of C. unipunctata (Don.) (103, male 2.3 inches) tunnels and feeds under a webbing on the bark of Acacia, often ring-barking the tree. It has become a pest of fruit and ornamental trees. (Common, 1963).

By contrast [to Cryptophasa rubescens], C. melanostigma (Walk) feeds on the bark of many native and exotic trees, often ring-barking them. Its main native host is Acacia, but it attacks citrus, stone and pome fruits, figs, and ornamentals. (Common, 1970).

Pl. 6.5: Common, 1990.

Maroga melanostigma (Wallengr.) (Pl. 6.5) is an extremely common pest species occurring in most parts of the continent, including the centre. Native species of Acacia are most frequently attacked, but also Pithecellobium ((both Mimosaceae), Jacksonia (Fabaceae), Cassia (Caesalpiniaceae), and Casuarina (Casuarinaceae), as well as many exotic plants, such as plum, peach, cherry, apricot, apple, Citrus, fig, grape, wisteria, and lantana. The larvae bore into the trunk,  producing galleries in the bark  covered with a strong dark brown webbing of silk, faecal pellets and detritus, often completely ringbarking the tree. (Common, 1990).

Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861).  Male genitalia.

Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861). Aedeagus (not to scale)

Food plants: Larva boring in stem. Larval foodplants: Acacia spp., Albizia sp. (Mimosaceae); Jacksonia scoparia (Fabaceae); Banksia serrata, Grevillea robusta (Proteaceae); Casuarina sp. (Casuarinaceae); Cassia sp. (Caesalpiniaceae); Eucalyptus sp. (Myrtaceae); introduced plants in many families including Pithecellobium—Golden Rain Tree (Mimosaceae), Wisteria and Lantana and grape vine, plum, peach, apricot, pecan, apple, citrus, fig and mango. (Edwards, 2003). Santalum acuminatum (Lower, 1917).

Maroga melanostigma (Wallengren, 1861). Pupa, Australian Museum.

Flight period:
Distribution: Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria Endemic. (Edwards, 2003).


N.B. Cryptophasa bipunctata:
Food plants: Larva boring in stem and tying cut leaf to entrance to bore. Larval foodplant: Scott (1864) illustrated the foodplant but did not name it. On the same page he illustrated Banksia integrifolia (Proteaceae), stating it was the foodplant of Cryptophasa immaculata Scott and this illustration is very similar to the one he gave for C. bipunctata.
Flight period: October, November, December, January.
Distribution: New South Wales. Endemic. (Edwards, 2003).

Remarks: Cryptophasa bipunctata is very similar if not identical to Maroga melanostigma. In view of the fact that the type specimen of C. bipunctata is lost, what exactly justifies the continued separate listing of this species is not immediately apparent.

N.B.: Tortrix unipunctana Donovan, 1805

Plate 40: Donovan, 1805, Oxford Digital Library

detail, Tortrix unipunctana

Tortrix unipunctana Donovan, 1805. An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite, and Other Islands in the Indian, Southern, and Pacific Oceans: including the figures and descriptions of one hundred and fifty-three species of the more splendid, beautiful, and interesting insects, hitherto discovered in those countries, and which for the most part have not appeared in the works of any preceding author. pp. i-iv text unnumbered [41] pls unnumbered [plate 40, fig. 1]. Type data: no type designated. [BMNH has no record].
Conchylis unipunctana, Dn. Walker, 1863, Tineites. List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. Vol 28, [369].
Maroga unipunctana, Don. Meyrick, 1890, nec Donovan. Descriptions of Australian Lepidoptera. Part I. Xyloryctidae. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia  13: 23–81 (40).
Cryptophasa unipunctata Don. Henry Edwards, 1891, nec Donovan. Edwards, H., Notes on the Habits and Earlier Stages of Cryptophasa unipunctata, Don. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 2 (5) [300-302]. [nomen nudum]. Reprinted 1891 in Insect Life, III, 384-386. French, 1917: Two Destructive Insect Pests of Plane and Elm Trees in Victoria, The Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Victoria, 15, (308-310].
unipunctana Donovan 1805 (Tortrix) unplaced species of Oecophorinae. Common, in Nielsen, Edwards, & Rangsi, 1996, Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera, 4: i-xiv, 1-529 & CD-ROM [88].

Original description, Donovan 1805
Specific character
Wings entirely yellowish, the anterior pair marked with a fuscous dot.
Tortrix unipunctana: alis concoloribus flaviscentibus; anticis puncto fusco notatis.
This is from the same cabinet as the foregoing, [John Francillon’s collection, London], and is also undescribed. (Donovan, 1805).

Food plants:
Flight period:
Distribution: Australia; endemic.

Tortrix unipunctana Donovan, 1805 was thought by Meyrick (1890) to be the type of his Maroga unipunctana (Maroga melanostigma, Xyloryctinae). Many subsequent authors use the name Maroga unipunctana or its misspelling, M. unipunctata.

Homonym: Tortrix unipunctana Haworth, 1811, = Rhopobota naevana Hübner [1814-1817].

Francillon’s collection was auctioned after his death, and parts of it were bought by Alexander MacLeay. They are presumably in his collection in the MacLeay Museum. There is no record of any Tortix unipunctana in the MacLeay Collection.