The Pyraloidea of Eungella: A Moth Fauna

Kitching, R. L., Ashton, L. A., Orr, A. G., & Odell, E. H. (2020)


An intensive, two-season survey of moths along an elevational transect from 200 to 1200 m above sea level was an integral part of the recent Eungella biodiversity survey. The overall results have been published elsewhere. In this paper we examine in finer detail the patterns of distribution and faunistics of one of the dominant taxa from that dataset. The Pyraloidea comprise two families of so-called micro-moths, the Pyralidae and the Crambidae. Overall we sampled more than 7000 individuals of more than 100 species. In spring these were principally in the lowland sites, but the summer samples were more evenly spread across elevations. In both seasons characteristic upland and lowland assemblages were apparent, separating at about 700 m above sea level. These elevational patterns were driven statistically by a small group of abundant species. Focusing on the Pyraustinae-Spilomelinae clade (91 species in our samples) and comparing them with samples from other Australian rainforest locations suggests that the Eungella forests represent the southernmost limits for 24 species, and the northern limits for five species. In other cases, the species is known from sites both north and south of Eungella.