T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Declana feredayi (Forest semilooper moth)

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:     Arthropoda
Class:        Insecta
Order:       Lepidoptera
Family:      Geometridae
Subfamily:  Ennominae
Genus:      Declana
Species:     D. feredayi
Binominal name: Declana feredayi

Declana feredayi is a moth (wingspan of 27-35 mm) that is endemic to New Zealand. They are common in all New Zealand forests. These moths are highly variable in wing colour and patterning.
The moth is nocturnal and is attracted to light. During the day it is usually observed at rest on fences and tree trunks where its mottled grey colouring causes it to closely resemble a patch of lichen.

Declana feredayi defoliating larvae (20-30 mm long) feed on a wide range of native trees, especially Nothofagus (beech). They also feed on exotic broad-leaved and coniferous shrubs and trees. Exotic hosts include Pinus radiata (radiata pine) and other Pinus species, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir), Larix (larch), and Eucalyptus. When feeding on Nothofagus they are had to see as the caterpillars rest with their body kinked so that they resemble the characteristic, gently zigzag shape of a beech twig. The caterpillars feed mainly at night. When fully grown the caterpillar descends to the ground on a silken thread and pupates either on or just inside the litter layer in a loose silk cocoon usually incorporating dead leaf or needle fragments. The pupa of this forest looper is a shiny dark red/brown colour. Pupation lasts for at least 4 weeks.

These moths also rest with the forewings closed