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


Sarisa muriferata (Hook-tip fern looper)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Genus: Sarisa
Species: S. muriferata
Binomial name: Sarisa muriferata
Synonyms: Gargaphia muriferata Walker, Panagra ephyraria, Zanclopteryx cookaria, Zanclopteryx haastiaria, Drepanodes neoselena, Drepanodes muriferata, Gargaphia neoselena
Common name: Hook-tip fern looper

Sarisa is a genus of moth in the family Geometridae, consisting of only one species, Sarisa muriferata, which is endemic to New Zealand and surrounding islands. It is widespread in the North and South Islands and is recorded from Stewart Island, Big South Cape Island, the Chatham Islands and the Auckland Islands. They are present where Pyrrosia eleagnifolia (leather-leaf fern), Microsorum pustulatum (Hound’s tongue fern). occur. This moths caterpillars feed on the fronds of these two ferns. They have been reported feeding on Dicksonia fibrosa (Woolly Tree Fern).
The moth wings are about 25 mm long and are hooked at the tips. The wings colouration is very variable. Male moths are dark reddish brown and there is a dark diagonal line runs across the forewing and hindwing. Sometimes this line is reduced to a series of dots. There are two tiny white dots in the middle of the forewing, one above the other and sometimes surrounded by brown scaling. Female moths tend to be greyer than males, often a purplish grey. They also have a stouter abdomen. Both sexes have functional mouthparts and feed on nectar.
Adult Sarisa muriferata will drop to the ground with their wing held motionless when disturbed or attacked. The shape and colouring of the wings contribute to a most effective dead leaf crypsis. There are probably two generations per year in the North and South Islands, with adults are recorded from September to March. At the southern limit of its range, there is probably one generation per year, flying during January and February.
The full-grown larvae (about 30 mm long) are reddish brown with an interrupted black dorsal line containing five oblong yellowish-brown spots. This species overwinters in the pupal stage.

For more details on this moth visit: http://nzacfactsheets.landcareresearch.co.nz/factsheet/InterestingInsects/Hook-tip-fern-looper---Sarisa-muriferata.html  

Male moth.


Male moth

Female moth.






Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0