DNA from 33-year-old dried moth specimens help confirm larva as the elusive <i>Wiseana fuliginea</i>
Keywords:Porina, museum specimen, insect identification
Caterpillars of the genus Wiseana, commonly known as porina, are pests of improved pastures in New Zealand. Seven species are currently recognised but morphological identification of individual species is extremely difficult. Therefore, two new molecular-based identification methods have recently been developed. However, analysis of an adult W. fuliginea specimen was required to confirm the tentative identification of a W. fuliginea larva collected from Southland. No adult W. fuliginea have been collected in the last twenty years so DNA was extracted from voucher specimens of 33-year-old dried W. fuliginea adults held by the New Zealand Arthropod Collection. A 1,035 bp sequence of the cytochrome oxidase I gene for each of the two museum W. fuliginea voucher moths was generated and proved identical to the sequence from the Southland larva. A new method for confirming the identification of porina specimens is available as a result of this work.