DNA from 33-year-old dried moth specimens help confirm larva as the elusive <i>Wiseana fuliginea</i>


  • N.K. Richards AgResearch, Lincoln Science Centre, Private Bag 4749, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
  • H. Ehau-Taumaunu AgResearch, Lincoln Science Centre, Private Bag 4749, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand; School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand; Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University, PO Box 85084, Canterbury 7647, New Zealand
  • C.M. Ferguson AgResearch, Invermay Agricultural Centre, Private Bag 50034, Mosgiel 9053, New Zealand




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.




How to Cite

Richards, N.K., H. Ehau-Taumaunu, and C.M. Ferguson. “Gt”;. New Zealand Plant Protection 70 (July 25, 2017): 235–240. Accessed December 9, 2023. https://journal.nzpps.org/index.php/nzpp/article/view/56.




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