Moths in fragments

Insights into the biology and ecology of the Australian endangered golden sun moth Synemon plana (Lepidoptera: Castniidae) in natural temperate and exotic grassland remnants

Anett Richter, Will Osborne, Sarah Hnatiuk, Alison Rowell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The conservation and management of endangered species requires an adequate understanding of their biology and ecology. Although there has been an increasing appreciation in Australia of the need for greater efforts to conserve insects, there is only limited information available that can be used to underpin conservation efforts. The endangered golden sun moth, Synemon plana (Lepidoptera: Castniidae) is a flagship species endemic to natural temperate grassland in south-eastern Australia. Most populations of this species are at considerable risk from habitat loss, weed invasion and inadequate management. Despite the considerable knowledge that exists about the species biology and ecology, efforts to improve the species conservation status are hampered because there are still critical gaps in our understanding of the species' natural history. In particular, the ecology of the larvae is not known. Our study examined the abundance, population structure and reproductive biology of the moths in a broad sample of both natural temperate and exotic grassland remnants in and near Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in south-eastern Australia. The results fill critical gaps in the knowledge needed to achieve effective conservation management. From our findings, it is clear that the species inhabits grasslands dominated by a mixture of native wallaby grasses (Rytidosperma spp. (formerly Austrodanthonia)) and spear grasses (Austrostipa spp.). In contrast to earlier suggestions that S. plana is entirely confined to natural temperate grassland, mature and immature life stages of the species were also present in grasslands comprised entirely of the exotic Chilean needlegrass (Nassella neesiana). Most of the S. plana populations surveyed in the ACT were characterised by low relative abundance with only very few large populations being recorded. The conservation of exotic grasslands as substitute habitat for S. plana is discussed and suggestions regarding future monitoring and research of the species are provided.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1093-1104
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Insect Conservation
    Volume17
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

    Fingerprint

    moth
    moths
    grasslands
    grassland
    Lepidoptera
    ecology
    Biological Sciences
    Australian Capital Territory
    Austrostipa
    Heteropogon contortus
    grass
    species conservation
    Macropodidae
    conservation management
    conservation status
    habitat loss
    reproductive biology
    endemic species
    habitat destruction
    natural history

    Cite this

    @article{049b6e9c5f8249758ca701fe0c39888c,
    title = "Moths in fragments: Insights into the biology and ecology of the Australian endangered golden sun moth Synemon plana (Lepidoptera: Castniidae) in natural temperate and exotic grassland remnants",
    abstract = "The conservation and management of endangered species requires an adequate understanding of their biology and ecology. Although there has been an increasing appreciation in Australia of the need for greater efforts to conserve insects, there is only limited information available that can be used to underpin conservation efforts. The endangered golden sun moth, Synemon plana (Lepidoptera: Castniidae) is a flagship species endemic to natural temperate grassland in south-eastern Australia. Most populations of this species are at considerable risk from habitat loss, weed invasion and inadequate management. Despite the considerable knowledge that exists about the species biology and ecology, efforts to improve the species conservation status are hampered because there are still critical gaps in our understanding of the species' natural history. In particular, the ecology of the larvae is not known. Our study examined the abundance, population structure and reproductive biology of the moths in a broad sample of both natural temperate and exotic grassland remnants in and near Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in south-eastern Australia. The results fill critical gaps in the knowledge needed to achieve effective conservation management. From our findings, it is clear that the species inhabits grasslands dominated by a mixture of native wallaby grasses (Rytidosperma spp. (formerly Austrodanthonia)) and spear grasses (Austrostipa spp.). In contrast to earlier suggestions that S. plana is entirely confined to natural temperate grassland, mature and immature life stages of the species were also present in grasslands comprised entirely of the exotic Chilean needlegrass (Nassella neesiana). Most of the S. plana populations surveyed in the ACT were characterised by low relative abundance with only very few large populations being recorded. The conservation of exotic grasslands as substitute habitat for S. plana is discussed and suggestions regarding future monitoring and research of the species are provided.",
    keywords = "Abundance, Chilean needlegrass, Conservation, Golden sun moth, Monitoring, Synemon plana",
    author = "Anett Richter and Will Osborne and Sarah Hnatiuk and Alison Rowell",
    year = "2013",
    month = "12",
    doi = "10.1007/s10841-013-9589-1",
    language = "English",
    volume = "17",
    pages = "1093--1104",
    journal = "Journal of Insect Conservation",
    issn = "1366-638X",
    publisher = "Springer",
    number = "6",

    }

    Moths in fragments : Insights into the biology and ecology of the Australian endangered golden sun moth Synemon plana (Lepidoptera: Castniidae) in natural temperate and exotic grassland remnants. / Richter, Anett; Osborne, Will; Hnatiuk, Sarah; Rowell, Alison.

    In: Journal of Insect Conservation, Vol. 17, No. 6, 12.2013, p. 1093-1104.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Moths in fragments

    T2 - Insights into the biology and ecology of the Australian endangered golden sun moth Synemon plana (Lepidoptera: Castniidae) in natural temperate and exotic grassland remnants

    AU - Richter, Anett

    AU - Osborne, Will

    AU - Hnatiuk, Sarah

    AU - Rowell, Alison

    PY - 2013/12

    Y1 - 2013/12

    N2 - The conservation and management of endangered species requires an adequate understanding of their biology and ecology. Although there has been an increasing appreciation in Australia of the need for greater efforts to conserve insects, there is only limited information available that can be used to underpin conservation efforts. The endangered golden sun moth, Synemon plana (Lepidoptera: Castniidae) is a flagship species endemic to natural temperate grassland in south-eastern Australia. Most populations of this species are at considerable risk from habitat loss, weed invasion and inadequate management. Despite the considerable knowledge that exists about the species biology and ecology, efforts to improve the species conservation status are hampered because there are still critical gaps in our understanding of the species' natural history. In particular, the ecology of the larvae is not known. Our study examined the abundance, population structure and reproductive biology of the moths in a broad sample of both natural temperate and exotic grassland remnants in and near Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in south-eastern Australia. The results fill critical gaps in the knowledge needed to achieve effective conservation management. From our findings, it is clear that the species inhabits grasslands dominated by a mixture of native wallaby grasses (Rytidosperma spp. (formerly Austrodanthonia)) and spear grasses (Austrostipa spp.). In contrast to earlier suggestions that S. plana is entirely confined to natural temperate grassland, mature and immature life stages of the species were also present in grasslands comprised entirely of the exotic Chilean needlegrass (Nassella neesiana). Most of the S. plana populations surveyed in the ACT were characterised by low relative abundance with only very few large populations being recorded. The conservation of exotic grasslands as substitute habitat for S. plana is discussed and suggestions regarding future monitoring and research of the species are provided.

    AB - The conservation and management of endangered species requires an adequate understanding of their biology and ecology. Although there has been an increasing appreciation in Australia of the need for greater efforts to conserve insects, there is only limited information available that can be used to underpin conservation efforts. The endangered golden sun moth, Synemon plana (Lepidoptera: Castniidae) is a flagship species endemic to natural temperate grassland in south-eastern Australia. Most populations of this species are at considerable risk from habitat loss, weed invasion and inadequate management. Despite the considerable knowledge that exists about the species biology and ecology, efforts to improve the species conservation status are hampered because there are still critical gaps in our understanding of the species' natural history. In particular, the ecology of the larvae is not known. Our study examined the abundance, population structure and reproductive biology of the moths in a broad sample of both natural temperate and exotic grassland remnants in and near Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in south-eastern Australia. The results fill critical gaps in the knowledge needed to achieve effective conservation management. From our findings, it is clear that the species inhabits grasslands dominated by a mixture of native wallaby grasses (Rytidosperma spp. (formerly Austrodanthonia)) and spear grasses (Austrostipa spp.). In contrast to earlier suggestions that S. plana is entirely confined to natural temperate grassland, mature and immature life stages of the species were also present in grasslands comprised entirely of the exotic Chilean needlegrass (Nassella neesiana). Most of the S. plana populations surveyed in the ACT were characterised by low relative abundance with only very few large populations being recorded. The conservation of exotic grasslands as substitute habitat for S. plana is discussed and suggestions regarding future monitoring and research of the species are provided.

    KW - Abundance

    KW - Chilean needlegrass

    KW - Conservation

    KW - Golden sun moth

    KW - Monitoring

    KW - Synemon plana

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84888829954&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1007/s10841-013-9589-1

    DO - 10.1007/s10841-013-9589-1

    M3 - Article

    VL - 17

    SP - 1093

    EP - 1104

    JO - Journal of Insect Conservation

    JF - Journal of Insect Conservation

    SN - 1366-638X

    IS - 6

    ER -