First record of Citheronia regalis (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) feeding on Cotinus obovatus (Anacardiaceae).
Here I report the first record of C. regalis feeding on the foliage of the American smoketree, Cotinus obovatus Raf. (Anacardiaceae) in Ozark County, Missouri (36.6264833[degrees]N, 92.5899333[degrees]W; 252 m above sea level) on 12 Sep 2016 at 5:30 PM. The late instar larva had eaten portions of several leaves (Fig. 1) and had entirely consumed 6 leaves, leaving only the petioles. The smoketree is a rare endemic tree with a relictual distribution comprising three localized populations: (1) on the Ozark Plateau in Arkansas and Missouri with a few scattered stations in eastern Oklahoma, (2) from the southern Cumberland Plateau in northeastern Alabama and adjacent Tennessee and Georgia, and (3) on the Edward's Plateau of south-central Texas (Little 1977; Davis & Graves 2016). All known populations occur on soils derived from calcareous bedrock, typically in glades, and on cliffs and bluffs. Opportunities for arthropod-host specialization are relatively limited given the general rarity of the smoketree and its disjunct geographic range. The Butterflies and Moths of North America database (Lotts & Naberhaus 2016) shows historic and recent records of C. regalis for only 11 of the 34 counties in which natural populations of smoketree have been documented (Davis & Graves 2016).
The proposed introduction of biocontrol agents to counter the invasive Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi; Anacardiaceae) in Florida (Medal et al. 1999; Manrique et al. 2008; Diaz et al. 2015) substantially raises the conservation stakes for the distantly related American smoketree (Miller et al. 2001) because no arthropod introduction aimed at the Anacardiaceae is devoid of risk. In any case, there is an urgent need to document the native and introduced arthropod pests in natural populations of smoketree. Previous to this paper, the only documented arthropod pests of smoketree were the notodontid moth, Datana perspicua Grote and Robinson (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae; Crocker & Simpson 1982), reported from a nursery plant in Texas, and the recently described gracillariid leafmining moth (Cameraria cotinivora Davis and Graves; Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) in natural populations of smoketree on the Ozark Plateau (Davis & Graves 2016). Fieldwork was supported by the Alexander Wetmore Fund (Smithsonian Institution) and the Smoketree Trust.
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Gary R. Graves (1,2,*)
(1) Department of Vertebrate Zoology, MRC-116, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, P. O. Box 37012, Washington, D.C. 20013, USA
(2) Center for Macroecology, Evolution, and Climate, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100, Copenhagen O, Denmark
(*) E-mail: email@example.com
Caption: Fig. 1. Larva of regal moth (Citheronia regalis) on American smoketree (Cotinus obovatus) in Ozark County, Missouri, on 12 Sep 2016 (5:30 PM). Lower panel shows the pattern of feeding along the right leaf margin.
Please Note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.
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|Title Annotation:||Scientific Notes|
|Author:||Graves, Gary R.|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2017|
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