Apamea sphagnicola Wagner, 2014


Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in March 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female (e.l. Azores, San Miguel Island, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female after eclosion (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female after eclosion (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female after eclosion (e.l. So Miguel, larva in December 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Eggs (breeding San Miguel 2014). Unfortunately a breeding attempt did not succeed because no oviposition occurred. The photographed eggs were obtained from the dead female. [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in antepenultimate instar (azores, San Miguel, Serra Devassa, November 2013) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in antepenultimate instar (azores, San Miguel, Serra Devassa, November 2013) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in antepenultimate instar (azores, San Miguel, Serra Devassa, November 2013) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in penultimate instar (Azores, San Miguel, December 2013) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in penultimate instar (Azores, San Miguel, December 2013) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in penultimate instar (Azores, San Miguel, December 2013) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in penultimate instar (Azores, San Miguel, December 2013) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in penultimate instar (Azores, San Miguel, December 2013) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in penultimate instar (Azores, San Miguel, December 2014) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in penultimate instar (Azores, San Miguel, December 2014) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in last moult rest. You see the loose webbing the larva uses to create a moulting cavity (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (San Miguel, December 2013) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva, feeding on Festuca francoi at night (San Miguel, Serra Devassa, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva (e.l. San Miguel 2013) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Pupa (e.l. San Miguel 2013/2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Pupa (e.l. San Miguel 2013/2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Pupa prior to eclosion (e.l. San Miguel 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Kremaster dorsal view (e.l. San Miguel 2013/2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Kremaster, ventral view (e.l. San Miguel 2013/2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Kremaster lateral view (e.l. San Miguel 2013/2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Kremaster dorsal view (e.l. San Miguel 2013/2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in a gully in Serra Devassa (San Miguel, November 2013). Larvae could be recorded only on the right side of the gully. Only here (shady side) grew Sphagnum. The host plant Festuca francoi was even more numerous on the left side, however. [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra Devassa (San Miguel, November 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra Devassa (San Miguel, November 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: The larvae are betrayed by their green droppings. These are only visible, however, if you pull apart the mosses. They mark hiding spots where the larva rested during daytime. In most cases the larva is not far away in another resting spot. San Miguel, Serra da Tronqueira, December 2013. [N] Apamea sphagnicola: The larvae are betrayed by their green droppings. These are only visible, however, if you pull apart the mosses. They mark hiding spots where the larva rested during daytime. In most cases the larva is not far away in another resting spot. San Miguel, Serra da Tronqueira, December 2013. [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva in its rest during daytime (mosses pulled apart, Serra da Tronqueira, December 2013) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra da Tronqueira (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra da Tronqueira (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra da Tronqueira (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra Devassa (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra Devassa (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra de gua de Pau (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra de gua de Pau (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra de gua de Pau (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra de gua de Pau (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra de gua de Pau (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra de gua de Pau (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra de gua de Pau (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra de gua de Pau (San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra de gua de Pau (background, San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat in Serra de gua de Pau (mountains in the background, San Miguel, December 2013) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Male ssp.centralazorensis (e.l. rearing, Azores, Pico, larva in December 2014)  [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male ssp.centralazorensis (e.l. rearing, Azores, Pico, larva in December 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male ssp.centralazorensis (e.l. rearing, Azores, Pico, larva in December 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Male ssp.centralazorensis (e.l. rearing, Azores, Pico, larva in December 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female ssp.centralazorensis (e.l. rearing, Azores, Pico, larva in December 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Female ssp.centralazorensis (e.l. rearing, Azores, Pico, larva in December 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva ssp.centralazorensis (Azores, Pico, mid-December 2014) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva ssp.centralazorensis (Azores, Pico, mid-December 2014) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva ssp.centralazorensis (Azores, Pico, mid-December 2014) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva ssp.centralazorensis (Azores, Pico, mid-December 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva ssp.centralazorensis (Azores, Pico, mid-December 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva ssp.centralazorensis (Azores, Pico, mid-December 2014) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Larva ssp.centralazorensis (Azores, Pico, mid-December 2014) [M] Apamea sphagnicola: Comparison of larvae: top centralazorensis from Pico (December 2014), bottom ssp. sphagnicola from Sao Miguel (December 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Pupa ssp.centralazorensis (Azores, Pico, mid-December 2014) [S] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat (Azores, Pico, December 2014) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat (Azores, Pico, December 2014) [N] Apamea sphagnicola: Larval habitat (Azores, Pico, December 2014) [N]

Host plants:
The larvae feed on Festuca francoi, an endemic grass of higher altitudes in the Azores.

Habitat:
Apamea sphagnicola inhabits wet to humid, shady or semi-shady, steep areas with Sphagnum mosses and Festuca francoi in altitudes from about 500 to 1100m asl in the fog zone. These are most often embankments, steep north-facing slopes or inner slopes of volcanic craters.

Life cycle:
In November, the larvae are in antepenultimate and penultimate instar. They are mature between December and March. They are night-active in these instars and rest in the Sphagnum mosses about 1-5 cm under the surface during daytime. Pupation also occurs in the mosses in a weak cocoon that is somewhat denser than the webbing during moult rests.

The moths are supposed to fly mainly in April and May, perhaps still in early June.

Endangerment factors:
The nominate subspecies is locally endangered by afforestation with allochthonous coniferous forests, invasive plant species and especially by transforming its habitats into EU-funded cattle pastures. The ssp. centralazorensis, however, is severely endangered by the last factor.

Remarks:
Apamea sphagnicola is endemic to the Azores and so far known from San Miguel Island (ssp. sphagnicola) and Pico (ssp. centralazorensis).

Literature:
Wagner, W. (2014): Apamea sphagnicola sp. n. a surprising new species from the Azores in
westernmost Europe (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Xyleninae, Apameini).- Nachr. entomol. Ver. Apollo, N. F. 35 (4): 177184.

Wagner (2015): Apamea ramonae n. sp. and Apamea sphagnicola centralazorensis n. ssp. two new noctuid taxa (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Xyleninae, Apameini) from the Azores (Portugal) in westernmost Europe. Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo, Neue Folge 36 (1): 21-29.



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