oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - The natural history of Nyodes lutescens (Herrich-Sch ffer) (Noctuidae: Hadeninae): a fern feeder in the indigenous forests of the southern Cape, South Africa

Volume 55, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0013-8789



Nyodes lutescens (Herrich-Sch�ffer), a cryptic green moth, lays its eggs on the fronds of Rumohra adiantiformis (G. Forst.) Ching, a forest fern seldom eaten by mammals. The brightly coloured, gregarious larvae feed on the mature fronds of R. adiantiformis and of other fern species. Here we document the behaviour and life cycle of the moth, and its role in nutrient cycling. The fern-harvesting industry recently established in the southern Cape Forests could reduce the patchily distributed populations of this uncommon species.

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