Swamp Maire Leaf Miner
New Zealand Status: Endemic
Conservation Status: Unknown
Macarostola miniella is a pretty little moth that is endemic to New Zealand. It has a forewing length of only 6mm - 8mm. Adults occur in two colour forms with the red and yellow form being more common than the brown and yellow form. Adults can be found from October to April and usually fly at night. The larvae initially mines a leaf, emerging later to roll the edge of the leaf and feed within.
The genus Macarostola is largely tropical and miniella is it's only New Zealand representative.
Macarostola miniella occurs in native forest. The only known host plant is Syzygium maire (Swamp Maire), a rather uncommon, also endemic, tree that grows in swampy forest. It is likely there are other host plants as the moth is often found in good numbers well away from any known Swamp Maire plants.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader