, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 283-285
Date: 13 Feb 2003

A high-Arctic population of Pyla fusca (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae) on Svalbard?

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Introduction

Over 300 species of insect (including Collembola) are recorded from Svalbard. These include 11 species of Lepidoptera, the majority of which are occasional summer immigrants (Coulson and Refseth 2003). Those for which locality data are available are summarised in Table 1. It has been suggested that Apamea maillardi (Geyer, 1834) [=zeta (Duponchel, 1854) (Mikkola and Goater 1988)] and Plutella xylostella (L., 1758) may be resident (Kaisila 1973) but no overwintering stages have yet been found. Here we report large numbers of the pyralid moth, Pyla fusca Haworth, 1811, in late July 2002 on Ossiansarsfjellet and suggest that a resident colony is established.

The collection site and observations

Ossiansarsfjellet consists of a ridge approximately 6 km long, 2 km wide and peaking at ca. 250 m a.s.l., located at the eastern end of Kongsfjord, Svalbard (78°56.5'N 12°28.6'E) (Fig. 1). It is bordered to the north, east and south by Kronebreen and to the west by the waters of the fjor