Journal Of Insect Conservation

, Volume 8, Issue 2–3, pp 209–220 | Cite as

An overview of the Tasmanian geometrid moth fauna (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) and its conservation status

  • Peter B. McQuillanEmail author


A brief review of the geometrid fauna of the large island of Tasmania and a simple analysis of its conservation status and threats are presented. The fauna comprises 310 species of which Ennominae contribute slightly less than half the total and Larentiinae one third; 23% of the geometrid fauna is endemic at species level. Mixed eucalypt-rainforest is identified as the richest wet forest habitat in geometrid species. Using distribution data at 10  km resolution, the most widespread and most restricted taxa are identified. The conservation status of Lepidoptera living above 800 m is relatively good. However, coastal species and those associated with herb-rich native grasslands are under some pressure from habitat change. Three species of geometrid moths are listed as threatened in Tasmania’s Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 but several others may qualify for listing.


Australia Development pressure Distribution Forestry Island Threats 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bashford, R. 2001The spread and impact of the introduced vespine wasps Vespula germanica (F.) and Vespula vulgaris (L.) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Vespinae) in TasmaniaAust. Entomol.28112Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bridle, K.L., Kirkpatrick, J.B. 1999Comparative effects of stock and wild vertebrate herbivore grazing on treeless subalpine vegetation, Eastern Central PlateauTasmaniaAust. J. Bot.47817834Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brown, M.J., Balmer, J., Podger, F.D. 2002Vegetation change over 20 years at Bathurst HarbourTasmaniaAust. J. Bot.50499510Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Burnley, I., Murphy, P. 2004Sea Change: Movement from Metropolitan to Arcadian AustraliaUniversity of NSW PressSydney271Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    CSIRO. 2001. Climate change projections for Australia. Scholar
  6. 6.
    Driessen, M.M. 1999Management of threatened invertebrates of the Tasmanian wilderness world heritage areaPonder, W.Lunney, D. eds. The Other 99%: The Conservation and Biodiversity of InvertebratesThe Zoological Society of New South WalesMosman333340Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Edwards, E.D., McQuillan, P.B. 1998LepidopteraDriessen, M.M.Comfort, M.D.Jackson, J.Balmer, J.Richardson, A.M.M.McQuillan, P.B. eds. Wilderness Ecosystems Baseline Studies 1990–1993. WEBS. Pelion Plains – Mt OssaParks and Wildlife ServiceHobart6773Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    H.J. Elliott R. Bashford C. Palzer 1980 Biology of Stathmorrhopa aphotista Turner (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), a defoliator of Eucalyptus spp. in Southern Tasmania Aust. Forest. 43 81 86Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Guest, E. 1887A classified list of Geometrina found around Balhannahwith notes on speciesTrans. R. Soc. South Aust.9126141Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Hopkins, G.W., Thacker, J.I., Dixon, A.F.G., Waring, P., Telfer, M.G. 2002Identifying rarity in insects: the importance of host plant rangeBiol. Conserv.105293307Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Kiernan, K. 2002Conservation, timber and perceived values at Mt FieldTasmaniaDargavel, J.Gaughwin, D.Libbis, B. eds. Australia’s Ever-changing Forests V: Proceedings of the Fifth National Conference on Australian Forest HistoryCentre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National UniversityCanberra209227Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    Kirkpatrick, J.B. 1991The magnitude and significance of land clearance in Tasmania in the 1980sTasforests31114Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Kirkpatrick, J.B., Fowler, M. 1998Locating likely glacial forest refugia in Tasmania using palynological and ecological information to test alternative climatic modelsBiol. Conserv.85171182Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Lindenmayer, D.B., Cunningham, R.B., Donnelly, C.F., Franklin, J.F. 2000Structural features of old-growth Australian montane ash forestsForest. Ecol. Manag.134189204Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    Lindenmayer, D., McCarthy, M.A. 2002Congruence between natural and human forest disturbance: a case study from Australian montane ash forestsFor. Ecol. Manag.155319335Google Scholar
  16. 32.
    McFarland, N. 1988Portraits of South Australian geometrid mothsAllan PressKansasGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    McQuillan, P.B. 1984A new genus for Chlenias fucata Felder and Rogenhofer (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Ennominae) and a new Tasmanian speciesJ. Aust. Entomol. Soc.23297306Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    McQuillan, P.B. 1985A taxonomic revision of the Australian autumn gum moth genus Mnesampela Guest (Lepidoptera: GeometridaeEnnominae)Entomol. scand.16175202Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    P.B. McQuillan 1999 The effect of changes in Tasmanian grasslands on the geometrid moth tribe Xanthorhoini Geometridae: Larentiinae W. Ponder D. Lunney The Other 99%. The Conservation and Biodiversity of Invertebrates Transactions of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales Mosman 121 128Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    McQuillan, P.B., Edwards, E.D. 1996GeometridaeNielsen, E.S.Edwards, E.D.Rangsi, V. eds. Checklist of the Lepidoptera of AustraliaCSIROMelbourne200228355–357Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mendel, L.C., Kirkpatrick, J.B. 2002Historical progress of biodiversity conservation in the protected-area system of TasmaniaAustraliaConserv. Biol.1615201529Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    O’Dwyer, C., Attiwill, P.M. 1999A comparative study of habitats of the Golden Sun Moth Synemon plana Walker (Lepidoptera: Castniidae): implications for restorationBiol. Conserv.89131141Google Scholar
  23. 33.
    RFA 2002. Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement. http// 5 May 2004.Google Scholar
  24. 23.
    Richardson, A.M.M., Swain, R., Wong, V. 1998Relationship between the crustacean and molluscan assemblages of Tasmanian saltmarshes and the vegetation and soil conditionsMar. Freshwater Res.49785799Google Scholar
  25. 34.
    RPDC (Resource Planning and Development Commission) 2003. State of the Environment Tasmania 2003. http// 5 May 2004.Google Scholar
  26. 24.
    Schmidt, O. 2002A revision of the genus Chaetolopha Warren (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Larentiinae) with a description of Parachaetolophagen. novInvertebr. Syst.16703733Google Scholar
  27. 25.
    Sinclair, L.J. 2002Distribution and conservation requirements of Notoreas sp., an unnamed geometrid moth on the Taranaki coastNorth IslandNew ZealandN.Z.J. Zool.29311322Google Scholar
  28. 26.
    Specht, R.L. 1963Dark Island heath (Ninety-Mile Plain, South Australia). 7. The effect of fertilizers on composition and growth1950–60Aust. J. Bot.116794Google Scholar
  29. 27.
    Turner, A.J. 1926aNew and little known Tasmanian LepidopteraPap. Proc. R. Soc Tasmania192581117Google Scholar
  30. 28.
    Turner, A.J. 1926bA revision of Lepidoptera of TasmaniaPap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania1925118151Google Scholar
  31. 29.
    Turner, A.J. 1928A revision of the Lepidoptera of Tasmania. Part IIPap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania19272965Google Scholar
  32. 30.
    Turner, A.J. 1939A second revision of the Lepidoptera of TasmaniaPap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania193857115Google Scholar
  33. 31.
    Young, C.J., McQuillan, P.B. 2003Redescription and life-cycle of Archephanes zalosema Turner1926 (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Ennominae), a specialist on WinteraceaeInsect Syst. Evol.348194Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geography and Environmental StudiesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartTasmania

Personalised recommendations