|HEAR home > species info > invertebrates > Hyposmocoma molluscivora (a type of snail)|
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Hyposmocoma molluscivora is native to Maui (Hawaii, USA).
Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) overview
An overview of Hawaii's moths and butterflies is provided by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (Hawaii's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, 2005).
Web-Spinning Caterpillar Stalks Snails
"Moths and butterflies compose one of the most diverse insect orders, but they are overwhelmingly herbivorous. Less than 0.2% are specialized predators, indicating that lepidopteran feeding habits are highly constrained. We report a Hawaiian caterpillar that specializes on snails, a unique food source requiring an unusual feeding strategy. The caterpillar uses silk to restrain live prey. All caterpillars have silk glands, but none are known to use silk in this spiderlike fashion. Considering the canalization of caterpillar diets, evolution to attack and feed on snails is an anomaly. Hawaii s isolation and consequently disharmonic biota likely promote evolutionary experiments that occur nowhere else." (This text is the article's abstract.)
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|The content of this page is based on information last generated on 16 October 2017 by PT. The template for this page was created on 15 March 2004 by EMS, and was last updated on 20 February 2006 by PT.|