New species of moth discovered on Te Ahu Pātiki!

Brian Patrick, a former Trustee of the Rod Donald Trust, is an expert when it comes to insects. Brian, who works as a senior ecologist, entomologist and invertebrate specialist with Wildland Consultants Ltd, shared with us his discovery of a new species of moth on the summit of Te Ahu Pātiki!

This day-flying geometrid moth, Paranotoreas, is very distinct from other members of this alpine genus. It is locally abundant on the highest grassland-herb field slopes of Te Ahu Pātiki, amongst the indigenous flora and fauna endemic to the new park.

Brian said ‘I also found an isolated population of another day-flying geometrid moth, Notoreas hexaleuca, with caterpillars specialists on Kelleria dieffenbachii; this moth species was not previously known north of the Mount Cook area. Both are significant low-alpine species and make Mount Herbert significant in terms of low alpine biodiversity and biogeography.”

When questioned about the moths location in the park his reply was “Right on top sunbathing on small bare areas on the hottest days and enjoying the view!”

Keep up the great work Brian!