This species was described in 1901 by Edward Meyrick. George Hudson discussed and illustrated this species both in his 1928 publication The Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand, and in his 1950 book Fragments of New Zealand entomology. John S. Dugdale criticised the quality of Hudson's illustrations arguing that the images were not as brown as specimens of the moth. The lectotype was collected by Meyrick at Mount Arthur below Flora Saddle in the Nelson district. This specimen is held at the Natural History Museum, London.
Meyrick described the species as follows:
♂♀. 13-17 m.m. Head pale whitish-ochreous. Palpi whitish, second joint dark fuscous towards apex, scale-projection slight, terminal joint more or less suffused with dark fuscous except base and apex. Antennae and thorax whitish-ochreous, reddish-tinged. Abdomen ochreous-whitish. Legs dark fuscous, suffusedly ringed with ochreous-whitish. Forewings whitish-ochreous or pale reddish-ochreous, more or less suffused with dark fuscous or dark reddish-fuscous irroration ; plical and first and second discal stigmata large, dark fuscous, plical at 2⁄5 , first discal slightly beyond middle : cilia pale fuscous, on costa ochreous-whitish dotted with dark fuscous, round apex with a black basal line. Hindwings rather dark fuscous ; cilia light fuscous or pale ochreous.
Alfred Philpott described the proboscis of the adult of this species as being long and well developed. The female of the species is lighter in appearance than the male. The colour and markings of this species shows considerable variation.
This species is endemic to New Zealand. Specimens have been collected from Kaeo in the North Island to Invercargill in the South Island and it is regarded as being generally distributed throughout the country. This species has also been recorded at Pitt Island in the Chatham Islands.
Biology and behaviour
Habitat and host species
This moth prefers native forest habitat, especially beech forest and manuka scrubland. It is also known to inhabit kanuka forest. The larvae of this species is associated with sooty mould and sooty beech scale. It has been hypothesised that B. agaura larvae feed on sooty beech scale. However they may also feed on the sooty mold itself. If B. agaura are found to consume scale insects this species will be one of the few that have larvae that are predatory.
- "Batrachedra agaura Meyrick, 1901". www.nzor.org.nz. Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Meyrick, Edward (1901). "XVII. Descriptions of New Lepidoptera from New Zealand". Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London. 49 (4): 565–580. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2311.1901.tb01373.x. ISSN 1365-2311 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
- Hudson, G. V. (1928). The Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand. Wellington: Ferguson & Osborn Ltd. p. 304. OCLC 25449322.
- Hudson, George Vernon (1950). Fragments of New Zealand entomology : a popular account of all the New Zealand cicadas : the natural history of the New Zealand glow-worm : a second supplement to The butterflies and moths of New Zealand, and notes on many other native insects. Wellington, N.Z.: Ferguson & Osborn. p. 106. OCLC 154155584.
- Dugdale, J. S. (1988). "Lepidoptera - annotated catalogue, and keys to family-group taxa" (PDF). Fauna of New Zealand. 14: 1–269. ISBN 0477025188. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- Philpott, Alfred (1927). "The Maxillae in the Lepidoptera". Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 27: 721–746 – via National Library of New Zealand.
- Gordon, Dennis P., ed. (2010). New Zealand inventory of biodiversity. Volume two. Kingdom animalia : chaetognatha, ecdysozoa, ichnofossils. Vol. 2. Christchurch, N.Z.: Canterbury University Press. p. 457. ISBN 9781877257933. OCLC 973607714.
- Emberson, Rowan M.; Muir, C. A.; Early, J. W.; Barratt, B. I. P. (1991). "Lincoln University entomological expedition to Pitt Island" – via Lincoln University Research Archive.
- Hoare, Robert J. B. (2014). A photographic guide to moths & butterflies of New Zealand. Ball, Olivier. Auckland: New Holland Publishers. p. 37. ISBN 9781869663995. OCLC 891672034.
- Dugdale, J. S.; Hutcheson, J. (1997). Invertebrate values of kanuka (Kunzea ericoides) stands, Gisborne region (PDF). Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Conservation, New Zealand. pp. Appendix. ISBN 0478019211. OCLC 53151911.
- Morales, C. F.; Hill, M. G.; Walker, A. K. (1988). "Life history of the sooty beech scale (Ultracoelostoma assimile) (Maskell), (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) in New Zealand Nothofagus forests". New Zealand Entomologist. 11 (1): 24–37. doi:10.1080/00779962.1988.9722532. ISSN 0077-9962.
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