This species was described by Edward Meyrick in 1882 using material he collected in Dunedin in February. In 1922 Meyrick classifed Heterocrossa as a synonym of the genus Carposina. George Hudson discussed and illustrated this species in his 1928 publication The Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand. However John S. Dugdale doubted whether the illustration by Hudson of H. gonosemana was based on a specimen of that species. In 1978 Elwood Zimmerman argued that the genus Heterocrassa should not be a synonym of Carposina as the genitalia of the species within the Heterocrassa genus are distinctive. In 1988 Dugdale assigned the species back to the genus Heterocrossa. The lectotype specimen is held at the Natural History Museum, London.
Meyrick described this species as follows:
♀︎. 9". Head white. Palpi about twice the length of head, upper half white, lower half dark fuscous, terminal joint white, dark fuscous at base. Antennae white, with indications of dark rings. Thorax white, on shoulders ochreous-tinged. Abdomen ochreous-white. Anterior and middle legs dark fuscous, with ochreous-white rings at apex of joints ; posterior legs ochreous-white. Forewings elongate-oblong, narrow, costa slightly arched, bent and roughened with scales about one-third, apex obtusely pointed, hindmargin straight, moderately oblique ; white, with a few scattered grey scales, towards inner margin very faintly ochreous-tinged ; a thick black streak along basal fifth of costa, attenuated at each end ; a black dot on costa closely beyond it ; a small irregular black mark in disc at one-third, immediately preceded by a small dark fuscous-grey suffusion, and followed by two tufts of raised scales, half blackish and half white ; a small subquadrate rather inwardly oblique black spot on costa at one-third, almost connected with discal black spot ; all these black markings are somewhat mixed on margins with ochreous ; some raised scales towards base, and inner margin at one-third ; five short cloudy blackish marks on costa at equal distances between one-third and apex, rather oblique inwardly ; five small spots of raised whitish-ochreous scales arranged in an oval in disc, each with a few black scales on margin ; between these, and above posterior of them, is an ill-defined grey suffusion ; a very ill-defined cloudy grey irregular dentate transverse line from second of the five costal marks to inner margin at four-fifths, only distinct on upper half and on inner margin ; a more distinct dentate grey line from third costal mark to inner margin before anal angle, strongly curved outwards and sinuate, containing a series of ill-defined black dots ; a row of very ill-defined black dots on hindmargin : cilia grey, closely irrorated with whitish points. Hindwings whitish- slaty-grey, cilia white, with a faint grey line.
This species is variable in appearance and tends to be of a darker shade in the more southern parts of New Zealand in comparison to the northern localities.
This species is endemic to New Zealand. This species is found throughout the country and has been collected at Wellington, Nelson, Otira River, Dunedin, Lake Wakatipu, Invercargill, Stewart Island, and Auckland Island.
Biology and behaviour
This species is on the wing from November until February. It can be found during the day resting on tree trucks where it blends well with lichen patches. The larvae of this species is very active when it is disturbed. This species spends the winter as a pupa. The pupa is 8mm in length and is greenish-white in colour. Its abdominal segments are short while the leg and wing cases are unusually large. The pupa is enclosed in a cocoon that can be found in the soil beneath the larvae host. The cocoon is oval in shape and approximately 12mm in length. The adult moth emerged in December when bred in captivity. The adult moth is attracted to light.
Habitat and host species
This species prefers forest habitat. The larvae have been recorded feeding on seeds and fruit of Griselinia lucida. It is possible the larvae also feed on the fruit of Griselinia littoralis.
- "Heterocrossa gonosemana Meyrick, 1882". www.nzor.org.nz. Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
- Dugdale, J. S. (1988). "Lepidoptera – annotated catalogue, and keys to family-group taxa" (PDF). Fauna of New Zealand. 14: 1–269. ISBN 0477025188. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
- Meyrick, Edward (1882). "Descriptions of Australian Lepidoptera. VII. Revisional". Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. 7: 148–202. doi:10.5962/bhl.part.22744 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
- Zimmerman, Elwood (1978). Insects of Hawaii. 9. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press. p. 797. ISBN 9780824804879.
- Meyrick, Edward (1922). "Lepidoptera Heterocera Fam. Carposinidiae". Genera insectorum. fasc.176–180: 1–235 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
- Hudson, G. V. (1928). The Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand. Wellington: Ferguson & Osborn Ltd. pp. 217–218. OCLC 25449322.
- 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.
- Hudson, G. V. (1950). Fragments of New Zealand entomology. – a popular account of all 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: Ferguson & Osborn Ltd. pp. 109–110.
- Gaskin, E. C. (1964). "Notes on the species of Lepidoptera taken by light-trapping at Wellington between November, 1962, and November, 1963". Records of the Dominion Museum. 4: 305–309.
- Sullivan, Jon J.; Burrows, Colin J.; Dugdale, John S. (September 1995). "Insect predation of seeds of native New Zealand woody plants in some central South Island localities". New Zealand Journal of Botany. 33 (3): 355–364. doi:10.1080/0028825X.1995.10412962. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
- "PlantSynz – Invertebrate herbivore biodiversity assessment tool: Database". plant-synz.landcareresearch.co.nz. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
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