Cryptoses choloepi

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Cryptoses choloepi
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pyralidae
Genus: Cryptoses
C. choloepi
Binomial name
Cryptoses choloepi
Dyar, 1908

Cryptoses choloepi is a sloth moth in the snout moth family that lives exclusively in the fur of sloths, mammals found in South and Central America.[1]

Adult female moths live in the fur of the brown three-toed sloth Bradypus variegatus infuscatus and leave the fur of the sloth to lay eggs in the sloth droppings when the sloth descends, once a week, to the forest floor to defecate. The larvae of Cryptoses choloepi live in the dung and newly emerged moths later fly from the dung pile into the forest canopy to find a host sloth.[2]

The relationship between Cryptoses choloepi and sloths is "phoretic rather than parasitic," because "Cryptoses benefit from being carried by the sloth to fresh dung piles, the use of the sloths as a refuge from avian predators, and the enhancement of its diet with secretions or algae."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rau, P (1941). "Observations on certain lepidopterous and hymenopterous parasites of Polistes wasps". Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 34 (2): 355–366(12). doi:10.1093/aesa/34.2.355. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b Waage, Jeffrey K.; Montgomery, G. Gene (1976). "Cryptoses choloepi: A Coprophagous Moth That Lives on a Sloth". Science. 193 (4248): 157–158. Bibcode:1976Sci...193..157W. doi:10.1126/science.193.4248.157. PMID 17759254.