Species Profile

Hoptree Borer

Scientific Name: Prays atomocella
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
Range: Ontario
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2015
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.


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Quick Links: | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Hoptree Borer

Description

The Hoptree Borer is a small moth (i.e., 17-20 mm wingspan), and the only species of the family Praydidae native to Canada. Despite its small size, the pattern and colour are distinctive, with a black-spotted, pure white forewing and a pinkish rust-brown hindwing and abdomen. Larvae are up to 20 mm long and pale green to yellowish with indistinct lateral lines. The Hoptree Borer is one of three known insect herbivores that specialize on Common Hoptree, which is currently ranked as Special Concern at the provincial (Ontario) and federal level. (Updated 2016/12/20)

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Distribution and Population

Hoptree Borer occurs from the southern Great Lakes region through the Midwestern United States to south-central Texas. Its distribution is more restricted than that of its larval host plant, Common Hoptree. Hoptree Borer is apparently absent from a large portion of the range of Common Hoptree, which extends from the south Atlantic Coastal Plain to the Gulf coast in the southeastern US. In Canada, Hoptree Borer is known only from Point Pelee. It is also suspected to occur on Pelee Island based on the presence of distinctive larval feeding damage. This species ranges over an area of 148 km2. (Updated 2016/12/20)

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Habitat

Hoptree Borer is dependent on its sole larval host plant, Common Hoptree, which occurs on shoreline habitats of Lake Erie. Common Hoptree often forms the outermost shoreline vegetation with an active natural disturbance regime, primarily wind and wave erosion. Hoptree Borer has been documented only in the largest subpopulations of Common Hoptree, and has not been found in the smaller, more isolated Common Hoptree subpopulations along Lake Erie northeast of Point Pelee. (Updated 2016/12/20)

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Biology

The life cycle of the Hoptree Borer is incompletely known. In Ontario there is one generation per year and adults are active from mid- to late June, during which time eggs are laid on the leaves or shoots of Common Hoptree. Only current-year shoots appear to be suitable for larval feeding. The duration of the egg, larval and adult stage are not precisely known, nor has the egg and egg-laying behaviour been described. Larval development probably starts in the summer months after egg hatch. The larva bores into a young shoot and creates a diagnostic cavity in the woody stem below the shoot. The excavated material is incorporated into a silken cover for the cavity, forming a short tube that probably serves as a shelter to avoid predators and parasites. Larvae probably overwinter in bored-out stems, as in other species of Prays. Larval feeding continues the following spring after initiation of plant growth. Larvae leave the stem for pupation, which occurs in a distinctive mesh-like cocoon, often among the host plant flower clusters. Adult feeding has not been documented. (Updated 2016/12/20)

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Threats

Threats to Hoptree Borer include most of those identified for Common Hoptree. The potential threat impact is, however, higher for Hoptree Borer because it does not occur in all Common Hoptree subpopulations. The most imminent threats include shoreline erosion, vegetation succession, shoreline development, recreational activities and invasive plant species. Other potential threats include population outbreaks of the Hoptree Leaf-roller Moth, which can result in nearly complete defoliation of Common Hoptree and may adversely affect Hoptree Borer populations through direct competition and leaf and shoot dieback. Pesticide application for control of Gypsy Moth outbreaks is also known to adversely affect other moth species. (Updated 2016/12/20)

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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

4 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Hoptree Borer Prays atomocella in Canada (2016)

    The Hoptree Borer is a small moth (i.e., 17-20 mm wingspan), and the only species of the family Praydidae native to Canada. Despite its small size, the pattern and colour are distinctive, with a black-spotted, pure white forewing and a pinkish rust-brown hindwing and abdomen. Larvae are up to 20 mm long and pale green to yellowish with indistinct lateral lines. The Hoptree Borer is one of three known insect herbivores that specialize on Common Hoptree, which is currently ranked as Special Concern at the provincial (Ontario) and federal level.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Hoptree Borer (2017)

    This species is dependent on its sole larval host plant, Common Hoptree, which is confined to a narrow swath of southwestern Ontario and currently assessed as Special Concern. This moth has an even more limited range than that of its host – it is known only from the western shore of Point Pelee, and from Pelee Island. Very few individuals have been detected. The most imminent threats include loss of shoreline habitat through erosion, vegetation succession, and invasive plant species.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2015-2016 (2016)

    Over the past year COSEWIC re-examined the status of 25 wildlife species; of these, the majority (68%) were re-assessed at the same or lower level of risk. Of a total of 45 species assessed, seven were assigned a status of Not at Risk (two re-assessments and five new assessments). To date, and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 724 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 320 Endangered, 172 Threatened, 209 Special Concern, and 23 Extirpated (i.e., no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 15 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, 54 wildlife species have been designated as Data Deficient, and 177 have been assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species - January 2017 (2017)

    The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection afforded by the prohibitions and from recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 521 wildlife species at risk. In 2016, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, the Governor in Council approved listing proposals for 44 wildlife species. It is proposed that 23 species be added to Schedule 1, 18 be reclassified or have a change made to how they are defined (two wildlife species are being split into four), one species  be removed from Schedule 1, and another two species not be added. Listing proposals were published in Canada Gazette, part I for a 30-day public comment period and final listing decisions for all 44 species are expected in the first half of 2017.Please submit your comments byMay 11, 2017, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultationsand byOctober 11, 2017, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see:Species at Risk Public Registry website The COSEWIC Summaries of Terrestrial Species Eligible for Addition or Reclassification on Schedule 1 - January 2017