I’m working on a few posts related to fungi and insects. One should be ready next weekend and will feature an unusual beetle that eats bracket fungi and sprays poison on its enemies. And a beautiful beetle, too, will be discussed. The fungi posts will be about some important species found across the northern boreal forests. There are still literature searches going on that lead me down many wandering paths, as well as coalescing all of this information into writing before these are ready to post.
Another fungus eating moth
But not in Tineidae. This moth, Metalectra quadrisignata (four-spotted fungus moth), in the Family Erebidae, Subfamily Boletobiinae is yet another addition to the species checklist. The first syllables in the name Boletobiinae are “bolet” from “bolete” which is a name given to a vast group of species of mushrooms with large caps free from the stems and producing spores from pores, not gills. So, Metalectra quadrisignata is in the Subfamily Mushroom-iinae. Presumably, the larva of many or most of the members in this subfamily are fungivores but full life histories for species is incomplete. Larvae of Metalectra quadrisignata feed on bracket fungi preferring living or actively growing fruiting bodies. What species or even order is not specified. Some photos at Bug Guide show larva on a gilled mushroom and a slime mold which is not a fungus. It is unclear if they larvae were consuming these. I’ll need to start looking more carefully at these types of fungus.
Matalectra quadrisignata is widespread in eastern North America from New Brunswick south to Florida and west to Manitoba and Texas.
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Species quadrisignata (Four-spotted Fungus Moth – Hodges#8500)
Fungus Moths (Subfamily Boletobiinae)