Tmetolophota steropastis facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsTmetolophota steropastis
Tmetolophota steropastis, or the flax notcher moth, is a species of moth in the family Noctuidae. It is endemic to New Zealand. New Zealand flax is the host plant for the larvae of this moth. The damage the larvae cause to the leaves ensures that they cannot be used for weaving.
This species was first described by Edward Meyrick in 1887 as Mamestra steropastis. In 2019 Robert J. B. Hoare undertook a major review of New Zealand noctuids. Hoare, having inspected the type material of this species, placed it within the genus Ichneutica.
Larvae of this species have dark and light horizontal stripes. The adults have a forewing length of 16 - 20mm.
T. steropastis is endemic to New Zealand. It is common and can be found throughout the country.
Habitat and host plant
The larvae of T. steropastis consume the leaves of the New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax).
Interactions with humans
The larvae of this species is regarded as a pest as it chews distinctive notches in the sides of the flax leaves. This damage ensures the leaf cannot be used in weaving.