%0 Generic %D 2009 %T Protecting Australia's Exports - Revision of the genus Epiphyas %A Hitchcock, B %X

Epiphyas is a large genus of Australian moths (Family Tortricidae). Approximately 60 species are represented in the Australian National Insect Collection, with 66 names available for 38 of these and the rest undescribed. Our taxonomic knowledge of the genus is limited to Common’s (1961) six-page review, without illustrations of adults and containing only a few genitalia drawings.

Five species of Epiphyas are known to be widely polyphagous. Of these, Epiphyas postvittana (the light-brown apple moth) is a native pest which attacks various fruit crops such as apples, pears and citrus. It is listed as a quarantine threat by many countries, thereby placing restrictions on Australian fruit exports. Research into E. postvittana has long been hampered by taxonomic problems involving several similar-looking species.

The majority of Epiphyas species are apparently restricted to feeding on Asteraceae.The evidence for this is circumstantial, however, and cannot refute suggestions that among the many undescribed Epiphyas species, other pests may be present.

An inventory of Australian Epiphyas species and a scientific revision describing them – presented with an emphasis on the phylogenetic position of economically important species and combined with host plant information – should demonstrate which Epiphyas species are of concern to horticultural industries. Reliable identification tools, accessible to non-specialists, will remove the threat of unjustified quarantine measures.

The outcomes of the revision, using a morphological approach to species identification and presenting a phylogenetic interpretation based on molecular sequence data, are illustrated and discussed.