Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered as Phyllodes imperialis smithersi
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008xy) [Conservation Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Phyllodes imperialis smithersi (Pink Underwing Moth) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013cy) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (20/11/2002) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2002a) [Legislative Instrument] as Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333).
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (151) (31/05/2013) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013r) [Legislative Instrument] as Phyllodes imperialis smithersi.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:NSW threatened species - Pink Underwing Moth - Profile (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC), 2005ag) [Internet].
NSW:Priority Actions - Pink Underwing Moth - Profile (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC), 2005ah) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013) as Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333)
Scientific name Phyllodes imperialis smithersi [86084]
Family Noctuidae:Lepidoptera:Insecta:Arthropoda:Animalia
Species author  
Infraspecies author D. Sands, 2012
Reference Sands, D. (2012) Australian Entomologist 39(4): 281-292 [tax. nov.]
Other names Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333) [67453]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

The Pink Underwing Moth is a striking moth with leaf-shaped grey-brown forewings marked with white. The hindwings are black with a pink central patch and are fringed with seven or more white spots along the trainling edge (NSW DECC 2005ag). Its outstretched wings measure 13–14 cm across. The thorax and abdomen are grey-brown (TSSC 2008xy).

Young caterpillars are dull brown, but as they mature they develop two large 'eye' spots surrounded by smaller white spots and a double row of white 'teeth' on the dorsal side between the eye spots. The pupal stage is a bronze coloured, 5 cm long, case consisting of silk and leaves with metallic brown bands surrounding the outside (NSW DECC 2005ag).

The only other subspecies of P. imperialis that occurs in Australia is found in northern Queensland. The two subspecies are allopatric and morphologically distinct; the northern subspecies has a larger pink patch on the hindwings (NSW SC 2003j; TSSC 2002n).

The Pink Underwing Moth is distributed from Nambour, south-east Queensland, to Dorrigo in northern NSW (Clarke & Spier-Ashcroft 2003). It is currently known from five locations, of which Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, near Maleny (Queensland), contains the only confirmed breeding habitat (NSW SC 2003j). This subspecies occurs within the Burnett Mary and South East (Queensland) and Northern Rivers (NSW) Natural Resource Management Regions (TSSC 2008xy).

In Australia, the northern subspecies of P. imperialis occurs in rainforest in north-eastern Queensland. Other subspecies occur in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia (Herbison-Evans et al. 2004).

The Pink Underwing Moth is found below the altitude of 600 m in undisturbed, subtropical rainforest. It occurs in association with the vine Carronia multisepalea, a collapsed shrub that provides the food and habitat the moth requires in order to breed (Clarke & Spier-Ashcroft 2003; NSW DECC 2005ag). Where C. multisepalea attains an upright form, the association with the moth does not occur (TSSC 2002n).

The larvae of the Pink Underwing Moth feed on the vine Carronia multisepalea which appears to be relatively rare (NSW SC 2003j). Other forms of P. imperialis feed on Pycanarrhena species of vine (Sands 1999).

The main identified threat to the Pink Underwing Moth is the loss of its rainforest habitat (Sands 1999). Most old growth subtropical rainforest in north-eastern NSW and south-eastern Queensland is fragmented due to logging and clearing for agriculture and development (TSSC 2002n).

The main potential threat to the Pink Underwing Moth is tourist disturbance at its only known breeding site at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve (TSSC 2002n).

The Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Pyllodes imperialis southern ssp. ANIC 3333 suggests the following priorities and actions to inform and support the recovery of the subspecies (TSSC 2008xy):

Research Priorities

  • Design and implement a monitoring program.
  • More precisely assess population size, distribution, ecological requirements and the relative impacts of threatening processes (NSW DECC 2005ah).
  • Undertake survey work in suitable habitat and potential habitat to locate any additional populations/occurrences/remnants (NSW DECC 2005ah).
  • Undertake research to determine the factors that limit the host plant Carronia multisepalea. Assess its abundance and feasible means of increasing its availability.

Regional Priority Actions

  • Identify populations of high conservation priority.
  • Manage threats to areas of vegetation that contain populations/occurrences/remnants of the Pink Underwing Moth.
  • Encourage regeneration of montane rainforest habitat (NSW DECC 2005ah).
  • Ensure infrastructure or development activities in areas where the Pink Underwing Moth occurs, do not adversely impact on known populations.
  • Investigate formal conservation arrangements such as the use of covenants, conservation agreements or inclusion in reserve tenure.
  • Raise awareness of the Pink Underwing Moth within the local community including among landowners, managers and consent authorities (NSW DECC 2005ah).

Local Priority Actions

  • Monitor known populations to identify key threats.
  • Monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and the need to adapt them if necessary.
  • Control access routes to suitably constrain public access to known sites on public land.
  • Suitably control and manage access on private land.
  • Protect breeding habitat from damage and inappropriate disturbance by tourists at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve (TSSC 2002n).
  • Protect populations through the development of conservation agreements and/or covenants including breeding and foraging sites on private land (NSW DECC 2005ah).

Current funding grants

Barung Landcare Association Inc. received funding through Round 10 of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2007–08 to educate the local community in addressing fragmentation of the only known breeding site of the Pink Underwing Moth through corridor establishment and habitat rehabilitation (TSN-WWF 2007).

The following documents may inform on protection and management of the Pink Underwing Moth:

  • Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Phyllodes imperialis southern ssp. ANIC 3333 (TSSC 2008xy)
  • Pink Underwing Moth - Profile (NSW DECC 2005ag)
  • Priority Actions - Pink Underwing Moth - Profile (NSW DECC 2005ah)
  • A Review of the Conservation Status of Selected Australian Non-marine Invertebrates (Clarke & Spier-Ashcroft 2003)
  • Extending and Enhancing Habitat Corridors for the Endangered Pink Underwing Moth (Phyllodes imperialis) Round 10, 2007, TSN Community Grant (TSN-WWF 2007)

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008xy) [Conservation Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat loss, modification and degradation due to timber harvesting Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008xy) [Conservation Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate change altering atmosphere/hydrosphere temperatures, rainfall patterns and/or frequency of severe weather events Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333) (a moth) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2002n) [Listing Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333) (a moth) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2002n) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Residential and Commercial Development:Residential and Commercial Development:Habitat modification (clearance and degradation) due to urban development Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008xy) [Conservation Advice].

Clarke, G. & F. Spier-Ashcroft (2003). A Review of the Conservation Status of Selected Australian Non-Marine Invertebrates. [Online]. Environment Australia, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/action/non-marine-invertebrates/index.html.

Herbison-Evans, D., J. Moss & N. Hewett (2004). Phyllodes imperialis H.Druce, 1888. [Online]. Available from: http://www.usyd.edu.au/macleay/larvae/cato/imper.html.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC) (2005ag). NSW threatened species - Pink Underwing Moth - Profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10625.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC) (2005ah). Priority Actions - Pink Underwing Moth - Profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/pas_profile.aspx?id=10625.

NSW Scientific Committee (NSW SC) (2003j). Final determination - Phyllodes imperialis, southern subspecies (a moth) - endangered species listing. [Online]. Available from: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.nsf/Content/Phyllodes_imperialis_southern_subspecies_endangered.

Sands, D.P.A (1999). Conservation status of Lepidoptera: assessment, threatening processes and recovery actions. In: Ponder, W. & L. Daniel, eds. The Other 99%. The Conservation and Biodiversity of Invertebrates. Page(s) 382-387. Mosman, NSW: The Royal Zoological Society of NSW.

Threatened Species Network-Worldwide Fund for Nature (TSN-WWF) (2007). Extending and enhancing habitat corridors for the endangered Pink Underwing Moth (Phyllodes imperialis) Round 10 2007, TSN Community Grants. [Online]. Available from: http://wwf.org.au/ourwork/species/tsngrants/.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2002n). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333) (a moth). [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/p-imperialis.html.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2008xy). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Phyllodes imperialis (southern subsp. - ANIC 3333). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/67453-conservation-advice.pdf.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Phyllodes imperialis smithersi in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:52:45 +1000.