Species Profile

Hoptree Borer

Scientific Name: Prays atomocella
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
COSEWIC Range: Ontario
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2015
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: 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 History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in November 2015.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2019-02-25

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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

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 by COSEWIC - Nov. 2015]

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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 by COSEWIC - Nov. 2015]

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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 by COSEWIC - Nov. 2015]

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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 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.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 by COSEWIC - Nov. 2015]

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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 by COSEWIC - Nov. 2015]

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Hoptree Borer is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

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.

12 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Hoptree Borer Prays atomocella in Canada (2016-10-13)

    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 (2017-01-11)

    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.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act: SI/2018-40 (2018-06-13)

    Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (Volume 153, Number 5, 2019) (2019-03-06)

    Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. Today’s extinction rate is estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural rate. Biodiversity is positively related to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency (i.e. the ability of an ecosystem to respond to changes or disturbances), and, given the interdependency of species, a loss of biodiversity can lead to decreases in ecosystem function and services (e.g. natural processes such as pest control, pollination, coastal wave attenuation, temperature regulation and carbon fixing). These services are important to the health of Canadians, and also have important ties to Canada’s economy. Small changes within an ecosystem can lead to a loss of individuals and species resulting in adverse, irreversible and broad-ranging effects.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2015-2016 (2016-10-13)

    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.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PPNP-2015-03), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-10-28)

    Point Pelee National Park is re-paving and expanding the main road in the park and burying the power and communication utility conduits under the road. This will allow for the decommissioning and removal of the 6km aboveground power line corridor. Due to its close proximity to the road (~9m), one mature red mulberry tree may be impacted/harmed by this project and approximately 383m2 of critical habitat along the existing road will be destroyed as part of the initial phase of the project. Approximately 0.011km2 of critical habitat of eastern foxsnake and Blanding's turtle, and 0.005km2 of critical habitat of five-lined skink will also be destroyed along the existing road. Up to 200 individual common hoptrees may be damaged during the road recapitalization project, which may harm/kill any hoptree borers using them and damage/destroy their residences.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PPNP-2018-12), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2018-01-01)

    Point Pelee National Park is undertaking a project to renew the infrastructure at the southern tip of the park. Approximately 14 individual common hoptrees in/adjacent to the work area footprint will be cut, pruned, transplanted away from, and/or have their seeds collected and scattered in nearby suitable habitat. Residual effects from the project activities include the damage (i.e. to branches) and/or loss of up to 14 of the approximately 17000 common hoptrees from the park that are a food source and residence for hoptree borers.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PPNP-2019-02), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-09-04)

    Point Pelee National Park's (PPNP) Integrated Vegetation Management Plan (2012) provides objectives, guidelines, and strategies for managing vegetation. This plan states the restoration of Lake Erie Sand Spit Savannah (LESSS) habitats is one of the top vegetation conservation priorities for the park. The LESSS is a globally-rare ecosystem that is important habitat for 15 of the federally listed species at risk found in the park. The Restoration of the LESSS will involve 1) mechanical removal of invasive, exotic and native shrubs and trees; 2) prescribed fires in selected areas, brush piles, and/or spot burning invasive, exotic, herbaceous vegetation; 3) hand pulling of invasive, alien, herbaceous vegetation; 4) using herbicides to reduce and/or control invasive, exotic, herbaceous vegetation and to treat the stumps of mechanically removed and/or girdled shrubs/trees; Site specific activities may vary and details are included in each site restoration plan for which individual impact assessments have been conducted. These activities are expected to incidentally harm or kill individuals of Dwarf Hackberry, Hoptree Borer, Five-lined Skink and Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PPNP-2020-04), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2021-02-01)

    During decommissioning of an obsolete power corridor at Point Pelee National Park, approximately 40-50 individual common hoptrees in or adjacent to the work area will need to be cut, and/or pruned. Residual effects from the project activities include the damage (i.e. to branches) and/or loss of up to 50 of the approximately 17,000 common hoptrees found in the park that are a food source and residence for Hoptree Borers. This could lead to harm or death of some Hoptree Borers.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PPNP-2021-05), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2021-12-01)

    During the sewage treatment system replacements and upgrades at Point Pelee National Park, approximately 44 individual common hoptrees in/adjacent to the work area footprint may be cut, pruned, transplanted away from, and/or have their seeds collected and scattered in nearby suitable habitat. This has the potential to harm or kill any hoptree borers that are living in the trees. The project may also disturb, harm, and/or kill an unknown number of locally abundant broad-banded forestsnails living in the soil and leaf-litter near the septic systems.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species - January 2017 (2017-01-16)

    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:Minister of Environment response to COSEWIC species at risk assessments: October 13, 2016 The COSEWIC Summaries of Terrestrial Species Eligible for Addition or Reclassification on Schedule 1 - January 2017

Related Information

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) Listing Plan 2016 to 2018 (2017-09-29)

    The status of wildlife species is assessed by an independent panel of expert Canadian scientists, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). 149 terrestrial species were assessed as at-risk by COSEWIC between 2009 and 2016 and are eligible for listing under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) to be considered by the Governor-in-Council (GIC) on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment: 86 species would be new additions, 54 currently listed species would be reclassified and 9 species would be updated to reflect changes in their recognized designatable units. A three-year listing plan has been developed to address all 149 terrestrial species and listing decisions for most species are anticipated by the end of 2018. Making amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA is a two-step process. The first step is for the GIC to propose an amendment through an order in council published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period. The second step is for the GIC to make a final decision on whether or not to make amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA, taking into consideration comments received during the 30-day public comment period. The amendments are made through an order in council published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Both orders are accompanied by a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) which presents the implications of listing the species or changing their status. Publishing this plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency about the Government of Canada’s plan to make listing decisions under the Species at Risk Act. NOTE: The information presented below is intended to provide openness and transparency with respect to when terrestrial species might be considered for listing under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. It is intended to assist anyone who may wish to provide comments on such listing considerations. Given any number of factors can affect the timing of a listing decision; the Plan is subject to change. Accordingly, the Plan will be periodically updated.
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