Aoraia mairi Buller, 1872:279 (1873?)

Buller's moth



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Porina mairi Buller, 1872:279


Questions have been raised as to the taxonomic validity of the species. Hitchmough et al. (2007) considered it a synonym of the significantly smaller and differentially patterned Dumbletonius characterifer, but it was reinstated by (Stringer et al., 2012:123).


Conservation Status


Last (and only) record: 1867 (Buller, 1872)


""Porina" mairi could have been missed because it is likely to have a very restricted flight period"

(Stringer et al., 2012:124)



Ruahine Range, North Island, New Zealand (Buller, 1872)


Biology & Ecology




Only known from a single specimen, now presumed lost or destroyed (Meads, 1990; Patrick & Dugdale, 2000:30).



Above: the only known illustration of Buller's moth (Aoraia mairi), from Buller's original description (Buller, 1872). Source: Wikimedia Commons.



Original scientific description:

Buller, Walter L. (1872). Notice of a New Species of Moth in New Zealand. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 5: 279-280.


Other references:

Dugdale, John S. (1994). Hepialidae (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Fauna of New Zealand 30: 194 pp. [p. 70]

Foottit, Robert G.; Adler, Peter H., eds. (2009). Insect biodiversity : science and society. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 94.

Hitchmough, R., Bull, L. and Cromarty, P. (2007). New Zealand Threat Classification System Lists 2005. Department of Conservation, Wellington. 194 pp.

Hoare, R. J. B., Dugdale, J. S., Edwards, E. D., Gibbs, G. W., Patrick, B. H., Hitchmough, R. A. and Rolfe, J. R. (2017). Conservation status of New Zealand butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), 2015. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 20. Department of Conservation, Wellington. 13 pp.

Holmes, Branden. (2021). What's Lost and What Remains: The Sixth Extinction in 100 Accounts (eBook). Self published.

Meads, Michael J. (1990). Forgotten fauna: the rare, endangered and protected invertebrates of New Zealand. DSIR Publishing: Wellington.

Patrick, B. H. and Dugdale, J. S. (2000). Conservation status of the New Zealand lepidoptera. Wellington, N.Z.: Dept. of Conservation. [p. 30]

Stringer, I. A. N., Hitchmough, R. A., Dugdale, J. S., Edwards, E., Hoare, R. J. B. and Patrick, B. H. (2012). The conservation status of New Zealand Lepidoptera. New Zealand Entomologist 35(2): 120-127.

Wishart, Skye (2012). Night moves - the world of moths. New Zealand Geographic. 113.


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