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Posted: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 9:24 AM HST

Hawaii researchers study decline of native moth

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) University of Hawaii researchers say the decline of a native moth species is likely correlated with the introduction of parasitic wasps and other non-native insects.

The native leafroller moth was widespread across the main Hawaiian Islands in the early 1900s. It was one of the most common native moths in Hawaii.

But populations have since declined dramatically.

The moth is now thought to be extinct on Oahu and Kauai but is still found from Molokai to the Big Island.

The moth can feed on many native and non-native grasses so the researcher say the loss of native food sources is unlikely to limit the species.

The study by Adam Vorsino and other UH scientists was published Wednesday in the online journal PLOS ONE.

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