Distribution Eurasia, North America north of Mexico
Habitat Forest or grasslands
Systematics and Biogeography Forewing subcosta forked, halves of tegumen meet dorsoanteriorly, dorsal margin of tegumen with dense oval patch of spinules, caudal portion of truellum not fused to tegumen, and pulvilli large and setose. Larva with elongate claw with basal tooth ending before half the length, and caudal band of teeth encircle abdominal segment 7 (Wagner and Tindale, 1988). Monophyly supported by presence of basal lateral lobe on the valve. Member of potential basal clade also including Afrotheora, Antihepialus, and Fraus (Grehan, 2012)
The Eurasian distribution of Gazoryctra involves one species confined to Europe, two in the Russian Far East, and one extending across northern Eurasia. The distributions of the nine species in North America are poorly documented. About five appear to be confined to the West, two range across Canada and parts of the northern United States and one is endemic to the southern Appalachians (Grehan, 2011)
Biology Larvae are root feeders (Grehan, 1989).
References Aarvik, L. & Berggren, K. 2002.Dvergbjørkroteteren, Gazoryctra fuscoargenteus (Lep., Hepialidae), gjenfunnet i Norge. Insekt-Nytt 27, 29-32. (Damage to dwarf birch by Gazoryctra fuscoargenteus (Lep., Hepialidae), in Norway) Grehan, J.R. 1989. Larval feeding habits of the Hepialidae. Journal of Natural History (British Museum) 33: 469-485. Grehan, J.R. 1998. Survey of Semiothisa fraserata) Geometridae) and Gazoryctra sciophanes (Hepialidae) in the southern Appalachians. Unpublished report for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Asheville, North Carolina July 1998. Grehan, J.R. 2011. Notes on the biogeography and phylogeny of eastern Asian ghost moths (Lepioptera: Hepialidae). Bulletin of the Buffalo Museum of Natural Sciences 40, 59-74. Grehan, J.R. 2012.Morphological evidence for phylogenetic relationships within the Hepialidae (Lepidoptera: Exoporia). Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences 42, 33-62. Wagner, D.L. and Tindale, N.B. 1988. An appraisal of GazoryctraHübner (Hepialidae) and description of a new species from Arizona and New Mexico. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 42, 204-212
Gazoryctra sp. Sitka, Alaska, August 23, 2014. Photo courtesy of Matt Goff, Sitka Nature