Species At Risk

Aweme Borer

(Papaiepema aweme)


Aweme Borer
Aweme Borer occurrences map


The Aweme Borer moth has a wingspan that reaches up to 3.7 centimetres. It is a yellowish or pinkish-brown with darker brown markings on the front wings and yellowish-white hind wings. The body and head are dark brown. The larvae live on a host plant where they eat and grow until they transform into a moth. The host plant of this species is unknown.


The sites where the Aweme Borer has been found are between southwestern Manitoba, east to the Great Lakes shoreline in northern Michigan, southern Ontario and northern New York State. In Ontario, Aweme Borer has only been found at Grand Bend on Lake Huron and on Manitoulin Island.


Not much is known about the habitat needs of the Aweme Borer. It may live in prairie habitats, such as sand dunes and oak savannas. The pale colouring of the Aweme Borer allows it to blend in well with a sandy habitat. Four of the five areas where the species has been collected in North America are along the Great Lakes shoreline.


The greatest threat to the Aweme Borer moth is habitat loss or degradation as a result of agricultural or recreational development. Natural threats include rodents, skunks, and woodpeckers. It is also vulnerable to the growth of trees and shrubs that change grasslands into forests, a process called natural succession. Wild fire plays an important role in preventing natural succession and maintaining sand dunes and grasslands. However, fire at the wrong times could also destroy the eggs and host plant of the Aweme Borer. Pesticides that kill pests, such as the gypsy moth, could also harm this species.


The Aweme Borer is protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act and the federal Species at Risk Act.

What You Can Do to Help the Aweme Borer

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the Aweme Borer. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Consider joining The Friends of Pinery Park, which has a mandate to help protect, preserve, and enhance the natural and historic heritage features of Pinery Provincial Park. For more information visit: www.pinerypark.on.ca.
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. If you find Aweme Borer on your property, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.

Did you know?

Aweme is pronounced “ah-wee-mee”.

Did you know?

An Aweme Borer was found on Manitoulin Island in 2005 – the first sighting of this species in almost 70 years!

Did you know?

Even experts have a difficult time finding and identifying the very rare Aweme Borer, which is only active at night. Because the host plant for this moth is not known, finding this species is even more challenging.

Did you know?

The Canadian range of the Aweme Borer accounts for three-fifths of the global sites where this species occurs. The first three specimens of Aweme Borer were collected at Aweme, Manitoba in 1905.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.