Art. XLII.—Contributions to the Entomology of New Zealand.
[Read before the Otago Institute, 24th October, 1876.]
The following notes embody the result of the work done in the Otago Museum during the past year towards obtaining a better knowledge of the habits of our insects. Owing to the lateness of the season when we commenced, these results are not so numerous as could be wished, but I hope next year to present you with a larger budget. The larvæ were all collected and reared by Mr. F. J. Bourne, Museum Assistant. I am also much indebted to Mr. R. W. Fereday for assistance in determining several of the species, especially those named by M. E. Guenée.
Purameis gonerilla, Fabr.
Caterpillar.—Back, black or brown, with numerous white dots; two interrupted yellow lines down each side. Under surface, brown, with white dots. Each segment with five elevated setose papillæ. Head, hairy, variable in colour. Legs, black or greenish, with black rings. Pro-legs and dorsal papillæ, bright green. Spiracles, edged with white. Length, one inch.
Chrysalis.—Pale brown, finely veined with black. Dorsal surface with six golden spots in two rows. Anterior end with two projecting points. A compressed dorsal spine on the thorax, two lateral ones on each side; each segment of the abdomen with a pair of dorsal spines.
Hatches in December, feeds for a month or six weeks everywhere, spins a slight web suspended from its food, and changes to a chrysalis in January or February. The perfect insect appears in January, February, or March.
Nyctemera annulata, Boisd.
Caterpillar.—Hairy. Dark velvetty-black, with three longitudinal stripes of reddish-orange. Each segment with eight tufts of long black hairs, two between each of the red stripes. Head and legs, black. Length, one inch.
Chrysalis.—Blackish-brown, each ring on the dorsal surface with a row of large, yellowish, rectangular blotches, each of which is partly divided into two in front; three of these blotches in each segment. Head and last segment, dark brown. Below, the abdominal segments are marked as on the back. Sternal elements, dark brown, with longitudinal linear markings of yellow.
Hatches in November, and feeds for four or five weeks. Feeds on groundsel in preference to any native vegetation. Chrysalis hung to trees, palings, grass, etc. Moth appears in midsummer.
Porina variolaris, Guenée.
Caterpillar.—Smooth, shining, about two or two and a half inches in length. Pale yellowish-brown, each ring with four annulated brown spots, from each of which arises a long hair. The two anterior of these spots are larger, and placed nearer together than the others. These marks are not found on the three anterior segments, which are darker than the others. Last segment but one, with a row of four occellated spots anteriorly, and seven posteriorly. Sides, head, legs, and pro-legs, with a few scattered long brown hairs. Spiracles, margined with black.
Chrysalis.—Light reddish-brown, with a few scattered brown hairs. Each segment with two rows of small, flattened, triangular teeth pointing backward on the dorsal surface. The last segment but two, with a stronger row of teeth on the ventral surface. Spiracles, darker.
Hatches in January to March, lives underground, and feeds on wood and roots of plants. Feeds through the autumn and winter, and changes to a chrysalis in November. The chrysalis is found from two to six inches below the surface. The moth appears in December, January, and February.
A considerable number of this species have been reared in the Museum, and although they varied slightly, none were like P. rignata. I, therefore, think that Mr. Butler is wrong in uniting the two species.
Declana floccosa, Walker (?).
Caterpillar.—Brown, slightly vermiculated with yellowish; a very few scattered black hairs. A pair of small tubercles placed transversely on the penultimate segment. Two pairs of pro-legs only. Skin, rather rough, and produced along each side below the spiracles into a row of pectinated tufts. Length, one inch.
Feeds on Aristotelia and Ulex. The moth hatched out on 12th July, after having been nearly two months underground.
Nitocris comma, Walker.
Caterpillar.—Smooth, with a few scattered whitish hairs, which are most abundant on the head and legs. Brownish-grey, mottled with darker; two irregular longitudinal bands of lighter down the back, and a similar band on each side; ventral surface, paler, yellowish-brown; legs, pale yellow; jaws, rich brown; head, black. Length, rather more than an inch.
Chrysalis.—Light red, slightly marbled on the back with brown. Feeds on groundsel, grass, garden vegetables, etc. Spins a cocoon about one and a half inches under the earth at the end of November. Moth appears in January. The caterpillar is a great pest in gardens.
Euplexia insignis, Walker (?).
Caterpillar.—Purplish-grey, longitudinally marked with darker; a greyish-
white line down the middle of the back, Generally with a small yellow spot, sometimes with a black centre, on each side on every segment. Sometimes with an irregular dash of black above each spiracle. A few scattered hairs on the back. Length, 1.5 inch.
Feeds on Clematis and Aristotelia. Moth appears in September, and lays pale-green eggs.
Hadena lignifurea, Walker.
Caterpillar.—Brown, or olive-brown, variegated with blackish-brown; under surface, pale olive-green; a white or pinkish lateral line below the spiracles, and above it on the anterior part of each segment, an oblique black line sloping downwards and backwards. Head, brownish-olive, with scattered hairs. Legs and pro-legs, yellowish-olive. Smooth, with a few scattered pale hairs. Length, 1 ¼ inch.
Chrysalis.—Smooth, round; light red, abdominal segments rather darker; the anterior part of each segment brown, and with a band of shallow punctures.
The caterpillar changes into a chrysalis in February, and the moth appears in January, February, and March.
This species differs from H. mutans by always having a short, longitudinal, basal black stripe on the anterior wings.
Anchmis composita, Guenée.
Caterpillar.—Reddish-pink, with fine longitudinal black bands; under-surface, pink. Head and first segment, pale yellow marked with black; legs, pale yellow; pro-legs, yellow tipped with black; claspers, yellow. A few scattered yellowish hairs; head, smooth. Length, ¾ inch.
Feeds on grass. The moth comes out from January to March.
Ninety-seven individuals of a small undescribed Ichneumon came out of a single caterpillar of this species.
Asthena subpurpureata, Walker.
Caterpillar.—Pale brown, longitudinally marked with darker; nearly smooth. A curved black mark, convex backwards, on the back, over the last pair of pro-legs. Length, 1.1 inch.
Feeds on the manuka (Leptospermum ericoides). The moth appears in March.
Hybernia boreophilaria, Guenée.
Caterpillar.—Grey, marbled with brown; two pairs of white spots margined with black on the dorsal surface of each segment. A few scattered black hairs. Legs and pro-legs pale. Length, 1 inch.
The moth is hatched in April.
Larentia semisignata, Walker.
Caterpillar.—Green, or yellowish-green; smooth, with a few scattered yellow hairs. A narrow yellow ring round the base of each segment. Length, ¾ inch.
Some of these caterpillars were obtained feeding on the common dock, others on the sow-thistle.
The moth appears in March.
Larentia corcularia, Guenée (?).
A moth very like this, but darker than the specimens sent me by Mr. Fereday, laid red eggs.
Eupithecia indicataria, Walker (?).
Caterpillar.—Brown, rough segments transversely corrugated. The sixth, seventh, and eighth segments with a pair of dorsal papillæ; those of the seventh segment much larger than the others. Length, .65 inch.
Feeds on Clematis indivisa. The moth comes out in April.
Coremia robustaria, Walker (?).
Caterpillar.—Shining, brown marbled with grey. A large tubercle on the back with a small one in front of it. Length, 1.1 inch.
Feeds on the Kahikatoa (Leptospermum scoparium.) Moth appears in March.
Coremia inamcnaria, Guenée.
The eggs of this species are yellow.
Pædicea privatana, Walker.
Caterpillar.—Pale yellowish-green, smooth, tuberculated, with scattered white hairs. Head brown; anal segment, brownish. Length, ½ inch.
Feeds on hawthorn, manuka, fuschia, and broad-leaf. Moth hatches in April.