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Volume 12, 1879
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Art. XXVIII.—Description of a (?) new Species of the Family Leucanidæ, and a (?) new Species of the Genus (?) Chlenias.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 26th Nov., 1879.]

(?) Leucania sulcana, sp. nov.
(Plate IX., fig. 3′.)

Body, stout. Thorax, pale ochreous. Abdomen, extending about one-fourth of its length beyond the hind-wings; fuscous; the male with pale fawn-coloured tuft; pale fawn-colour beneath. Antennæ of male slightly serrated, and thickly ciliated. Palpi porrect, slightly ascending, extending considerably beyond the head; third joint slender, elongate-conical, about one-third the length of the second; thickly clothed; the second joint with long, and the third joint with short hairs. Legs rather stout; hind tibiæ with four spurs, each pair consisting of one long and one very short spur; the short spurs with a broad band of black hairs.

Fore-wings, pale ochreous, very sparsely irrorated with blackish scales, more especially in the regions of the postcostal and anal nervures, and apex; rather narrow, acute at the tip, outer margin oblique, a deep longitudinal depression extending from the base and running midway between the median and anal nervures to near the anal angle, the inner margin also being depressed, and the anal nervure running along the ridge between the depressions; a less deep longitudinal depression between the median and postcostal nervures; a brown shade runs longitudinally from near the centre of the disk to the hind margin, the shade inwardly dark and terminating abruptly at the median nervure and its third branch, and anteriorly fading away into the ground colour; a similar shade along the anterior side of the groove formed by the depression between the median and anal nervures; a narrow, dusky shade along the middle of the inner margin, and a short dusky streak near the base of the inner margin; the brown shades in some specimens incline to red, in others to yellow; margin of costa brownish-ochreous, inclining to reddish-ochreous in some specimens; along each side of the nervures, and also midway between the branches of the nervures, runs a groove; the grooves forming parallel striæ of ridge and furrow; the ridges pale and the furrows dusky; each central furrow terminating in a blackish marginal dot or point; the nervures rather paler than the disk of the wing; a blackish central spot at the apex of the acute angle formed by the fork of the second and third branches of the median nervure; a small cluster of blackish scales in the discoidal cell at the point where the third branch springs from the median nervure; the subterminal line represented by a blackish point on the first inner subcostal nervure,

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about midway between the central spot and the apex of the wing, and a blackish speck on the anal nervure; the inner line by a blackish dot immediately below the postcostal nervure and close to its first branch, and a blackish speck on the anal nervure; and the half-line by a blackish dot between the postcostal and median nervures.

Hind-wings, bronzy-brown, with pale ochreous cilia.

Fore and hind-wings below shining fuscous, with margin of costa pale ochreous, and apex and hind margin of fore-wing inclining to pale ochreous.

Expanse of wings: 1″ 6″–1″ 9″.

Habitat; Akaroa, Canterbury; and Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.

The only specimens I have seen were taken by myself in the month of February, at Sugar, in a small bush on the shore at Akaroa; and in a bush at Dunedin—at the latter place only one specimen.

The spurs of the hind tibiæ of this insect do not accord with those of any of the genera of Leucanidæ, as described in the British Museum List of Lepidopterous Insects;* and I might therefore not unreasonably consider myself justified in forming a new genus for this species, but refrain from so doing, inasmuch as Mr. Butler, of the British Museum, identified as Leucania semivittata, of Walker, an insect having spurs similar to those of sulcana—at least so I infer from his having included L. semivittata in his paper “On two collections of Heterocerous Lepidoptera from New Zealand, with descriptions of new genera and species;” the collections which formed the subject of that paper having comprised numerous specimens of my own collecting, entrusted to Mr. J. D. Enys for the purpose of comparison and identification with species in the British Museum; and amongst them were duplicate specimens, one of which was returned, labelled in Mr. Butler's handwriting, “Leucania semivittata;” and that specimen, and similar specimens in my collection, have the spurs of the hind tibiæ not “moderately long,” as stated in the description of the genus Leucania in Walker's British Museum List, but each pair consisting of one long and one very short spur, as in sulcana above described.

(?) Chlenias manxifera, sp. nov.
(Plate IX., fig. 1′.)

Body rather stouter and more depressed that that of C. egregia of Felder. Head crested, as in C. egregia; white above, black in front; a small white tuft above the proboscis. Proboscis long. Palpi porrect, extending a little beyond the head, as in C. egregia; third joint white, slender, clavate (not conical), more (not less) than half the length of the second, rather naked;

[Footnote] * Walker, Lep. Het., IX., p. 68, et seq.

[Footnote] † Lep. Het., suppl. ii., p. 628.

[Footnote] ‡ Proceedings of Zoological Soc. of London, May 1st, 1877, p. 382.

Picture icon

R. W. Fereday, del. J.B. lith.

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first and second joints hirsute, black. Antennæ of male pectinated; of female ciliated.

Thorax short, slightly crested; crest, tegulæ and patagia white, with the interstices black, and the hind margin of the crest black; pectus white, with a black tippet in front. Fore-legs; tarsi (except the ends next the tibiæ) black; tibiæ white, with black patches. Middle and hind-legs; tarsi (except the ends next the tibiæ) brown; tibiæ white, with brown patches; tibiæ of hind-legs, with four moderately long spurs. Abdomen silky cinereous.

Fore-wings elongate, not rounded at the tips; costa nearly straight; exterior border oblique and convex, except at tip, where it is slightly concave; pearly-white, with raised flecks; a black hastate patch at the base; a central irregular, and very erose fascia, extending from the centre of the costa to the anal angle; a similar submarginal fascia flowing into the central fascia in the middle of the disk; between the central fascia and the basal patch are two fasciæ, that nearest the base biflexed and terminating, not on, but near to, the inner margin, with the upper sinus bending outwardly, and the lower inwardly, and each sinus much swollen; the other fascia running nearly parallel with the central fascia, slightly sinuous, erose, and disrupted in the discoidal cell; the central and submarginal fasciæ, and the fascia near the base, pale India-ink colour, somewhat inclining to brown, with the margins shaded or blotched with black; several black blotches and spots along the inner margin; costa spotted with black quadrate spots, four of which are situated between the central and submarginal fasciæ, and those next the fasciæ generally confluent therewith; a row of five conical spots on the hind margin and extending through the fringe, the middle one being conical and smaller than the others, and the latter having their points more or less blunted or excised; a small black mark on the hind margin at the apex of the wings. Under-side of both wings whitish, suffused and clouded with smoky-black; pale towards the base, and gradually darker towards the hind margin, where it is very dark; cilia and margin of costa chequered with black and white; dusky markings indicate the position of the markings on the upper side; cilia broad.

Hind-wings slightly dentate; hind margin crimped; cinereous, with a pinkish gloss; very pale at the base, gradually darker towards the hind margin, which is very dark (especially in the female), except at the termination of the nervures, where it is pale; a central transverse, indistinct, dusky shade, between which and the hind margin is a dusky transverse sinuous line with a large angle in the middle.

Expanse of Wings: male, 1″ 7′″–1″ 8′″; female, 1″ 11″′–2″ 0″′.

Habitat: Wellington, New Zealand.

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I have two specimens, presented to me by W. T. L. Travers, Esq., of Wellington, who captured one of them in the theatre, and the other in his garden at Wellington; and one specimen presented to me by Professor Hutton, of Dunedin, and captured I believe at Wellington. Such are the only specimens that have come to my knowledge.

The form of the central and submarginal fasciæ reminds me of the heraldic arms of the Isle of Man, and has suggested the name of manxifera for this species.

I have given a drawing (fig. 2′) from a specimen (in my collection) of C. egregia, of Felder,* for the purpose of facilitating comparison with manxifera.

The genus appears to me doubtful, for although my specimens of C. egregia entirely resemble Felder's figure, neither they nor any specimen of manxifera clearly agree—particularly as to the palpi and the shape of the tip of the fore-wing—with the genus Chlenias, as described in Walker's British Museum List; nor do they clearly agree—particularly as to the hind-wing—with the family Ligidæ (comprising the genus Chlenias) as described in that List.

[Footnote] * Reise der Nov., Lep. V., Pl. CXXXI., Fig. 24.

[Footnote] † Lep. Het., XXIV., p. 1150.