Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 16, 1883
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Art. IV.—Description of a new Species of Cidaria (Lepidoptera).

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 2nd August, 1883.]

Cidaria purpurifera, n. sp.

Male.—Primaries above with a very broad central belt, having a broad projection extending to near the subterminal line between the first and third median nervules; the outer margin of the projection in the form of a bracket}; central area of the belt traversed by a broad pale purplish band, edged on each side by a thin and very irregular sinuated and indented dark chocolate-brown line; on each side of the purplish band, and occupying the spaces between it and the inner and outer margin of the central belt, is a narrow band of olive-green mottled with dark chocolate-brown, the part within the projected portion of the central belt being entirely filled up with dark chocolate-brown; the outer and inner margin of the central belt irregularly sinuous and indented, and edged with a thin line of dark chocolate-brown; subterminal line white and crenate, and having blotches of dark chocolate-brown between some of its angles; the space between the central belt and the subterminal line olive-green next the central belt, with a very conspicuous suffused white line, broadest between the costa and the projection of the central belt; external border olive-green, suffused near the apex with dark chocolate-brown; a marginal line of dark chocolate-brown lunular spots, edged with white; basal patch olive-green suffused with brown at its outer margin which has angles and indentations similar to those of the inner margin of the central belt; space between basal patch and central belt paler olive-green, suffused with white on its outer margin; an apical costal patch of pale olive-green diminishing from the subterminal line to a point at the apex, and suffused externally with white; central spot absent; cilia chequered with dark chocolate-brown and whitish. Primaries below with a band of three dusky sinuous and dentated parallel lines beyond the middle, the lines dark and distinct on the costa, but fading towards the inner margin of the wing; the space between the outer of the three lines and the base, pale brown; the space beyond the outer line similar to the upper side but paler, and having pale brown in the place of the olive-green; basal half of costa irrorated with dark chocolate-brown; marginal line of lunular spots and chequered fringe as on upper side; a distinct discocellular spot formed by a short transverse streak; in some specimens the markings are much more indistinct and in some almost obliterated.

Secondaries above tawny-ochreous, with three very indistinct transverse sinuous and dentated parallel lines a little before the middle of the wing; outer margin edged with a very thin line of darker ochreous; cilia not

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chequered, basal half tawny-ochreous, exterior whitish. Secondaries below very pale whitish-brown; basal half irrorated with dark chocolate-brown, and the three transverse lines, and a short abbreviated line, near the anal angle, formed by condensation of such irroration; a very thin lunular marginal dusky line; cilia pale with indistinct dusky chequers.

Thorax, olive-green. Abdomen, tawny-ochreous, with anal tuft, and tufted along the sides. Palpi, connivent, in form of a beak. Antennaæ finely serrated.

Length of body, 4″′; Expanse of wings, 11″′–1″1″′.

Female.—Appears to differ from the male only in size, form of antennæ, and absence of abdominal tufts. Antennæ simple, scarcely pubescent.

Length of body, 4 ½″′. Expanse of wings, 1″1″′–1″2″′.

Hab. New Zealand, plentiful in bushy gullies between the eastern spurs of Mount Hutt, Canterbury.

This species is readily distinguished by the purplish belt, brilliant white lines, and bright olive-green of the primaries. In all but colour it much resembles Cidaria rixata, Feld. (Coremia squalida, Butl.), but is at once distinguishable therefrom by the outer margin of the dark central belt being very deeply indented along the lower branch of the median nervure. C. rixata is found in abundance under overhanging banks of river-beds, in bushy gullies where the water has excavated holes and hollows beneath the roots of trees. Poking under these banks with a stick brings them out in numbers, when they fly a little way, and settle again, always in a similar place. C. purpurifera, though found in the same locality, does not take to the excavations, but is found by beating the bush and herbage on the banks above; I have taken it in December and January, but not having been to the locality at any other time, cannot say if it is out in any other month.