Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 27, 1894
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Art. XXXVI.—On some New Species of Tipulæ (Dddy-long legs) found in New Zealand.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 20th February, 1895.]

The following five species of Tipulæ are here briefly described, as they are all large and conspicuous insects, and not at all likely to be confused with any other species. My knowledge of the Diptera generally is not yet sufficiently advanced to enable me to determine with certainty many of the other smaller or less distinct species which I have in my collection, and I shall therefore place these in abler hands as opportunity offers. I should here remark that it may, perhaps, subset quently prove necessary to remove some of the species here described into other genera, as my sources of information on the subject of the classification of Tipulidæ are necessarily somewhat imperfect. I do not think, however, that any trouble or inconvenience will result to future students of the order from this circumstance, as the species here characterized are some of the most striking and conspicuous insects we have in New Zealand


Tipula dux, n.s

Dark-brown; thorax with four more or less distinct darker stripes on the back and a shining white streak on each side beneath the wings. Abdomen dark-brown. Legs dark-brown, the articulations of the femora and tibia paler. Wings dark smpky-brown, the veins marked in darker brown; the surface of the wing considerably wrinkled in the vicinity of the costal and discoidal vein. There are several small transparent marks near the tip of the wings. Length of body of male 14 lines, of female 17 lines. Expanse of wings of male 28 lines, of female 30 lines.

This species may be immediately recognized by its very large size and dark coloration. It frequents damp situations in deep forest gullies, and is usually dislodged; from the

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overhanging banks of streams in December, January, and February. It is far the largest and handsomest species of Tipula, we have in New Zealand. Wellington is the only locality I know of at present.


Tipula rufa, n.s.

Reddish-orange; thorax with a dark central band above. Wings bright reddish-orange; a black stripe from base to-inner margin at about one-third, another fainter stripe from centre of wing to inner margin at two-thirds, and another dark stripe from costa at two-thirds to centre of wing, almost joining second-named stripe. Length of body 13 lines. Expanse of wings 19 lines.

At once distinguished by its brilliant orange colouring and large size. It appears to be a scarce species. I have only taken two specimens at present, both in rather dry situations in forest near Wellington. The insect also occurs in the neighbourhood of Nelson.


Tipula orion, n.s

Body stout, very dark orange-brown, abdomen with a black dorsal stripe. Legs very stout, jet-black, bases of anterior femora orange. Wings pale-yellow, with veins darker (in one specimen), or dusky with black veins (in the other specimen); stigma and a broad marginal costal line jet-black in both specimens. Length of body 7 lines. Expanse of wings 18 lines.

Of this very handsome species I took one specimen on Mount Peel (near Nelson), at 4,000ft. above sea-level, and another on Mount Mathew, the other side of Wellington Harbour, at about 2,500ft. above sea-level. The two specimens are not exactly alike, but until more are found I think it preferable to regard them, as constituting a single species which may be immediately known by the broad black costal stripe and black stigma.


Tipula obscuripennis, n.s.

Pale yellowish-brown. Sides of thorax and abdomen dark brownish-black. Legs pale yellowish-brown; in the female banded with dark-brown. Wings pale yellowish-brown, a brown spot on the costa at one-third, a broad oblique band nearly extending to inner margin at one-half, an interrupted curved series of spots at two-thirds; the terminations of the-veins dotted with brown, and several minute brown dots near base of wing. Length of body 7 lines. Expanse of wings 14 lines.

An abundant species in forest, frequenting rather dry-situations (Wellington).

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Tipula atropos, n.s.

Body slender, dull-black, without markings. Legs very long and slender, dull-black. Wings rather broad, uniform smoky-black the stigma a little darker, veins black. Length of body 5 lines. Expanse of wings 13 lines.

I took a single specimen of this inseqt hovering about in a cave at Terawhiti in December, and have seen others in similar situations. The species may be recognized by its extremely sombre and fragile appearance. It is possibly not a true Tipula.