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Volume 28, 1895
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Art. XXXVI.—Notes on Rare Lepidoptera in Wellington.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 17th July, 1895.]

I have much pleasure in reporting the following Lepidoptera as plentiful in Wellington during last season:—

Rhopalocera (Butterflies).

Nothing very startling was taken last season, not having even seen a solitary Vanessa itea.

Porina enysii.

One specimen, which flew into a town shop-window, attracted by the light, during the month of January, and which was presented to me.


Mamestra stipata.

One specimen only, which was taken in December.

Mamestra prionistis.

One specimen only, which was taken in December.

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Gonophylla nelsonaria.

One specimen only last season, taken in Botanical Gardens during February. Generally appears this month for a short period only. I took none the season before. I have now twelve specimens.


Nymphostola galactina.

This pretty and once-rare little insect, which has already been amply described by Meyrick (vol. xvi. of the Transactions), I found very plentiful in the Wellington Botanical Gardens only. It appears on the wing at dusk where the swamps exist. The food-plant I am uncertain of, though Professor Hutton bred his from a green pupa on Myrtus bullata; but all my moths I found settling on the leaves of Pittosporum tenuifolium and Griselinia lucida, which they had flown up to from the swamps below. It is taken from early in December till February, but this past season I saw none after January had gone by, as some of the nights were cold. On 16th December—a very mild night—I took sixteen, and could have gone on securing nothing else, though on an average I seldom saw more than two about in one evening. I have obtained thirty in three seasons. The wing-measurement varies from 14 to 18 lines across from tip to tip. The dark-grey spot which is mentioned by Meyrick, and found in the disc of the middle of the upper wing, is hardly visible in some of my specimens, appearing as if only spotted with faint minute dots at intervals; otherwise I have no other varieties in this species.

Heterocrossa eriphylla.

Five specimens last season, taken near last locality. It seems very fond of settling on the trunks of weeping-willows in the daytime. I have never taken it at night. I have twenty specimens, all taken during the day from December to April.

Epalxiphora axenana.

Five specimens last season, locality of Wellington, found on broom and other plants. Varies very much in markings on wings; flies at night-time, from October to March. Twelve specimens taken.


Semiocosma epiphanes.

Four specimens last season, found throughout the district. It is fond of sitting on palings and tree-trunks, appearing from October to February, in the daytime, when I took mine, which now number thirteen.

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S. peroneanella.

Four specimens last season, widely distributed in district, being sometimes found in the heart of the city—at night-time only—from about November to March. I have nine specimens.

S. picarella.

Two specimens last season; one taken outside a town shop-window, attracted by the gaslight. I have only taken it in November and December, and now possess three.