Art. XVII.—A Catalogue of the Lepidoptera of Southland.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 16th October, 1900.]
Common everywhere. I have taken imagines from the 22nd September to the 4th June. Apparently full-fed larvæ are to be found in midwinter sheltering under logs and in crevices. During summer these moths may be seen shortly after daylight, often hovering about the foliage of tall trees. My friend Mr. George Howes possesses a specimen with no trace of the white spot on the hind wings.
I have taken this moth in the larval stage at West Plains, Otatara, Morton Mains, and Waihopai. I have been successful in rearing one male and several females. On the 19th November I obtained several larvæ and pupæ from Waihopai; from these some female moths emerged about the 25th November. From other larvæ secured I got some more female moths about the middle of January, and on the 13th February found small larvæ again at Waihopai. On the 25th February I found numerous larvæ at Otatara, varying in length from 2 ½ to 9 lines. On the 6th October a full-fed larva was found at Morton Mains. The larvæ at Waihopai were found under the edges of logs lying on the
grass; those at Otatara on the sides of the road, amongst herbage, or on the bare sandy soil. The pupæ are found under logs, enclosed in a slight oval cocoon composed of silk and the larval hairs. The female moth possesses but the vestiges of wings, but has strong legs, and antennæ about 2 lines in length. The male pupæ are more elongate than the females.
Not common. November to March. During February specimens may be found on the flowers of the ragweed (Senecio crucifolius). Localities: West Plains, Mount Linton.
Mr. Howes has an example of this moth, taken at West Plains on the 27th March. It was attracted by “sugar.”
Mr. Eli Fortune has taken several examples of this species at Orepuki.
This moth may be taken at “sugar” early in October, and comes more freely during November. I have also taken it in the middle of March, and as late as the 4th April, but at no time is the moth abundant. West Plains.
I have not met with this moth, but Mr. George Howes has a fine specimen, taken at Waipori.
My earliest capture of this moth is the 21st January. During the latter part of February it frequents the flowers of the ragweed in great numbers, and may be taken till about the middle of April. The moth also visits the flowers of scabious, and comes freely to “sugar.” West Plains and Mount Linton.
Fairly common, but, as I for a long time confused this species with atristriga, I am unable to give the dates of its appearance. West Plains.
I have only met with four specimens of this moth, all taken at “sugar” on the 29th November. West Plains.
Two examples of this species were taken at “sugar” on the 13th March. West Plains.
This fine moth may be taken at “sugar” early in February, and is common during March and early April. West Plains, Waihopai.
Very common during November at flowers of white rata, and fairly common during February on ragweed. May also be taken in fair numbers at “sugar.”
Through the kindness of my friend Mr. George Howes, I have several examples of this fine moth in my collection. They were taken at Waipori.
Mr. Howes has also furnished me with examples of this species, taken at Waipori.
My first example of this moth was obtained from a pupa found enclosed in a slight cocoon under a piece of bark on a fallen tree. On the 28th June, 1896, I took a caterpillar, which produced a female paracausta on the 22nd September. I give a brief description of this caterpillar: Length, 13 lines; dull-whitish; dorsal line of indistinct darker colour; subdorsal very faint; lateral stripe more pronounced; many minute specks of colour; head pale-brownish, with darker markings; dorsal surface of first thoracic segment darker. I took three or four larvæ about the same time which very much resembled this one, but they all produced M. infensa. In Hudson's “New Zealand Moths and Butterflies” an unfortunate error has crept in. In a note to the description of M. paracausta it is stated on my authority that the larva of M. paracausta greatly resembles that of M. vitiosa. This was a mistake of mine; vitiosa should have been infensa. I did not again meet with the moth till the 8th November, 1899, about which time I took five or six fine specimens at “sugar.”
This moth appears early in September, and in October occurs in great profusion, but appears to be over by the end of November. About the middle of February a second brood begins to emerge, and may be taken right on to the end of May. The moth visits the flowers of the ragweed, and comes readily to “sugar” and light. I have several examples in which the green shading is replaced more or less by yellow; but, apart from the difference in depth of colouring, there are no important variations. West Plains.
This moth may be taken nearly all the year round. I have taken specimens in every month but January and July, and no doubt with careful searching specimens might be brought to light in these months also. At the flowers of the white rata in November this moth is to be found in great numbers, and from April to June “sugar” will produce numerous examples. This species varies a great deal in the colour of the fore wings. The majority of the specimens are of a deep-green, but some examples are distinctly ochreous; others are very pale-green, while some are almost white, having but a faint tinge of green colour. I possess one example which inclines clearly to a blue shade. West Plains.
Common in all localities. There seems to be a succession of broods from August to May. From larvæ and pupæ kept I have had moths emerge in August, December, April, and May. One larva pupated on the 17th July, the moth emerging on the 23rd September. Another pupated on the 14th October, the moth coming out on the 1st December. It is commonly found in May, and I have taken the moth as late as the middle of June, but it is most abundant in the latter part of October and in November. The moth comes freely to light and “sugar,” and in February and March many specimens are to be found at the flowers of the ragweed. The female moth varies considerably in the ground-colour of the fore wings. I have several specimens in which the greater portion of the wing is white, and one example in which the colour very nearly approaches the silvery-grey of the female ustistriga. The male moth also exhibits some variation in shade, but not to such a large extent as the female.
I have not met with this moth during the spring and summer months, but during February and March the flowers of the ragweed swarm with them. In the middle of February I found many pairs in copulation on the gorse hedges. I have not met with any striking varieties. West Plains.
I took a few specimens of this species at “sugar” on the 8th April, 1900. West Plains.
Early in September this moth may be taken at “sugar” and in October becomes fairly common, but during November its numbers quickly decrease. A second brood makes its appearance about the middle of March, and continues through April. Considerable variation is displayed in the ground-
colour of the fore wings, some examples being a light-brown and others much darker than proteastis—almost black, in fact. West Plains.
Rare. I possess two specimens—one beaten from brushwood in April, 1897, and the other secured at “sugar” in April, 1900. West Plains.
This moth is also a rarity. I have one specimen, taken at “sugar” on the 9th October, 1899. West Plains.
This moth appears to be local, but is generally to be found in numbers near a field of red-clover. It does not seem to travel far from the clover-fields, as I have found that “sugar” laid at a distance of a few hundred yards from a field of clover would be visited by very few moths, while “sugar” laid on trees bordering the clover would attract hundreds of specimens. I have taken it from November to May, and have met with it at West Plains and Rimu, but I expect that it is pretty generally distributed.
I took several examples of this moth in October and November of this year (1900). West Plains.
Fairly common about end of November. May be taken at “sugar” or on flowers of rata. My earliest spring capture is the 17th October, and I am inclined to think that the moth is not about much earlier than that date, as several specimens which I reared emerged on the 28th October and the 16th and 20th November. West Plains.
A single example of this species is in the collection of Mr. E. Fortune, taken at Orepuki.
This fine moth appears early in September, and is common till about the middle of October, after which it is rarely met with till the members of a second brood emerge, during February. This autumn brood, however, does not come up to the spring brood in point of numbers. I have taken examples as late as the 2nd June, but do not think that any of the moths live through the winter. “Sugar” proves very attractive to this species. West Plains.
One specimen, taken in March, at Mount Linton, on a block of bare limestone. The colour and markings of the
moth blended admirably with the rough surface of the rock, and were protective in a high degree.
Not common. An occasional specimen comes to “sugar.” There appears to be an autumn brood only, as I have only met with the moth from about the end of January to the beginning of April. West Plains.
Mr. George Howes took two examples of this moth at West Plains on the 21st October, one of which he very kindly added to my collection.
One of the earliest spring moths. My earliest record is the 31st August. During September and October the moth is extremely abundant, and comes freely to “sugar.” A brood which I reared emerged from the egg — which is hemispherical, ribbed, and pale greenish-yellow in colour—about the 17th November; the caterpillars began to spin up on the 1st January, and the imagines to appear on the 15th February. In February and March the ragweed attracts a number of specimens, and the moth may be taken well on into April. West Plains.
Not common. I have met with a few specimens at “sugar” in October and April, and a few more at ivy-blossom in May. West Plains.
Mr. Howes has several specimens of this moth, taken at Waipori.
I had a moth in my collection which was supposed to be graminosa, but as the specimen was in very poor condition, and as I have since lost sight of it altogether, I have placed this species among the doubtful ones.
Not plentiful at any time. Good specimens may be obtained from November to March, and, as the insect hybernates in the imago state, worn examples may be taken during the winter. These winter specimens appear to hybernate in companies, as I have several times found from ten to twenty specimens under the same piece of loose bark. The moth frequents the flowers of the ragweed, and also comes to light and “sugar.” West Plains, Rimu, Orepuki.
Not common. First appears early in October. A second brood comes out late in February, and is most numerous about the middle of April. I have taken it at “sugar” and from flowers of ragweed. West Plains.
Mr. Howes informs me that a specimen of this fine moth was taken in a fruiterer's shop in Invercargill, probably brought down with fruit from the North.
This is one of the earliest moths to appear in the evening. During October and November numbers of them may be found fluttering awkwardly round the edges of the bush. From March to May “sugar” proves attractive, and a good series can be obtained. The moth, however, must be carefully handled, being very easily damaged. The variation chiefly consists in light and dark forms, but there is also considerable difference in point of size. West Plains.
Not common. September to March. May be found in dense bush or in more open situations. In March the flowers of the ragweed attract a fair number of specimens, and often splendid examples may be taken from tree-trunks, in which case the protective value of the insects’ colouring is exemplified, as the most exposed situations are often selected. West Plains, Otara.
Rather commoner than agrionata. Appears about the middle of October, and may be taken till the middle of May. “Sugar” will attract this moth, and it is frequently found at the blossoms of ragweed, white rata, and ivy. West Plains.
Extremely rare, but owing to its habit of flitting about amongst low herbage it is possibly often overlooked. I have met with but one specimen, taken on the 14th February, 1899. This specimen was taken during the day-time, from a patch of ragweed. West Plains.
Not common. I have taken examples at Waihopai about the middle of November, and others in October and December at West Plains. The insect is subject to considerable variation. The type form, with the white patch in the centre of the fore wings, is, in this locality, much the rarest form. Mr. Howes tells me that he met with the moth at Stewart Island.
Common. February to the end of May. Frequents the flowers of ragweed. West Plains.
I took five specimens of this moth in the summer of 1895–96, but I have not since met with the insect. West Plains.
I have met with but two specimens of this pretty moth, both taken in the month of January. West Plains.
This beautiful insect is fairly common during February and March at the flowers of the ragweed. I have also taken it in May and July, but have no record of its appearance in the spring. West Plains.
Present nearly all the year round. The first specimens appear in September, and may be taken right on till June. Frequents the ragweed, and comes readily to “sugar.” Hardly two specimens of this moth are exactly alike; in most examples the waved lines which cross the fore wings tend to form an oblique central band, which in some cases is so pronounced as to lose almost all trace of the lines which compose it. There is also considerable range in the depth of the ground-colour; I have specimens ranging from pale brownish-white to bright yellowish-brown. West Plains, Waihopai.
Commonest in midsummer, but fairly numerous on ragweed in February and March. I found it in great profusion on the limestone cliffs near Mount Linton, and have also taken it at West Plains and Waihopai. This species varies even more than the preceding, but I have not met with any form strikingly distinct from the fine series of variations figured in Hudson's “New Zealand Moths and Butterflies.“
Not common. Most plentiful in January. Ragweed attracts a few specimens during February. West Plains.
Fairly common. November to end of May. During February and May examples may be secured from the ragweed-blossoms. West Plains, Waihopai, Pahia.
I am indebted to Mr. Howes for my example of this species. He found it fairly common at Waihopai during November.
I have taken this moth from February to April, generally in or near manuka. Ragweed proves very attractive to this species. West Plains, Otatara, Mount Linton. The Mount Linton specimens are smaller and somewhat darker than those from the less elevated districts.
I have one specimen of this moth, taken at a lighted window in Invercargill during April. Mr. Howes has several examples taken under similar conditions.
Fairly common. October to March. Plentiful during March at the ragweed-blossoms. I have often beaten the moth from the pepper-tree, the leaves of which are greenish-yellow, edged with brown; the yellow wings of the moth, with their brown border, blend admirably with these leaves. West Plains and Waihopai.
Though this moth is probably abundant in open situations, I have but one specimen, taken on the 17th December at New River on the tutu-covered sandhills.
Abundant in open situations, especially in swampy places where there is plenty of rough herbage. In hilly country it frequents the gullies. I have taken it in March and April. Light proves strongly attractive. West Plains, Mount Linton.
Abundant from October to March. It frequents the whiterata blossom, and comes readily to light. One of the earliest moths to appear in the evening. West Plains, Waihopai.
A moth, which is probably this species, was taken at “sugar” on the 23rd May, 1899. West Plains.
This species may be taken all the year round; even in midwinter good specimens come to “sugar.” West Plains.
Common. August to April. West Plains and Waihopai, but probably generally distributed.
Rare. One specimen at Pahia in February, and another one at West Plains.
Taken during the summer months at Seaward Moss, Otatara, West Plains, and Mount Linton. The Mount
Linton examples are much larger and finer than those from the lower localities.
This beautiful moth is very common in wooded districts. It appears early in August, and may be taken till April. Large numbers frequent the white rata and ragweed, and “sugar” also proves attractive. West Plains, Waihopai.
Common. October to April. Frequents the flowers of ragweed, and comes also to “sugar.” West Plains.
Not common. A few specimens at Waihopai in November, and others at West Plains in January.
The large form of this moth appears to be the summer brood, being about from November to March, while the small form appears in March, and is on the wing till July. West Plains, Mount Linton, Orepuki.
I have a single specimen of this moth, taken at Mount Linton in March.
I took a few examples of this pretty moth at Mount Linton in March. They were flitting about on the bare sheep-tracks.
I have not met with this moth in any situation but bare and dry roadways. During the summer months it is fairly common, but difficult to catch. West Plains, Mount Linton, Otatara, Seaward Moss, New River.
Apparently local. In 1894 I found it common at Rimu, about the end of April. I have not met with it anywhere else.
Not common. A few specimens in February and one in June. West Plains. Extremely variable.
Very rare. One example taken in the summer of 1891–92. West Plains.
Not uncommon from March to May. I have also met with it in August, and have obtained good specimens in midwinter. Considerable variation is exhibited in the depth of
colouring, and also in clearness of the bands which cross the fore wings. West Plains, Orepuki.
Not uncommon. Appears towards the end of September, and may be taken till May. One example which I reared from a pupa found emerged on the 6th May. Fine specimens may often be secured by searching the trunks of trees at night. West Plains, Otara.
Somewhat rare. A few taken in January at West Plains, and one at Pahia in February.
Common. May be taken all the year round. In February and March it frequents the ragweed-blossom in great numbers, and on mild evenings in midwinter numerous specimens come to “sugar.” The insect is very variable, but it is not improbable that some of the forms at present considered to be varieties may ultimately prove to be distinct species. West Plains, Pahia.
Extremely common. September to June. Comes readily to “sugar,” and occurs in great numbers at the ragweed-blossoms in February and March. More variable even than the preceding species. West Plains, Otara.
I took several specimens of this moth in the spring of 1894 at Otara, but have not met with it elsewhere.
Very common during summer in the forest. West Plains, Waihopai. This moth exhibits considerable variation. I have one specimen with the surface of the fore wings thickly covered with minute dark specks. There are also a number of similar specks on the hind wings, and the ground-colour of the fore wings, between the basal line and the terminal series of black spots, is very much lighter than usual.
I met with this moth in the spring of 1894 at Otara. Mr. Howes has also taken it at West Plains. A pupa which I brought from Otara produced a fine moth on the 8th October.
Mr. Howes has taken a single specimen of this handsome insect at West Plains.
Not common. I have met with it in September, and have taken a few examples from the flowers of the ragweed in February and March. West Plains, Otara.
Fairly common at ragweed in March. I have also met with it in October. West Plains.
This beautiful moth is not uncommon. It may be taken all the year round; “sugar,” even in midwinter, will often attract some splendid specimens. Many curious varieties of this moth occur. I have examples of all the forms described in Hudson's “New Zealand Moths and Butterflies,” and have also two or three varieties not there described. The first of these has the veins of the fore wings prominently outlined in black, and is a most striking variety, while another has the fore wings crossed at about two-thirds by a thin line of bright yellowish-red. There is also an interrupted red basal line and an irregular series of reddish spots near the termen. The thorax is also ornamented with two large reddish spots, and a single spot is placed on the abdomen.
Mr. Howes has a fine example of this species, taken at Invercargill.
This introduced species is fairly common about currant-bushes during the summer. West Plains.
I have a mutilated specimen of what is probably this moth; it was brought to me in March, 1893. A good example was recently taken at Limestone Plains.
Towards the end of August the hybernated specimens of this fine butterfly begin to appear, and during September and October the insect is fairly common. A new brood appears about midsummer, and specimens may be taken till the end of March. I have met with it in mild seasons as late as the end of April. Generally distributed.
I think I have seen this butterfly at West Plains, and Mr. Howes found it fairly common at Hastings.
Mr. Howes informs me that he saw a specimen of what was probably this species at Hastings.
Very common in open situations. November to April. I found it extremely plentiful at Mount Linton, especially in the gullies on the hills. The flight of this butterfly is weak and irregular, and when a slight breeze is blowing the insect may be easily captured.
Generally distributed. Frequents the edges of and openings in bush. Appears in November, and is over by the end of February.
Abundant during summer months. Frequents shingle near river-banks and similar situations. Mount Linton, Otatara, Hastings, Sandy Point.
A few seen at Mount Linton in November; perhaps referable to oxleyi.
This species is, I fancy, much rarer than formerly. I have not yet been successful in rearing a male, though I have fed a number of caterpillars. Generally distributed.
In the Dunedin Museum there are several specimens of this moth reared from cocoons taken at the roots of Pinus insignis, in Invercargill.
My friend Mr. Eli Fortune has taken this fine moth at Orepuki.
Fairly common. Comes in numbers to light during November. West Plains.
Fairly common. I am not very well acquainted with this species, but Mr. Howes, who has handled many hundreds of this and the preceding species, tells me that he is inclined to think that despecta is simply the female of cervinata.
The commonest of the Porinas. Comes to light in great numbers during December. I have seen dozens of this moth fluttering at my lighted window during steady rain. West Plains, Mount Linton.
Mr. Howes took several examples of this species at Sandy Point.
This handsome species is about from October to February. It is much commoner during some seasons than others. West Plains.
Generally distributed. Common in bushy situations and amongst rough herbage.
Rare. I reared a few from pupæ found in crevices in the bark of a matai-tree. From nine pupæ obtained I reared four moths, all of which emerged during the latter part of November. West Plains.
Mr. Howes has a specimen of this moth, taken at Clifton in December.
Appears in September, and is very common during spring, summer, and autumn. I have also met with the moth in midwinter. Generally distributed.
Not common. September to middle of April. West Plains.
Not uncommon during spring and summer. West Plains.
I have one example, taken in November. West Plains.
Extremely plentiful during the summer. Generally distributed.
Not common. I have obtained specimens in October, March, and April. West Plains.
Generally distributed in bush districts. In some seasons the moth is comparatively rare, and in others it occurs in great abundance.
Mr. Howes has taken this moth at light in March at Invercargill.
This species occurred in great abundance in the summer of 898–99, but it is generally rather scarce. West Plains.
Rare. A few examples taken in October and November. West Plains.
Rare. I have taken the moth in February at West Plains, and in April at Rimu.
I found this moth fairly common at Mount Linton in December. Mr. Howes has specimens from Waipori
I have one specimen, taken at West Plains in December.
Rare. January to March. West Plains.
Extremely abundant during spring and summer. Generally distributed.
I found this moth fairly common at Seaward Moss in January.
Fairly common from December to February. West Plains.
I found this moth common at New River in December, and also plentiful at Seaward Moss in January and February.
A few examples were taken at Seaward Moss in January.
Common amongst ferns and low herbage from November to February. West Plains.
Not common. November and January. West Plains.
A few specimens in January and February, in swampy situations. West Plains.
Fairly common. December to March. West Plains.
Occurs all the year round, and is very abundant in the spring and summer. I have taken the larvæ in company with obliquana feeding on plum-leaves. West Plains.
Fairly common in January and February. West Plains.
Not common. January and February. West Plains.
Common. I have reared this moth from larvæ found feeding on plum-leaves and black-maple. May be taken in September, and is about till June. West Plains.
Abundant. May be taken all the year round, but is most plentiful in the spring and autumn. In the larval stage the moth is somewhat of a pest in the orchard, attacking apples and plums. It does not bore deeply into the flesh of the apple, but eats away the rind, causing much disfigurement. Plums are eaten into much more deeply than apples, but are not so liable to be attacked. No moth with which I am acquainted is easier to rear. The larva is an omnivorous feeder. Besides apples and plums, I have found them feeding on holly, black-maple, native fuchsia, pepper-tree, and many other native shrubs. Both this moth and excessana are extremely variable, and it is often a hard matter to separate the species. Generally distributed.
Not uncommon from November to February. West Plains, Otatara.
Abundant during summer and autumn. Generally distributed.
Not common. October to December. West Plains.
Rare. September to January. West Plains.
Rare. One specimen in December.
Not common. December to March. West Plains.
Fairly common about outbuildings during the spring and summer. Generally distributed.
Rare. A few examples in January and February. West Plains.
Common throughout the year. Generally distributed.
Plentiful during the spring. Comes readily to “sugar.” West Plains.
Not common. November and December. West Plains, The larvæ may often be found under the bark of dead broad-leaf-trees, and the cocoons of the pupæ may be found in similar situations.
Rare. A few examples in November and January. West Plains.
Rare. One specimen in October and two others in December. West Plains.
I have two or three examples of a moth which is probably austera.
Very rare. A single specimen in January. West Plains.
Rare. Two examples in January. West Plains.
Fairly common during the summer months. West Plains.
One specimen taken on the 25th January, on flower of Canadian thistle.
I have several examples of this moth, bred from larvæ found on manuka. West Plains.
Very common. Generally distributed. January to April.
Not uncommon. October to February. West Plains, Waihopai, Mount Linton.
This little moth is very difficult to capture, as it flits to and fro in the hottest sunshine. It is not common, but may be taken in fair numbers in November and December. West Plains.
Rare. Two examples, both taken in December. West Plains.
Not common. October and November. West Plains.
Not common. November to January. West Plains.
Very rare. One example in January and one in February. West Plains.
Not common. October to March. West Plains.
Fairly common. November and December. West Plains.
Common. December to March. West Plains.
Common. November to January. Generally distributed.
Very common. November to January. Generally distributed.
Very common. November to January. Generally distributed.
Mr. Howes has several specimens of this species, taken at West Plains.
Rare. One example, in November. West Plains.
Common about dwellinghouses all the year round. Generally distributed.
I found this pretty little moth fairly common in October, flitting about manuka shrubs and other herbage in a swampy situation. West Plains.
Not common. September to January. West Plains.
Rare. December and January. West Plains.
Fairly common. September to April. West Plains, Waihopai.
Fairly common. November and December. West Plains.
Common in swampy situations in October. West Plains.
Fairly common in the spring months, in dense forest. West Plains.
I found this species very common among manuka scrub at Mount Linton.
Not uncommon in December and January. West Plains.
A few examples in December. West Plains.
The larvæ feed on the flower-heads of the toitoi (Arundo), and may be found in hundreds in February and March. I have reared several moths from the larval stage, and found that my imagines appeared in April and May. West Plains.
September to March. Occurs in great abundance during some seasons, but is rather scarce in others. West Plains.
I found this moth abundant at Mount Linton in March, and at New River in December and January.
Mr. Gibb took a specimen of this moth at Haldane in February.
Mr. George Howes has a single example of this species, taken at Waihopai in March.
Rare. One example at West Plains, in October.
I have a single specimen of this species, taken at West Plains, but I have no record of date of capture.
Mr. George Howes has one, taken at Hastings.
I have one example, taken at West Plains.
One example, from Mount Linton.
I have several moths which may be referable to this species, but they differ considerably from the type.