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Volume 42, 1909
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Art. LVI.—Description of a New Species of Moth.

Communicated by Dr. Benham.

[Read before the Otago Institute, 14th September, 1909.]


Melanchra pauca, n. sp.

♀. 38 mm. Head brownish-black, with scattered whitish scales; tuft of greenish-yellow scales at base of antennæ. Labial-palpi brown, second joint beneath and apex of terminal, white. Antennæ brown, annulated with whitish near base. Legs black, tibial apices and tarsal joints annulated with white; posterior tarsi reddish beneath. Thorax black, with frontal collar of pale green and whitish-green lateral stripe. Abdomen fuscous, anterior segments shading into grey. Forewings, costa almost straight, apex subacute, termen oblique, pale yellow-green; base narrowly black, with projection at middle; a broad irregular black fascia from dorsum near base, touching basal patch, its apex connecting with similar fascia from costa at ¼ outwardly oblique to dorsum at ½; this fascia encloses narrow line of ground-colour from costa to vein 1; a broad irregular black fascia at ½, dilated on costa and joining first costal fascia above dorsum; stigmata obscure, reniform, pale greenish, anteriorly outlined in black and followed by a reddish patch; a few dark scales in upper portion; a triangular spot on costa near apex, its base dilated and containing several spots of groundcolour; subterminal line irregular, interrupted, green; terminal band black, interrupted from ½ to ⅕; veins faintly marked with black scales. Hindwings fuscous.

Type in collection Otago Museum.

Not to be confused with any other species: exquisita is green and black, but the arrangement of the fasciæ is quite different. Only three specimens are known to me—two in the collection of the Otago Museum (labelled “Wairarapa”), and one worn example in my own possession, taken in March, at Wallacetown. I am indebted to Professor Benham for the loan of one of the Otago Museum examples for the purpose of figuring. None of the specimens available are in good condition, and the description of thoraciocrests and wing cilia had perforce to be omitted.