Art. XXI.—New Species of Lepidoptera, with Notes on the Larvae and Pupae of some New Zealand Butterflies.
[Read before the Otago Institute, 1st August, 1911]
The following are descriptions of some new moths recently collected in the Otago Province.
Larentia cinnabari sp. nov.
Expanse—in ♂, 20 mm.; in ♀, 22 mm. in Forewings pale orange, marked with brown and light ochre. Basal area brown, extending to about ⅙, where it is edged with a dark line, then a pale-ochreous thin line, which is followed by pale orange to ⅓. A dark-brown area from about ⅓ to ⅔, edged on both sides with a pale-ochre line. This brown area is bent out towards termen at center of wing, and slightly constricted below. Subterminal line appears as dark shading on costa, and very faintly below. An oblique shaded patch below apex. With the exception of these markings, from ⅔ to termen is pale orange. There is a terminal series of small dark dots. Cilia purplish-brown, darker at base. Hind-wings uniform orange, with slight dark dots along termen. Cilia purplish-brown. In the ♀ the markings are the same as in the ♂, but the moth is paler. Considerable variation in depth of colouring and extent of the dark markings showed in the specimens taken.
Appears to be close to bulbulata, which it resembles in appearance and habits. I am indebted to my brother, Mr. A. A. Howes, for the finding of this moth, he having first noticed it in the same locality in the previous year.
Taken in fair numbers amongst tussock in swampy places in the Garvie Mountains and at the Cinnabar Gold-sluicing Company's claim, in November, 1910.
Four specimens; 19mm. (⅔ in.). Palpi long, with dense long hairs. Antennae simple in both sexes. Forewings light ochre, marked with dark brown and golden orange. Dark-brown area at base, followed by a thin ochre line. A small golden patch continuing in dark brown to dorsum. A thin ochre line at ⅓, followed by a wider dark-brown area. An equally wide ochre line at ½ followed by a broad dark-brown area, which is interrupted at middle by a golden triangle. A thin ochre line follows, edged terminally with golden, which is indented on terminal side, where the veins cross. A dark-brown area to termen, with a faint subterminal
line in ochre. The veins crossing this area marked in golden. Cilia dark ochre, barred with brown. The markings continue on through the hind-wings, the only difference being that there is more golden colouring, and the cilia are light ochre barred with brown.
The small size of this insect, together with the triangular—shaped golden marking cutting across the other markings, makes this moth very distinct. It is with some hesitation I place it in the Dasyuris It may have to be removed later.
Taken on the Garvie Mountains, near Nevis, 20th November, 1910.
Morrisonia pansicolor sp. nov.
Three females, two males; 29 mm. Head and thorax ochreous, slightly tinged with rufous. Antennae filiform, rufous. Crests well defined, dotted with rufous. Abdomen ochreous, in ♀ dotted with minute dark specks, ochreous-rufous in ♂ with strong crests, especially the anal. Forewings ochreous, suffused with rufous; all markings rufous. Subbasal line double, much broken, double line at ⅓ bending strongly outwards at centre of wing. A mark on costa at ½, followed by two marks over reniform, which continue through reniform as faint jagged lines across wing. An indistinct subterminal line formed by a series of dots. Orbicular obsolete. Reniform filled with dark rufous. Veins faintly marked with rufous. Cilia ochreous. Hindwings ochreous, centre of wing clouded with rufous brown. Discoidal spot well defined. A faint series of subterminal dots. Cilia whitish-ochreous, with a darker line at base. Underside pale ochreous. Curved post-medial line across both wings. Reniform and discoidal lunule well defined.
Taken in November, at Dunedin, at “treacle.”
The moth is so close to mollis that the first specimens I took I thought were that species. Subsequent captures, which gave me both sexes in both species, placed the matter beyond doubt.
My last illustration of mollis being so unsatisfactory, I am giving another drawing of it, along with paniscolor. In mollis the reniform is clear, in paniscolor filled with dark rufous.
Morrisonia sequens sp. nov.
♂ 31 mm.; ♀ 34 mm. Head and thorax grey, strongly crested. Antennae filiform. Abdomen ochreous grey, crests slight Forewings
bright grey, irrorated with fuscous. A jagged subbasal line, strongly marked on submedian fold, where it turns abruptly towards base. A dark line across wing at ⅓, double, space between double lines grey (not irrorated), a dark mark on costa at ½, followed by two more above reniform. Sub-terminal line faint and suffused. A terminal series of black points; a few dark points outline veins. Orbicular faint, but with a well-defined line along lower edge. Reniform defined by a dark line below and on terminal edge. Cilia grey, mixed with fuscous. Hind-wings brown, darker towards termen. Cilia brown, with fine paler line at base. Tips grey-white.
Taken at Whakarewarewa, North Island, on the 15th February, 1910, by Dr. G. B. Longstaff, F.E.S., whom I have to thank for the privilege of describing this moth.
The well-defined line below reniform and orbicular readily distinguishes this from phricias, which it is very close to—much closer than M. longstaffii. Neither has it the ferruginous markings of the latter.
Morrisonia pascoei sp. nov.
♂, 38—40 mm.; ♀, 36—38 mm.
♂. Antennae filiform, reddish-brown. Palpi, legs, and face reddish-brown. Thorax and crests reddish-brown with slight fuscous irroration. Crests well developed. Abdomen slightly fuscous, with crests strong; ochreous at sides. Anal tuft well developed, reddish-ochreous. Forewings red-brown with fuscous markings. Subbasal line double, very indistinct; a double line at ♂, also indistinct; another before reniform, more plainly marked towards dorsum. Two faint jagged lines then faint subterminal line hardly traceable at apex but outlined by a dark suffusion on both sides at about vein 7, then forming two nearly equal dentate marks, then again suffused on both sides at about vein 3 to close to tornus. Reniform deep fuscous, slightly edged on outer side with a thin ochre line. Orbicular obsolete. Veins faintly marked with fuscous. Cilia light
reddish-brown, with a lighter line at base. Hindwings fuscous-brown with red-brown suffusion along termen. Cilia red-brown, with ochreous line at base, and ochreous tips. Discoidal lunule shows faintly.
♀. Forewings pale ochreous. Marks as in male, but slightly less defined. Cilia lighter than in male. Hindwings lighter than in male.
The underside of both sexes is well marked with a well - defined reniform marking and discoidal lunule, also a well-defined line at about ⅔ passing right across both wings. In both sexes varieties occur with a strong fuscous suffusion from base above dorsum to near tornus, as seen in some specimens of Morrisonia omoplaca. Specimens such as these might be better to illustrate from, but apparently are not the typical form. The forewing of the moth being dark in colour, with few determined markings, makes a poor illustration.
Apparently close to rubescens, but more strongly crested, deeper in colour in the ♂ lighter in colour in the ♀. The subterminal line in rubescens is more deeply indented than in pascoei.
The first specimen came to “sugar” at Orepuki, 1st September, 1910 (a ♂). In November of the same year I took another at Queens-town (♀), and this year Mr. M. O. Pasco has been kind enough to send me about twenty taken at “treacle” at Queenstown in October. As it is through Mr. Pasco's kindness I have the chance of describing from such a good series, I am naming the moth after him.
The Larvae And Pupae of Some New Zealand Butterflies.
In Hudson's “New Zealand Moths and Butterflies” we have details of the life-histories of most of our butterflies. The following additional notes may prove of interest. Owing to inability to devote special time to the larvae taken, the information here given is but scrappy and incomplete.
This little butterfly appears to be commonest on the Canterbury riverbeds. It frequents patches of Donatia, flitting in dozens over the heated shingle patches. The first specimens appear about October, and I have taken it as late as March.
On the 20th November, 1909, I found larvae and pupae of this butterfly under stones in the Makikihi River bed. I was successful in rearing three. These all emerged on or close to the 18th December, 1909. In November, 1910, I again found the larvae at St. Andrew's, Canterbury.
A point which appears to me of great interest was that in each case the larvae and pupae were under stones that also sheltered ants' nests, and at least two of the chrysalids had ants running over them when I lifted the stone. Both these chrysalids produced butterflies. As certain of the Lycaenidae in other countries have been taken in conjunction with ants, this point in connection with one of our New Zealand butterflies promises to be worth investigating.
In appearance the caterpillar is rather slug-like, being very “deep” for its length, with the head small.
The few taken showed considerable variation, some appearing mainly green, others almost red. The sides were dull green, ornamented with oblique stripes, which varied in the different specimens from dark brick-red to pink. The hairs showed prominently, being long and numerous.
Pupa.—The pupa was about 6 mm. in length, and stout for its length-The head and thorax were pale green, the abdominal segments brick-red. A double pink line dorsally. According to my observations, no trace of the wing-markings showed through before emergence.
Although common throughout the South Island, this butterfly does not appear to be as variable here as in the North Island. The first specimens are in flight here early in November, the last at the end of April.
When collecting near the Upper Hutt with Mr. H. Simmonds he took a single larva of this species when beating Coprosma for Coleoptera, and this larva he kindly handed over to me. It was about 12mm. long, slug-like, bright green, with a crimson streak down the back. The caterpillar
pupated in a half-curled leaf almost immediately. The pupa was pale green with a paler line down the back, and was 10 mm. in length, and stout for its length.
This butterfly seems to be confined to the South Island, frequenting only the tussock country. Mr. Hudson, in his “New Zealand Moths and Butterflies,” gives a description of the larva and pupa.
In February, 1911, when collecting near Fairlie, I was fortunate enough to secure a single fully fed larva of this species. It remained in the collecting-box for three days before I had time to further examine it, and I then found that in the interval it had changed to the chrysalis. Eight days later the butterfly emerged. The caterpillar, in shape, colouring, and markings, closely resembled the chrysalis.
Pupa.—Length, just ¾ in., but, being late in the season, this specimen was probably undersized; broad for its length; two horns tussock-colour,
edged with white, projected from the head, and a similar horn from the tail. A white line from front of head along thorax, then splitting into
two thin white lines to enclose a dark-greenish dorsal line. A thin red line in conjunction with a white line from tip of frontal horn to tip of tail horn. Two fainter lines from wing-cover to tip of abdomen. A white line edged both sides with red from centre of wing-case, not reaching to end of abdomen. A dark line with a white line below along the top of wings. Veins of future wings clearly outlined. As the insect neared emergence the dark spots on the wings showed plainly through the pupa skin.
In the “Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,” vol. 43, 1911, pp. 127, 128. I find I have carelessly written “lines” where it should be “mm.” Unfortunately, this not only makes the description read wrongly as to the wing-expanse, but has also mislead those responsible for the reproduction of the illustrations, so that these have been printed much over their natural size.