Art. XIV—Descriptions of New Zealand Lepidoptera.
[Received by Editors, 30th December, 1916, issued separately, 16th July, 1917]
Antennae in ♂ ciliated. Palpi very long, curved, ascending, second joint thickened with rough projecting scales, terminal joint long, with loosely appressed scales, pointed. Thorax and abdomen without crests. Tibiae smooth-scaled. Neuration normal (5 of hindwings parallel).
An Indo-Malayan genus of some extent, belonging to the subfamily Hypenides.
Catada impropria Walk., Cat. xxxiii, 1064 (Thermesia).
♂. 34 mm. Forewings somewhat elongate-triangular, termen crenate; brown, mixed with whitish-ochreous and sprinkled with dark fuscous; first and second lines whitish-ochreous partially edged with dark fuscous, curved, irregularly dentate; median irregularly sinuate, indistinct dark fuscous; subterminal indicated by posterior margin of dark-fuscous suffusion, dentate, connected with second line in middle by a blotch of dark-fuscous suffusion; a praemarginal series of cloudy blackish dots. Hindwings with termen crenate; colour and markings much as in forewings, but dark posterior blotch submedian and less defined.
Thames (Hudson); one specimen. A Queensland species. I am not acquainted with its habits, but have no reason to think it likely to be artificially introduced; it is more probably a wind-borne immigrant, and may prove to be widely distributed in the Pacific islands.
Palpi subascending. Thorax with posterior crest. Forewings with 7 to termen, separate. Hindwings without basal pecten, 3 and 4 connate, 5 rather approximated, 6 and 7 closely approximated at base.
Hitherto represented by one European species only.
Olindia miraculosa n. sp.
♀. 23 mm. Head and thorax purplish-fuscous, thoracic crest blackish-fuscous. Palpi fuscous Abdomen dark grey. Forewings elongate, posteriorly dilated, costa moderately arched, apex obtuse, termen hardly rounded, nearly vertical; pale-brownish, transversely strigulated with purplish-grey, extreme costal edge whitish-ochreous; some purplish suffusion towards base of costa; an evenly broad whitish-edged blackish-fuscous fascia rising from dorsum about ¼, proceeding in a regular curve to near costa before middle and returning to dorsum at ⅔; a triangular apical patch of purplish suffusion, deepest along costa: cilia purplish-fuscous. Hindwings dark grey; cilia ochreous-whitish, with dark-grey basal shade.
Wainuiomata, in December (Miss Stella Hudson), one specimen. This is a most surprising species, its strikingly conspicuous markings being unlike anything else, whilst its generic affinity is equally unexpected. I think, however, that it may possibly prove identical with the species figured by Felder (without description) as Paedisca mahiana (Reis. Nov pl. cxxxvii, 40) from New Zealand, and not otherwise known to me, which has a somewhat similar scheme of marking, but totally different and in fact reversed colouring, the dark fascia being represented by a pale area and the enclosed semicircular dorsal blotch dark instead of light. Such an excessive range of variation cannot be assumed without evidence, and therefore I have been constrained to treat the species as new. Felder's generic attribution is of no scientific authority, and the colouring of his figure recalls some South American insects, whilst his localities are sometimes erroneous. Special effort should be made to find further examples of this curious insect, which may be very local.
Epichorista siriana Meyr.
Amongst examples of this species from Karori sent by Mr. Hudson is a female, which is quite similar in colouring to the male. When, however,
I originally described the species, from a series taken by myself at Hamilton, I treated a widely different female specimen with reddish-ochreous forewings and whitish hindwings as being the other sex of the species; after reconsideration of the specimens, all taken together in the same locality, this still seems to me to be probably correct. I desire to direct the attention of collectors to this peculiar case; it ought not to be difficult to determine whether the species has a dimorphic female (which would be unprecedented in this group), or whether there is some error.
Spilonota dolopaea Meyr.
Additional specimens sent by Mr. Hudson show that the male has a long expansible blackish hair pencil from base lying in a dorsal fold of hindwings; in the original example this was completely concealed and therefore unfortunately overlooked, but in those now sent it is exposed and conspicuous, constituting a very distinctive character.
Recent study has led me to conclude that Batrachedra should properly be included in this family instead of the Coleophoridae, which latter group is therefore unrepresented in New Zealand.
Batrachedra filicicola n. sp.
♂. 8 mm. Head and thorax bronzy-whitish. Palpi with appressed scales, whitish, with faint greyish marks at apex of second joint, and base and apex of terminal joint. Abdomen grey. Forewings narrow-lanceolate, apex narrowly produced; violet-grey, becoming darker posteriorly, produced apex blackish: cilia grey, base round apical third of wing paler and sprinkled with blackish, sometimes forming indistinct dots, at apex with a short black subbasal bar. Hindwings violet-grey; cilia grey.
Karori, on tree-ferns, in November (Hudson); five specimens. Probably the larva would feed on vegetable refuse accumulated on the stems.
Nepticula oriastra n. sp.
♀. 6 mm. Head, antennae, thorax, and abdomen ochreous-white. Forewings lanceolate; ochreous-white; a small black dot on fold before ⅓ of wing; apical third of wing blackish: cilia ochreous-white, base dark grey. Hindwings and cilia whitish.
Otira River, on scree east side of gorge at 3,000 ft., on underside of leaves of Celmisia, in January (Miss Stella Hudson); two specimens. A very remarkable and interesting species; the minute insects of this genus are difficult of observation, and the circumstances of discovery reflect great credit on the entomological acumen of the fair captor. The larva probably mines in the leaves of the Celmisia.