Notes on New Zealand Geometridae.
[Read before the Nelson Philosophical Society, 9th December, 1926; received by Editor, 11th December, 1926; issued separately, 6th August, 1927.]
As Mr. Meyrick remarked nearly ten years ago (Trans. N.Z. Inst., 49, 248), our knowledge of this family—or group of families, if his view and that of Dr. A. J. Turner be accepted—is already well advanced, and on that account it seems all the more worth while to bring together such corrections in nomenclature, etc., as have been discovered since the appearance of his valuable “Revision” (tom. cit. pp. 251–270). I take that memoir as a basis, so far as regards sequence and classification, except where there are actual discrepancies between the generic diagnosis and included species. I have had some interesting correspondence with Mr. A. Philpott on the questions at issue, and in the few cases where we have not been able to reach practical certitude I think it advisable to postpone definite alterations.
Mr. Meyrick remarks on the affinity between this genus and Rhopalodes Guen., and says that the former differs “only” in the unusual elongation of the male abdomen. He overlooks the interesting fact that Tatosoma has lost one of the proximal spurs of the hindtibia, which is not the case with Rhopalodes.
2. T. tipulata Walk. The synonym mistata Feld. belongs to this species, not to agrionata.
4 bis. T. apicipallida Prout. This is a quite different species from alta Philip.
7. T. timora Meyr. The oldest reference is N.Z. Jour. Sci. 2 (5), 234 (September, 1884), where the name stands as nom. nov. for “agrionata nec. Walk.”
11. M. quadristrigata Walk.= interclusa Walk.= toriata Feld.=rectilineata Huds. is at least a race, if not a separate species. M. villosata Guen. is Australian.
13. P. Testulata Guen., Lep., 10, 352, is the oldest name for denotata Walk.
14. C. inductata Walk. Add as further synonym semilineata Feld., Reis Nov. pl. 131, 36 (♀).
17. C. plinthina Meyr. The reference should be 20 (not 21), 49.
32. C. modesta Philp., Trans. N.Z. Inst., 47, 193. This name is preoccupied by Chloroclystis modesta (Warr.) Hmpsn., Faun. Ind. Moths, 3, 396. I propose the name acompsa nom. nov.
36. C. lichenodes Purdie. The reference should be 19 (not 20), 70.
37. C. fumipalpata Feld., Reis Nov. pl. 131, 33, is—as has recently been pointed out by Mr. Philpott (Trans. N.Z. Inst., 56 388)—the oldest name for maculata Huds.
39. C. minima Huds. This name is preoccupied by Chloroclystis minima Warr., Nov. Zool., 4, 227, but as I am inclined to agree with Hudson and Philpott (Trans. N.Z. Inst., 49, 203) in making it a dwarf form of nereis Meyr. I leave it in abeyance.
“Asthena Hübn.” (Meyr.)
Unless subpurpureata Walk. is a remarkable colour-form of pulchararia, there are three New Zealand species in this genus, all of “the Australian type” thereof, i.e., the genus Poecilasthena of Warren and Turner; but the first one, like xylocyma Meyr. (Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. (2), 5, 815), does not literally conform to the diagnosis “hindwings normal.” I separate the two which have been confused as schistaria by numbering them 58 and 58 bis.
58. A. schistaria Walk. Differs from the following in having the hindwing more rounded, not bent at vein 4; on the underside in the male with a specialised tuft of hair at tornus, as in xylocyma Meyr.; also often in having the post-median line of the forewing stronger (in any case not accompanied by a band) and the proximal post-median of the hindwing stronger than the distal, whereas in subpurpureata the reverse is the case, or the two are equal in expression, often united by a band-like shade. From Mr. Meyrick's remarks in erecting xylocyma, it would be pretty safe to add that name as a synonym to schistaria, but I have not yet made acquaintance with the Australian representative.
58 bis. A. subpurpureata Walk.= tuhuata Feld. A further synonmy is polycymaria Hmpsn. (Jour. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc., 14, 648), the type of Hampson's genus Astheniodes, based on a single example merely labelled “India,” evidently in error. I have carefully compared Hampson's type with New Zealand material.
“Venusia Curt.” (Meyr.)
61. V. dissimilis Philp. Must be transferred to Xanthorhoe (sens. lat.), as already noted by the author, Trans. N.Z. Inst., 56, 388.
Orthoclydon Warr., Nov. Zool., 1, 393 (1894)); type, P. praefectata Walk. (No. 125 in Meyrick.)
This genus has been overlooked, although Turner and Philpott have recently (Trans. N.Z. Inst., 56, 388) noted that praefectata Walk. required a separate genus, failing in two of the four signifi-
cant characters which Meyrick uses for Xanthorhoe—frontal cone and “moderate rough-scaled” palpus. The face is smooth, slightly rounded (especially in the type species), but not so prominent as in cambrica Curt., the type of Venusia. Palpus rather short, very shortly rough-scaled beneath (much as in “Venusia” charidema Meyr.). Antennal pectinations of ♂ very long, with about 10 distal segments non-pectinate (much as in V. verriculata Feld.). Thorax and abdomen not crested. Forewing with apex acute, or even subfalcate, scaling smooth, pattern typically consisting of lines, as in the Asthena group; areole double, vein 6 well stalked, DC more or less strongly inbent in middle, 5 arising from slightly before its middle, 3 considerably proximal to end of cell. Hindwings continuing the scheme of forewing (i.e., presumably exposed at rest), DC oblique, vein 5 arising well before its middle, 3 as in forewing.
Thanks to the kindness of Mr. Philpott, I have been able to study also pseudostinaria Huds. (Ent. Mo. Mag., 44, 61), which he rightly transfers here. I do not know chlorias Meyr., but fully accept Mr. Philpott's placing; its synonym princeps Huds. was erected in Venusia, which was evidently nearly right as to the frons, but overlooked the double areole.
69. A. parora Meyr. The oldest reference is N.Z. Jour. Sci., 2 (5), 234 (1884), nom. nov. for “humeraria Meyr. nec. Walk.”
Xanthorhoe Hübn. (sens. lat.).
81. X. lucidata Walk. Add synonym robustaria Walk., Cat., 25, 1320, which represents the male, the types of lucidata and plurimata being females. Meyrick gives no localities, but the species is known from Porirua, New Plymouth, etc.
84. X. subductata Walk. Walker's type is simply a ♀ rosearia Doubl. Is Meyrick's one Auckland example the same?
91. X. falcata Butl. Is an Asaphodes and must stand for the present as 70 bis. Personally, I feel satisfied that it is nothing but a large dark rufescens Butl., but as I have not seen any other example like it and Mr. Philpott cannot, from Butler's description, reconcile the two, I forbear to merge them.
96. X. subobscurata Walk. Add the synonym ascotata Feld., Reis. Nov. pl. 131, 9.
101. X. benedicta Meyr. This species is the true beata Butl. (Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1877, 397, pl. 43, 6), as is shown by his type. In his careful separation of the two allies, 101 and 102, Mr. Meyrick (Trans. N.Z. Inst., 46, 102), misjudged which was Butler's species and gave a name to the wrong one. This was perhaps excusable, if he was unable to visit London at the time, for, as Mr. Philpott has pointed out to me, the original description and figure are very misleading in some ways. But inasmuch as the other species was not even represented in the British Museum collection in 1877, there can be no question of a confusion in labelling the type.
102. “X. beata Butl.,” Meyr., Trans. N.Z. Inst., 46, 102; 49, 260. As this species is left without a name I propose for it that of Larentia
philpotti, nom. nov., in honour of the entomologist who first recognised that two species were mixed as beata. In addition to the differences originally pointed out by Meyrick, which are quite adequate for purposes of recognition, there is a pretty constant distinction in DC of the hindwings, though both are “Larentia” in having a definite angulation, with vein 5 arising posteriorly to the cell-fold. By some unexplained discrepancy, Mr. Meyrick (Trans. N.Z. Inst., 49, 249) finds the discocellulars more extreme in philpotti (his “beata”) than in beata vera (= benedicta), but both Mr. Philpott and myself have examined a very large number, with the results here indicated. In beat = benedicta (the species with the cell-spot developed on the forewing) vein 5 of the hindwing is always nearer to 4 than to the cell-fold. In philpotti (cell-spot absent or vestigial) 5 is nearer to cell-fold than to 4, sometimes only slighty so, occasionally only halfway. The deviation, therefore, is sometimes only small, and it is conceivable that specimens of one or the other species might be found in which the distinction would break down, but it is certainly not without significance.
104–106. X. chorica Meyr., cymozeucta Meyr. and obarata Feld. Mr. Philpott and Mr. Meyrick correctly found (Trans. N.Z. Inst., 51, 350) that there were only two species here, but as there has been a misidentification of Felder's obarata, of which the type is extant in the Tring Museum, the synonymy will need rectification. No. 104 will stand as obarata Feld., with chorica Meyr. sunk to it; No. 105 = 106 as cymozeucta Meyr. (= obarata Meyr. nec Feld.).
139. N. perornata Walk. This common species must, on Meyrick's system of classification, be transferred to Lythria, as the areole is always simple.
152. D. callicrena Meyr. Similarly, this species must be transferred to Dasysternica Turn. (Trans. R. Soc. S. Austral., 46, 256) on account of the simple areole.
156. D. fulva Huds. Has already been transferred to Notoreas (Huds., Trans. N.Z. Inst., 40, 107, in erecting Dichromodes simulans), and this is right as regards the pectinate male antenna. The areole is variable, though with some bias in the direction of Notoreas, in which the species may be provisionally left. Although it is now known that there are a good many species in which the areole can be either simple or double, it is seldom that there is not such a strong preponderance of one or the other condition as to justify the temporary retention of the character as generic. The condition of the male antenna (pectinate or non-pectinate) is quite stable for species, but sometimes gives such arbitrary divisions that it would be impossible to divine, in the absence of the male, whether a species belonged, e.g., to Dasyuris or Notoreas. The form of the discocellulars of the hindwing, though rejected as generic by Mr. Meyrick, was contemporaneously pronounced by Dr. Forbes (Journ. N.Y. Ent.
Soc., 25, 45) to be probably the best differential character yet available in the very difficult Cidaria group, as generally correlated with a somewhat fundamental difference in the male genitalia.
164. A. inostentata Walk. It has already been pointed out (Trans. N.Z. Inst., 53, 339) that the New Zealand species is distinct from the Australian, and must be called griseata Huds.
166 (165 [bis] ex err. typogr.). D. petrina Meyr. Sinks to sphaeriata Feld. Mr. Meyrick only cites Felder's name with a query, which is not unnatural if he judged only by the bad figure, but overlooks that the type is accessible in the Tring Museum.
“Epirranthis Hübn.” (Meyr.)
171 bis. E. ustaria Walk. is a separate species from alectoraria. Vide Philpott, Trans. N.Z. Inst., 49, 211; Prout in Seitz, Macrolep., 12, 34. Since the latter was written the genitalia have been examined.
“Selidosema Hübn.” (Meyr.)
176. S. cremnopa Meyr. This sinks to pungata Feld. (vera), Reis. Nov., pl. 131, 23, but both are simply male forms of the true melinata Feld., pl. 129, 9 (nec Meyr.). As the latter has at least “page priority,” this rather rare species should be registered as melinata Feld. (♀) = pungata Feld. (♂) = cremnopa Meyr. (♂).
176 bis. S. flava Warr., Nov. Zool., 3, 406 (1896). Overlooked by New Zealand workers. It may be an aberration of one of the known species, e.g., of fascialata Philp. with the dark markings extraordinarily reduced.
177. S. fascialata Philp. This name must be resuscitated (see 176 supra).
184. S. indistincta Butl. = melinata Meyr. nec Feld. This name must be resuscitated (see 176 supra).
“Azelina Guen.” (Meyr.)
200. A. ophiopa Meyr. Sinks to variabilis Warr., Nov. Zool., 2, 153 (1895) (as Polygonia). The description was poor, and in the absence of a type locality (though the comparison with fortinata might lead to a guess) the name has been lost sight of.
202. A. gallaria Walk. Further synonyms are Ischalis thermochromata Walk., Cat., 26, 1750 and cineria Feld., Reis. Nov., 132, 22 (as palthidata var?).
205. D. griseata Huds. Belongs in Sect. B.
208. D. feredayi Butl. Is the oldest name for sinuosa Philp. and must be deleted from the synonymy of No. 207.