Descriptions of New Zealand Lepidoptera.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 28th August, 1929; received by the Editor, 9th September, 1929; issued separately, 30th November, 1929.]
I Am again indebted to my esteemed correspondent, Mr. G. V. Hudson, for supplying me with the interesting material for the following notes and descriptions of new species. They include the record of a Tasmanian monotypic genus from New Zealand for the first time, a sufficiently rare occurrence; the only other case in the Micro-Lepidoptera is Cateristis eustyla.
Leucania paraxysta n. sp.
♂ ♀. 36–37 mm. Head, palpi brown. Antennae ♂ dentate, moderately fasciculate-ciliated. Thorax whitish-ochreous, suffused brown anteriorly, with a bent anterior white bar edged dark fuscous in front. Forewings elongate-triangular, termen obliquely rounded; pale ochreous; veins finely brownish, posteriorly more or less sprinkled dark fuscous or blackish; slender whitish streaks along upper and lower margins of cell; a fine brownish streak above lower of these from before middle of wing expanded to fill space between veins 4 and 5 to termen; in ♂ wedge-shaped brownish spots resting on termen between veins 5–8, in ♂ more faintly indicated; a narrow brownish streak between veins 3 and 4 from near origin to termen, some whitish suffusion before base of this; a narrow reddish-brown streak somewhat sprinkled dark fuscous along fold from base to middle, continued by broader but lighter brownish suffusion above fold to termen; no black dots; cilia pale ochreous, ♀ tinged brownish. Hindwings rather dark grey; cilia ochreous-grey-whitish.
Waiouru (towards Mt. Ruapehu), December, at sugar (Hudson); 2 ex. Mr. Hudson has other examples. Allied to sulcana and stulta, but quite distinct from either.
Aletia micrastra Meyr.
♂. 33–35 mm. Head, palpi, thorax light brown slightly speckled whitish, palpi sprinkled blackish on outer side of joint, thorax anteriorly with fine blackish bar edged whitish speckling posteriorly. Antennae flatly dentate, very shortly ciliated. Forewings light brown, slightly reddish-tinged; veins finely grey, upper and lower margins of cell tinged whitish; a white dot following lower angle of cell; second line represented by a curved series of blackish dots on veins, first also by two or three dots: cilia light reddish-brown. Hindwings rather dark grey; cilia pale reddish-brown, outer half whitish.
Wellington, December (O'Connor); 2 ex. I believe this to be the other sex of micrastra, which was described from the female only; the
blackish dots on veins (not mentioned in my description) are indistinctly indicated in the female also, and accompanied with minute white specks; the female differs otherwise by more reddish colouring, and development of white speckling.
Aletia sapiens n. sp.
♂. 37 mm. Head, palpi reddish-brown. Thorax reddish-brown, mixed whitish on dorsum, inner edge of tegulae sprinkled white. Antennae dentate, moderately fasciculate-ciliated. Forewings rather short-triangular, broader than in micrastra, termen rather obliquely rounded, crenulate; dull reddish-brown; veins (except towards costa) mixed dark fuscous and slightly sprinkled white; first and second lines indicated by obscure grey-whitish dots on veins; orbicular and claviform indicated by faint greyish suffusion; distinct white dots on each side of lower end of transverse vein; three or four indistinct whitish dots on costa posteriorly; terminal edge blackish, with minute white dots on veins: cilia light red-brownish, tips grey-whitish. Hindwings rather dark grey; cilia ochreous-whitish, suffused light ochreoua towards base.
Waiouru, December, at sugar (Hudson); 1 ex. Much like micrastra, and also resembles Leucania phaula, but obviously distinct from both by shorter and broader wings.
Melanchra petrograpta n. sp.
♀. 42 mm. Head, palpi, thorax fuscous mixed whitish and blackish. Forewings elongate-triangular, termen obliquely rounded, waved; grey, irrorated blackish and whitish; a small white spot in middle of base; lines white, blackish-edged, waved, subbasal curved, first rather irregular, slightly bent on fold, second sinuate, subterminal parallel to termen, slightly indented near extremities; median band darker grey irrorated blackish, without white irroration, median shade obscurely blackish, dentate; spots outlined white and then blackish, claviform small, wedge-shaped, resting on first line, orbicular rather oblique, oval, reniform narrow, slightly bent in middle: cilia grey narrowly barred white. Hindwings grey; cilia light grey, slenderly barred whitish, outer half whitish.
Lake Wakatipu, at sugar, January (Hudson); 1 ex. Not very near any other known to me.
Melanchra furtiva Philp.
This, of which I am indebted to Mr. Philpot for examples, is a good species; it is superficially distinguishable from mutans by the absence of the two strong dentations of subterminal line found in that insect.
Melanchra saeva n. sp.
♂ ♀. 39–40 mm. Head, palpi, thorax whitish-ochreous, partially tinged or mixed brown (more strongly in ♂) and slightly sprinkled blackish. Antennae ♂ filiform, ciliated (¾). Forewings distinctly narrower posteriorly than in Pascoi, termen somewhat more oblique, crenate; pale ochreous, scattered black scales; subbasal, first, and
second lines indicated by brown margins, only distinct on costa, elsewhere irregularly and acutely dentate, faint, especially in ♀; cell tinged brownish; orbicular roundish, outlined brown, claviform obsolete, reniform rather narrow, curved transverse, partially (♂) or almost wholly (♀) dark fuscous, posteriorly pale-edged; an elongate patch of grey or fuscous suffusion, in ♀ partially suffused blackish, occupying submedian area from near base to subterminal line; subterminal line nearly straight, dentate, with two much stronger teeth on veins 3 and 4, ochreous-whitish, on lower ⅔ strongly edged anteriorly dark brown in ♂, blackish in ♀, and followed in middle and at lower end by similar blotches or suffusion: cilia ♀ brown, ♂ brownish-ochreous, with pale ochreous bars. Hindwings dark grey; cilia light reddish-brown, tips tinged whitish.
Arthur's Pass, bred from larvae feeding on Nothofagus, January (Hudson); 2 ex. Closely allied to Pascoi, but distinct.
Melanchra scutata n. sp.
♂. 36 mm. Head, palpi, thorax light reddish-brown suffusedly mixed whitish. Antennae bipectinated except towards apex (a 4, b 3). Forewings elongate-triangular, termen obliquely rounded, crenulate; pale ochreous, basal half irrorated grey-whitish; subbasal, first, and second lines only indicated by brownish margins on costa; a fine dark reddish-brown median dash from base to ¼, irregularly thickened near base; an oblique reddish-brown spot mixed blackish from dorsum towards base; roundish orbicular and smaller also round claviform beneath it outlined dark reddish-fuscous and tinged red-brownish internally, reniform ear-shaped, anterior edge formed by a double reddish-fuscous but posterior only faintly indicated, these spots united and orbicular also preceded by red-brownish suffusion forming a large median discal subquadrate patch, cubitus within this and shortly before it blackish-grey; from this patch an irregular thick dark reddish-fuscous streak runs along vein 2 to termen, vein tinged dark grey; subterminal line indicated by an obscure whitish shade cutting this streak and slightly edged brownish anteriorly near costa, on veins 3 and 4 forming two long well-defined dentations reaching termen, space between these and above them as far as vein 6 suffused dark brown except on termen, terminal area otherwise ochreous-whitish: cilia brown, slightly barred whitish. Hindwings pale greyish, suffusedly irrorated dark grey, obscurely indicating a discal spot, post-median line, and terminal band in which are two cloudy whitish elongate spots below middle.
Wellington, during winter (Hudson); 1 ex. Mr. Hudson has other specimens. Allied to insignis, but with the antennal pectinations longer (insignis a 3, b 2), basal dash of forewings dark red-brown instead of black, both dentations of subterminal line reaching termen, and otherwise very distinct.
Dasyuris leucobathra Meyr.
♂ ♀. 22–25 mm. Forewings beneath dark grey; veins, a costal band, and gradually narrowed praesubterminal and terminal fasciae
not reaching dorsum ochreous-yellow; broad irregular basal and ante-median white fasciae, and a nearly straight transverse white median streak, these all disappearing on yellow areas; curved entire post-median and subterminal white streaks, latter sometimes partly macular. Hindwings beneath blackish; veins, broad suffusions along upper and lower margins of cell and dorsum, and praesubterminal and terminal fasciae ochreous-yellow; broad subbasal fascia and straight transverse antemedian streak white, disappearing on yellow areas; curved postmedian and subterminal entire white streaks.
Mt. Arthur tableland (4,500 feet), Arthur's Pass (3,500 feet), and Otira Gorge. The description of the undersurface is not given in my original description; it affords an easy distinction from the following species.
Dasyuris micropolis n. sp.
♂ ♀. 16-19 mm. Head, palpi black, ♀ mixed white. Thorax black, hairs somewhat mixed yellow-whitish, especially in ♀, front and tegulae ♂ sprinkled white scales. Abdomen black, segmental margins more or less irrorated white, more strongly beneath. Forewings triangular, termen rounded, rather oblique; dark fuscous, slightly and irregularly sprinkled whitish; subbasal, first, median, second, and subterminal white or whitish lines or slender streaks, first two rather curved, median somewhat irregular or slightly angulated in middle, second more or less obtusely angulated in middle, subterminal irregular, usually macular or sometimes almost obsolete: cilia white barred grey. Hindwings dark grey; a somewhat obtusely angulated whitish or yellow-whitish postmedian line; in ♀ also an oblique yellow-whitish antemedian shade or streak, and macular subterminal line; cilia white, indistinctly barred grey. Forewings beneath dark fuscous with five yellowish-white fasciae, first two broad and confluent, occupying basal ⅖ of wing, third moderate, straight or rather angulated, fourth moderate, angulated, fifth narrow, mostly macular. Hindwings beneath blackish, ♂ with broad oblique ante-median and curved postmedian yellow-whitish fasciae and some irregular irroration, ♀ also with broad subbasal fascia, and posterior fascia confluent with a subterminal fascia nearly extending to termen.
Arthur's Pass, 5,000 feet (Hudson); 7 ex. (3 ♂, 4 ♀). Has been confused with the preceding, from which it is readily distinguished by the small size, different undersurface, absence of yellow on abdomen, etc.
Lythria perornata Walk.
Having received from Mr. Hudson a specimen certified by Mr. Philpott himself as regilla Philp. (Trans. N.Z. Inst. 58, 360), I must express my decided opinion that it is not specifically distinguishable from the common and variable perornata, with which it is stated to have been “confused.”
Declana toreuta n. sp.
♀. 34 mm. Head whitish-fuscous, a blotch of dark fuscous suffusion on crown. Palpi second joint dark fuscous with whitish-fus-
cous hairs beneath, terminal joint white. Antennae with obliquely projecting teeth (nearly 1). Thorax whity-brownish, an antemedian brown and purplish band. Abdomen brown irrorated white, a dorsal series of small dark brown spots, undersurface white. Forewings elongate-triangular, costa rather sinuate, termen rather obliquely rounded, waved, more strongly on 6; grey, with strong raised transverse dark fuscous strigulae, partly tinged ferruginous; a pinkish-white basal patch, edge strongly convex, extending to ¼ of disc, a small linear black mark within it in middle; second line well-marked, slender, dark fuscous, from ¾ of costa to dorsum before tornus, with strong acute indentation above middle and stronger one on fold, preceded by slight whitish tinge, especially on upper third and widening towards costa; a terminal fascia of white suffusion, with some fine fuscous strigulation: cilia whitish mixed ferruginous-fuscous with darker lines, especially a dark fuscous basal line, and finely barred white. Hindwings and cilia uniform whitish.
Arthur's Pass, bred from larva taken in January by W. H. Burrow, “differing from that of D. floccosa in having shorter lateral filaments unbranched” (Hudson); 2 ex. Above description taken from one specimen only; the second, also ♂, certainly conspecific, is perhaps rather, starved, expansion 28 mm., wings rather narrower, head and thorax suffused grey, thorax with two blackish blotches anteriorly, terminal joint of palpi dark fuscous externally, forewings basal area suffused grey, second line indistinct and not preceded by whitish suffusion, terminal white suffusion obscured with light grey, hindwings pale grey, abdomen suffused grey above and largely mixed fuscous beneath; this general grey tinge is possibly artificially induced and not natural, but the species is probably also variable like its congeners. Allied to Feredayi and junctilinea.
Scoparia quaestoria n. sp.
♂. 22–25 mm. Head, thorax brown. Palpi brown, white towards base beneath. Forewings very elongate-triangular, termen rather oblique; brown, with slight ferruginous tinge; first and second lines fine, whitish, first slightly bent, second excurved in disc, indented on fold; claviform forming a small round white spot; anterior and lower edge of discal forming an inverted ?-shaped whitish mark; an irregular terminal fascia of whitish irroration; a terminal series of white dots: cilia light brownish. Hindwings whitish-grey, greyer posteriorly; a grey mark on transverse vein; a curved whitish shade at ¾; terminal edge white with some dark grey dots; cilia whitish, a fine light grey subbasal line.
Waitati, November (Clarke); 2 ex. Apparently allied to phalerias.
Tortrix melanosperma Meyr.
An example from Tararua Range, 4,000 feet (Hudson) has the ground-colour immediately beneath the white costal streak suffused darker grey.
Epichorista elephantina Meyr.
♀. 23 mm. Forewings more pointed than ♂, costa more arched, termen more oblique (thus, with smaller size, showing some tendency to reduction). Hindwings rather dark grey (in ♂ whitish).
Arthur's Pass, January (Hudson). The species was described from a single male taken in the same locality, and appears to be rare, though other males have been recorded.
Borkhausenia tephrophanes n. sp.
♀. 19 mm. Head, thorax grey. Palpi dark grey, slightly speckled white. Forewings rather elongate, costa gently arched, apex pointed, termen very obliquely rounded; glossy bluish-grey; extreme costal edge dark grey on basal ¼, then finely whitish to near apex; plical stigma rather elongate, blackish; a fine indistinct whitish inwards-oblique line from dorsum before tornus reaching half across wing, beyond this some obscure fuscous irroration crossing wing obliquely: cilia grey-whitish irrorated fuscous. Hindwings dark fuscous; cilia grey, darker within a faint slender whitish subbasal line.
Flora Creek, January (Hudson); 1 ex. Inconspicuous but distinct, perhaps allied to nycteris.
Borkhausenia porophora n. sp.
♀. 15 mm. Head, thorax whitish-grey. Palpi second joint light grey, tip whitish, terminal joint whitish with grey submedian band. Forewings elongate, costa gently arched, apex obtuse, termen very obliquely rounded; pale greyish-ochreous; markings cloudy, fuscous; an outwards-oblique fascia from base of costa and an inwards-oblique fascia from costa at ⅖ meeting on fold to form a V-shaped mark not reaching dorsum; plical stigma forming an elongate mark, first discal an incomplete oval ring slightly beyond it, some irroration between these, second discal a transverse-oval spot enclosing a transverse whitish dark-edged spot but open beneath, and connected with costa by an irregular fascia, its posterior edge also connected with a blotch on tornus; a curved subterminal line sharply indented above middle and terminating in tornal blotch; some slight irroration towards apex and termen: cilia whitish-ochreous, a few fuscous scales. Hindwings pale grey, tinged whitish-ochreous towards base; cilia whitish-ochreous. Takaka, January (Hudson); 1 ex. Next crotala.
Borkhausenia berenice n. sp.
♂. 15 mm. Head whitish. Palpi whitish, second joint irrorated dark grey except apex. Thorax grey-whitish, posteriorly tinged pale fulvous on margins. Forewings elongate, costa gently arched, apex obtuse, termen rounded, rather strongly oblique; ochreous-whitish, becoming pale ochreous-yellowish posteriorly and towards dorsum anteriorly; a very oblique fascia of grey suffusion from base of costa to middle of dorsum; costal spots of grey irroration at ⅓ and ⅗; a subtriangular blackish blotch on dorsum about ¾, surrounded by broad
light fulvous irroration or suffusion extending to tornus and ¾ across wing: cilia whitish-ochreous. Hindwings grey; cilia pale grey.
Wellington, November (Hudson); 1 ex. A distinct and ornamental form; may be placed near plagiatella.
Head with appressed scales; tongue developed. Antennae ¾, ♂ strongly ciliated, scape moderate, with pecten. Labial palpi moderately long, recurved, second joint not reaching base of antennae, with appressed scales, terminal joint nearly as long as second, slender, acute. Posterior tibiae clothed with hairs above. Forewings 2 from near angle, 7 absent, 11 from middle. Hindwings 1, elongate-ovate, cilia ¾ 3 and 4 connate, 5–7 nearly parallel.
Mermeristis spodiaea Meyr., Exot. Micr. 1, 298 (1915).
♂. 12 mm. Head, palpi brownish. Antennal ciliations 3. Thorax fuscous. Forewings elongate, costa slightly arched, apex obtuse-pointed, termen very obliquely rounded; fuscous; stigmata obscure, dark grey, plical rather obliquely beyond first discal, an obscure ochreous-whitish dot beneath second discal: cilia light fuscous. Hindwings rather dark grey; cilia light grey, with darker subbasal shade.
Wellington, February (Hudson); 1 ex. The above description is that drawn from the original type, taken by myself at George Bay, Tasmania, in 1885, and still unique in my collection, though I believe it has been met with since. The genus is monotypic, and probably related to Eulechria, though the loss of vein 7 makes its affinity uncertain. The New Zealand example, also ♂, is structurally identical, and expands 11 mm.; forewings brown, irregularly mixed fuscous, some fuscous suffusion on costa beyond middle, and an irregular fuscous curved subterminal shade; plical and first discal stigmata hardly indicated, dot below second discal pale but not tinged whitish; hindwings dark grey. These slight differences are individual or geographical; the species is a very obscure and insignificant-looking insect, and may easily be overlooked; its occurrence in both regions is probably natural.
Gymnobathra omichleuta n. sp.
♂. 16–17 mm. Head light ochreous-brownish. Palpi whitish, anterior edge blackish, second joint laterally brownish except a white line adjoining black edge. Thorax fuscous. Forewings elongate, rather dilated, costa slightly arched, apex obtuse-pointed, termen sinuate, rather oblique; ochreous-fuscous; stigmata forming small obscurely darker spots, plical somewhat before first discal, second discal forming a transverse sometimes interrupted mark; an angulated fascia of darker suffusion beyond this faintly perceptible, and some towards termen: cilia grey. Hindwings light grey, a grey discal dot; cilia whitish-grey, a greyish subbasal line. Apex of valva rather obtuse (in hamatella rather acute).
Wellington, March (Hudson); Christchurch, January; 2 ex. Allied to hamatella, of which I formerly regarded it as a grey form.
Izatha rigescens n. sp.
♂. 17 mm. Head, thorax white mixed grey. Palpi white, second joint mixed dark grey, terminal joint with blackish median band and subbasal ring, anterior edge dark grey towards tip. Forewings elongate, slightly dilated, costa gently arched, apex obtuse, termen obliquely rounded; grey-whitish irrorated grey; an irregular grey streak mixed blackish from base of costa above fold to elongate black plical stigma; light grey suffusion with irregularly scattered black scales extends also to dorsum at base, over posterior part of cell, above fold to extremity, and forms an irregular excurved fascia at ⅔, a terminal fascia confluent with this beneath, and spots on costa at ⅓ and ⅘; an elongate blackish mark representing second discal stigma beneath this a spot of ochreous-whitish suffusion: cilia whitish mixed grey and blackish-grey except towards base. Hindwings light grey; cilia whitish, a light grey subbasal line.
Wellington, March (Hudson); 1 ex.
Protosynaema steropucha Meyr.
A curious variety taken by Mr. Hudson at Wellington has the veins of forewings marked with suffused white lines.