Notes on New Zealand Lepidoptera
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Institute; received by the Editor, 12th December, 1933; issued separately, September, 1934.]
Aletia Lacustris, n. sp.
♂ ♀. 36–37 mm. Head, palpi, thorax grey, paler-mixed. Antennae ♂ serrate-dentate. Forewings somewhat elongate-triangular; grey with faint olive-greenish tinge; subbasal half-line edged dark fuscous spots at each extremity; first and second lines waved-dentate, interruptedly edged internally dark fuscous or blackish, sometimes indistinct, median obscure, darker grey, widely interrupted in disc; rounded orbicular and transverse-oblong reniform light grey, obscurely edged whitish laterally; a series of dark grey dots on veins beyond second line; subterminal obscure, whitish, interrupted, edged anteriorly with more or less dark fuscous spots; a terminal series of blackish marks: cilia dark grey mixed whitish. Hindwings grey becoming dark grey posteriorly; cilia grey-whitish, a more or less expressed grey subbasal shade.
4 examples taken at light on shores of Lake Rotorua, March 14, 1931 (Lawford White). Somewhat intermediate between griseipennis and temenaula.
Chloroclystis melanocentra, n. sp.
♂ ♀. 22–23 mm. Head, palpi, thorax grey mixed whitish. Antennae ♂ shortly and evenly ciliated. Forewings termen bowed, oblique; grey, striated blackish, somewhat mixed crimson, especially on third fascia and median and subdorsal portions of fifth; discal dot small, blackish; first, median, and second lines indicated by series of black dots; subterminal line waved, obscurely whitish; a fine blackish terminal line: cilia light grey speckled darker, obscurely darker barred. Hindwings termen excised beneath apex; pale greyish; striae and lines marked on dorsal third as on forewings, and faintly on median third, black dots of second line extending more than half across wing; terminal line and cilia as in forewings.
4 examples on slopes of Ben Lomond, Lake Wakatipu, at above 3000 feet, October 30, 1932 (Lawford White).
Xanthorhoe occulta Philp.
♀. 25 mm. Head and palpi as in ♂. Antennae filiform, simple. Forewings narrowly elongate-triangular, costa sinuate, apex very acutely produced, termen very oblique, sinuate; light rosy-brownish, sprinkled white and partially suffused light grey; lines formed of
white dots accompanied with some grey scales, as in ♂, but conforming to altered shape of wing: cilia red-brownish, tips white. Hindwings elongate-trapezoidal, apex very prominent, termen very oblique, somewhat sinuate (general form much as in some Gelechiadae); whitish-grey sprinkled grey, slightly reddish-tinged posteriorly; cilia pale grey-reddish, tips whitish. Neuration of forewings and hind-wings essentially as in ♂, but necessarily compressed.
A single specimen of this extraordinarily formed insect sent by Mr Lawford White, who writes: “Taken on slopes of Ben Lomond, Lake Wakatipu, October 30, 1932; observed clinging to a tussock stem; unable to fly, could crawl about fairly rapidly with wings fluttering; altitude about 2500 feet.” Three ♂ examples of occulta, taken in the same locality the same day, were also sent; I have compared these carefully with my own specimens of occulta, of which I possess a type received from Philpott himself, and five others from Mr Hudson, all six males, and they are unquestionably identical in structuire and superficial characters alike. I am satisfied that this curious female is the other sex of these. There arises, however, the difficulty that Hudson, in his “Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand,” figures on plate XIV both sexes of occulta as entirely similar in form of wing, and only differing in colour. I can only suggest (he does not say anything about the characteristic antennae) that he may have been misled as to the sex.
Hellula undalis Fab.
One specimen sent by Mr Lawford White, who writes: “Taken by day flying among rushes on bank of New River about eight miles south of Greymouth, West Coast, and about three miles inland from sea, August 31, 1932. I have not seen any previous record of this species from New Zealand, but it is common through a large part of the world, including Australia and some of the Pacific islands; the larva is a garden pest, feeding on cabbage and turnip; it is therefore no doubt sometimes accidentally imported by man, but probably also migrates freely.
–Gelophaula praecipitalis, n. sp.
♂. 24–25 mm. Head, palpi, thorax dark fuscous mixed ochreous. Forewings somewhat elongate, scarcely dilated, costa gently arched, fold very narrow, hardly reaching ⅙, termen rounded, somewhat oblique; fuscous-grey, irregularly mixed ferruginous, thinly sprinkled black; some ferruginous suffusion beneath costa near base; cilia light grey. Hindwings dull orange, lighter towards base; a suffused dark fuscous apical fascia occupying nearly ⅓ of wing; cilia pale greyish, tinged ochreous towards tornus and dorsum; a grey subbasal line on termen.
2 examples, Mount Peel, 4000 feet, “rapidly flying over shingle fans on slopes” (Lawford White).
Tortrix ascomorpha, n. sp.
♀. 23–24 mm. Head, thorax pale ochreous, more or less suffused yellow. Palpi 3, whitish-ochreous, externally suffused yellow and irrorated fuscous. Forewings elongate-triangular, costa gently arched towards base and slightly near apex, apex obtuse, termen sinuate beneath apex, rather oblique; whitish-ochreous, slightly mottled yellow-ochreous and posteriorly somewhat strigulated fuscous; markings brownish largely suffused yellow-ochreous and irregularly mixed or marked fuscous especially on margins; a transverse streak limiting basal patch, acutely angulated in middle; central fascia rising from costa before middle, blackish on costal edge, at first rather narrow, oblique, below ¼ becoming much broader, anterior edge angularly prominent on fold and running to dorsum towards tornus, posterior edge with a projection above and lower portion produced in a curved fascia obliquely upwards to near termen above middle; costal patch moderate, flattened-triangular, containing one or two small costal spots of ground colour, its apex almost or quite touching projection of central fascia: cilia ochreous-yellowish. Hindwings whitish, some indistinct grey strigulae towards dorsal area; cilia whitish, tinged yellow round apex and upper part of termen.
Arthur's Pass, December, January (S. Lindsay); types in Canterbury Museum. Allied to charactana and scruposa, but very distinct. It is remarkable that this fine and noticeable species should now be discovered in a locality so much visited by entomologists during the past fifty years.