Descriptions and Notes on New Zealand Lepidoptera
[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, May 6, 1936; received by the Editor, May 20, 1936; issued separately, December, 1936.]
Xanthorhoe ida Clarke
I assign to this species, as a striking variety, a male specimen from Motupiko River, Nelson, submitted to me by Mr Hudson, which differs from typical examples in having the dorsal half of medium band of forewings occupied by a conspicuous white blotch, and the terminal area of hindwings somewhat streaked brown. This form of variation is analogous to that found in certain New Zealand species of Chloroclystis.
Selidosema colpogramma n.sp.
♂. 31–33 mm. Head, palpi, thorax fuscous, more or less mixed whitish-ochreous. Antennal pectinations ♂ about 8. Fore-wings subtriangular, termen rather obliquely rounded; brownish-ochreous, transversely strigulated dark fuscous; lines waved, whitish, internally strongly edged dark fuscous, first from costa at ⅕ to dorsum at ⅓, excurved, second from costa at ⅗ to dorsum at ⅔, rather excurved in disc but indented or excised above middle, followed in ♂ by broad whitish-ochreous suffusion on costal and dorsal thirds, subterminal nearly parallel to termen, obsolete in middle, in ♀ with an enlargement above this, connected with termen beneath apex by a white dash; discal spot transverse, dark fuscous, inconspicuous; a terminal series of small blackish spots or marks: cilia yellow-whitish irregularly suffused grey. Hindwings ♂ pale greyish-ochreous, ♀ whitish-grey speckled grey; a dark grey discal dot; in ♀ a slightly excurved transverse series of cloudy grey spots at ⅘, and terminal series of small blackish marks; cilia ♂ pale greyish-ochreous, ♀ ochreous-whitish.
Arthur's Pass, bred by Mr G. V. Hudson from larvae feeding on Cassinia (Compositae); 2 ex. Probably allied to productata, but certainly distinct by different form of second line.
Cnephasia ochnosema n.sp.
♂. 16–18 mm. Head, thorax grey, sometimes mixed brown. Palpi 2, moderately scaled, grey sprinkled blackish. Antennal joints elongate moniliform, with complete whorls of fine long cilia (3). Forewings very elongate-triangular, costa slightly arched, with narrow fold on basal fifth, termen slightly rounded, rather oblique; 7 to termen; grey, mixed whitish; some blackish dots or small spots on costa and dorsum; basal patch indicated by irregular blackish, strigulation, occupying less than quarter of a wing, edge irregular, oblique; central fascia darker, rather narrow, oblique, marked blackish
on edge, some blackish strigulation in disc at about ⅔ confluent with this; a blackish-grey transverse slightly outwards-oblique somewhat pear-shaped blotch from tornus reaching more than half across wing: cilia light grey sprinkled whitish. Hindwings light grey obscurely mottled darker, apex and upper part of termen suffused rather darker; cilia light grey.
Jack's Pass, Hanmer, April, locally common (S. Lindsay); 2 ex. Allied to melanophaea, but that species is broader-winged, more strongly marked, the hindwings darker, antennal joints shorter, subcylindric, ciliations shorter and collected towards one face of antenna, not evenly whorled, and holorphna is also similar, but broader-winged and less distinctly marked; both these species have the palpi clothed with long rough scales beneath. Probably other allied species of this group may be found confined to limited regions in the mountains.
Borkhausenia ophiodryas n.sp.
♀. 17 mm. Head, thorax light ochreous-orange. Palpi whitishochreous. Forewings elongate, slightly dilated, costa gently arched, apex obtuse-pointed, termen rounded, oblique; golden-ochreous-orange; markings ochreous-brown; stigmata forming rounded spots, plical somewhat beyond first discal, a rather narrow sinuous streak proceeding from near base along fold between these and touching second discal beneath, thence directed to tornus, some scattered scales between this and narrow bent bar crossing wing near apex and continued along termen to tornus: cilia orange-yellow. Hindwings grey; cilia whitish-grey.
Banks Peninsula, bush above Le Bon's Bay, February (S. Lindsay); 1 ex. A distinct species allied to the armigerella group.
Gymnobathra origenes n.sp.
♀. 12 mm. Head, thorax dark fuscous-bronze. Palpi dark fuscous. Forewings elongate, costa slightly arched, apex pointed, termen very obliquely rounded; dark bronzy-fuscous, bases of scales pale; stigmata forming small very obscure spots of dark fuscous suffusion, plical nearly beneath first discal: cilia grey, somewhat mixed bronzy-whitish. Hindwings grey; cilia light grey tinged bronzy-whitish.
Mount St. Arnaud, 4000 feet, December (S Lindsay); 1 ex. This obscure little mountain insect might be very easily overlooked.
Trachypepla oneropis n.sp.
♂ ♀. 11–13 mm. Head, thorax fuscous. Palpi dark fuscous, tip of joints whitish. Antennal ciliations ♂ over 2. Forewings elongate, costa gently arched, apex obtuse-pointed, termen obliquely rounded; fuscous more or less sprinkled dark fuscous; stigmata raised, blackish, plical directly beneath first discal, a pale ochreous dot adjoining second discal beneath, edged posteriorly a few blackish
scales; sometimes some pale ochreous suffusion in disc between stigmata extending upwards to costa, and a spot of pale ochreous suffusion on costa about ⅔, but these may be obsolete: cilia greyish, base sometimes tinged ochreous, extreme tips whitish. Hindwings grey; cilia light grey, tips whitish.
Nelson, 4 specimens taken by myself, January 12th, 1886; also 2 taken by Mr Hudson on Mt. Arthur, 4500 feet, and at Takaka, also in January; it is an obscure little insect, probably overlooked.
Proteodes melographa Meyr.
P. varia Philp., of which I have received a paratype through the kindness of Mr Hudson, is (as he suggests), a synonym of this.
Note on Scoparia sideraspis Meyr.
An unusual habit was observed in this species at Craigieburn, in December, 1934. On a very dull day, specimens were distributed in a very steep and narrow ravine on the mountain-side. They flew heavily for some yards, settling rapidly on the gravel-covered sides of the ravine. Immediately after alighting the insects rolled down the slope with wings closed for some feet, then remaining at rest again until again disturbed by the approach of the collector. A number of specimens was observed to perform the same evolution, clearly indicating that the action was a true habit and not an accidental occurrence. The moth when falling resembled closely a small piece of dislodged gravel. It seems to the writer that this habit has an obviously protective value.
Previous records of this species state it has only been taken flying rapidly over shingle slopes in hot sunshine (see Hudson, B. & M. N.Z., p. 202). S. Lindsay.