Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 78, 1950
This text is also available in PDF
(112 KB) Opens in new window
– 1 –

Notes on Synonymy Among New Zealand Insects—I

Zoology Department, Victoria University College, Wellington

[Read before the Wellington Branch, May 25, 1948; received by the Editor, June 16, 1948; issued separately, February, 1950.]

The purpose of this short paper is to record three cases of synonymy that have come to my notice when working over the entomological collections housed in the Dominion Museum.

Order Odonata
Sub-order Anisoptera
Genus Procordulia Martin, 1906
1871. Somatochlora Selys (in part)

Procordulia smithii (White), 1846

  • 1846. Cordulia smithii White
  • 1868. Cordulia norae-zealandiae Brauer
  • 1871. Epitheca grayi Selys
  • 1904. Somatochlora smithii Hudson
  • 1904. Somatochlora grayi Hudson

There are in the Dominion Museum two quite fine series of this dragonfly, one being in the Hudson Collection and the other in the Museum's main collection, and from a study of these it is evident that the species hitherto known as smithii and grayi respectively are identical and must be merged under the one name smithii. The wing colour varies in all stages from clear to deeply tinted. The antenodals of the fore-wing may be seven or eight, or there may be seven on one side and eight on the opposite side in either clear or coloured winged specimens, male or female. Some typical female smithii with a colour patch behind the pterostigma have seven antenodals and some have eight. The colour pattern of grayi usually goes with eight antenodals, but sometimes it has only seven. One of our specimens has a nervule in the triangle of the hind-wing. The membranule may vary from almost, absent to almost filling the posterior excavation of the hind-wing. The colour of the face varies from greenish to yellowish.

Order Hemiptera
Sub-order Homoptera
Family Cicadidae
Genus Melampsalta Amyot, 1847

Melampsalta campbelli (Myers), 1923

  • 1923. Pauropsalta, campbelli Myers
  • 1923. Pauropsalta maorica Myers
  • 1927. Melampsalta campbelli Myers
  • 1927. Melampsalta maorica Myers

I have collected this species from many parts of New Zealand and the specimens are deposited in the Dominion Museum collections, which now contain a fine series. This cicada can readily be recognised

– 2 –

in the field by its characteristic chirping sound. Several of the specimens in the Museum's collections have five apical cells in the hind-wing and would identify as M. maorica Myers (Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond., 77, p. 31). However, the series also contains several specimens with five apical cells on one side and six on the opposite side. This, together with the fact that the colour pattern varies from that typical of campbelli to that typical of maorica, establishes the synonymy of the two species, and, as campbelli has page priority over caorica, the species must henceforth be known under the name campbelli. The type specimen of maorica, which is in the Cawthron Institute collections, has a prominent red band over the tip of the abdomen, but many specimens of campbelli also have this; in fact, the red banding and silver pubescence of the abdomen is a very variable character.

Order Diptera
Sub-order Cyclorrhapha
Superfamily Acalypterae
Family Ephydridae
Genus Ephydrella Tonnoir and Malloch, 1926
1937. Mydaezealandia Salmon

Ephydrella spathulata Cresson, 1935

1937. Mydaezealandia glauca Salmon

I am indebted to Dr Miller, of the Cawthron Institute, Nelson, for first drawing my attention to the synonymy of my species with that of Cresson, a synonymy in which I concur.


Braufr. F., 1868. Rcise der Novara, 2, p. 78.

Cresson, E. T., 1935. Trans. Amer. Ent. Soc., vol. 61, p. 355.

Hudson, G. V., 1904. New Zealand Neuroptera, pp. 14–17.

Hutton, H., 1899. Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 31, pp. 221–227.

Myers, J. G., 1923. Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 54, pp. 430–431.

— 1927. Trans. N. Z. Inst., vol. 57, pp. 685–688.

— 1929. Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond., vol. 77, pp. 29–60.

Salmon, J. T., 1937. Trans. Roy. Soc. N.Z., vol. 67, pp. 359–360.

Selys, M. E., 1857. Mon. Gomphines, pp. 49–50.

White, A., 1846. Zool, Erebus and Terror, Insects, pl. 6. fig. 2.