Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Xylorycta melanias

Xylorycta melanias Lower, 1899

Xylorycta melanias Lower, 1899. Descriptions of new Australian Lepidoptera. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 24: 83–116 [102]. Syntype(s) SAMA 10♂♀, Broken Hill, NSW. New South Wales. Endemic.
Xylorycta melanias Low. Lower, 1917, The Lepidoptera of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Part III, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 41, 369-377 [369].
Xylorycta melanias Lower, 1899. Common, in Nielsen, Edwards, & Rangsi, 1996, Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera, 4: i-xiv, 1-529 & CD-ROM [89].
Xylorycta melanias Lower, 1899. Beccaloni, G. W., Scoble, M. J., Robinson, G. S. & Pitkin, B. (Editors). 2003. The Global Lepidoptera Names Index (LepIndex). World Wide Web electronic publication. [accessed 5 May 2010].
Xylorycta melanias Lower, 1899. Edwards, E. D. (2003), Xyloryctinae. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. [accessed 19 June 2010].

Original description, Lower 1899
Xylorycta melanias, n. sp.
♂♀. 16-20 mm. Head, thorax, palpi and legs white, thorax streaked with blackish, second joint of palpi laterally fuscous, tibiae and tarsi banded with blackish. Antennae white, becoming fuscous towards apex, ciliations over 1. Abdomen greyish-ochreous, segmental margin whitish. Forewings elongate, moderate, costa gently arched, apex rounded, hindmargin obliquely rounded; snow-white, finely irrorated throughout with blackish; markings very obscure; a short black dash from near base in middle; a small black mark on costa, close to base; a suffused blackish mark on fold before middle; a small black spot at end of cell; an irregular row of black spots along hindmargin : cilia white, mixed with blackish. Hindwings pale fuscous-whitish, darker round margins; cilia white mixed with fuscous.  
Broken Hill, N.S.W.; ten specimens during Octper and November. A very variable species; the description is drawn from a well marked specimen; in some specimens the markings are scarcely traceable owing to the groundcolour. The species, when at rest, is an admirable imitation of birds’ droppings. 

Other references

Xylorycta melanias, Low.
Several specimens, October to November. (Lower, 1917)

Food plants:
Flight period: October, November.
Distribution: New South Wales. (Edwards, 2003).