Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cryptophasa epadelpha

Cryptophasa epadelpha (Meyrick, 1890)

Cryptophaga epadelpha Meyrick, 1890♂, Imbil, Queensland

Cryptophaga epadelpha Meyrick, 1890♀, Imbil, Queensland

Cryptophaga epadelpha Meyrick, 1890♂, Imbil, Queensland

Cryptophasa epadelpha, sexually dimorphic size and colour difference. Australian Museum.

Cryptophaga epadelpha Meyrick, 1890. Descriptions of Australian Lepidoptera. Part I. Xyloryctidae. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 13: 23–81 [36]. Holotype: BMNH ♀, Brisbane, Qld.
Cryptophaga epadelpha Meyrick, 1890. Lower, 1894: New Australian Heterocera. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 18: 77-113 [89].
Cryptophaga epadelpha Meyrick, 1890. Illidge, 1895: Xylorycts, or timber moths. Queensland Natural History Society Transactions, 1, 29-34 [32].
Cryptophaga epadelpha Meyrick, 1890. Walsingham, 1898: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of London, vii-xii [vii].
Cryptophaga epadelpha Meyr. Turner, 1898, The Xyloryctidae of Queensland. Annals of the Queensland Museum 4: 1–32 [10].
Cryptophasa epadelpha (Meyrick, 1890). Common, 1990, Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press. 227-230 [230].
Cryptophasa epadelpha (Meyrick, 1890). 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 15 April 2010].
Cryptophasa epadelpha (Meyrick, 1890). Edwards, E. D. (2003), Xyloryctinae. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. [accessed 18 June 2010].

Original description, Meyrick 1890
Crypt. epadelpha, n. sp.
Female 45mm. Head, palpi, antennae, and thorax white. Abdomen white, second segment dull orange-red. Legs white, anterior tarsi with base of four apical joints blackish. Forewings oblong, somewhat dilated posteriorly, costa moderately arched, apex obtuse, hindmargin rounded, somewhat oblique; 2 from 2/3; snow-white; a hind marginal series of small black dots: cilia white. Hindwings with veins 6 and 7 from a point; snow-white; upper half of hindmargin marked with blackish dots; cilia white.
Brisbane, Queensland; one specimen bred in November. Larva residing in a barricaded tunnel in branches of Tristania conferta [Lophostemon confertus], carrying in leaves for food, in September.

Other references

Cryptophaga epadelpha, Meyr.
Mr. R. Illidge, of Brisbane, has bred this species rather commonly; the female was described by Mr. Meyrick (Trans. Roy. Soc. S.A., p. 36, 1890); the male is somewhat smaller, and differs only in having black hindwings and no hindmarginal spots except on forewings. (Lower, 1894).

Cryptophaga epadelpha, Meyr. Meyrick, 36. Male, 31-36 mm. (I have seen one specimen, perhaps starved, only 25 mm); antennal pectinations, 4. Female, 40-48 mm. The hindwings in  male are uniform blackish-fucous [sic].
Brisbane: larval found commonly tunnelling the stems of Tristania conferta (Box-tree), less commonly Tristania suaveolens (Swamp Mahogany), dragging in leaves for food; moths emerge in November and December. This and the two following species [C. pultenae and C. nubila] are closely allied, and the larvae are also closely similar. C. epadelpha may be  distinguished by the total absence of discal dots on the forewings; C. pultenaeae by the more rounded apices of the forewings and the presence of discal dots; the white variety of C. nubila resembles C. epadelpha in shape of wing, the discal dots are usually present, and it never has the pure snow-white tinge possessed by fresh specimens of the other two species. (Turner, 1898).

Both sexes of C. pultenae and C. epadelpha have white fore wings with a series of terminal black spots; in the female the hind wings are also white with black terminal spots, but in the male they are black. ... C. epadelpha is found from Yeppoon, Queensland, to southern coastal New South Wales, and the larvae bore in the stems of young trees or in the branches of older Lophostemon suavolens (Myrtaceae). (Common, 1990).

♀ Cryptophasa epadelpha, head. IM06-0565, Imbil, Queensland.

♂ Cryptophasa epadelpha, wing venation.

Cryptophasa epadelpha, ♂ genitalia, IM08-2047, Imbil, Queensland

Cryptophasa epadelpha, aedeagus, IM08-2047, Imbil, Queensland

Uncus deeply divided dorsally into two lobes, fusing apically into a downturned minutely bifid point. Apex dorsally curved, ventrally convex, downturned, acute. strongly sclerotised at apex. Gnathos fused laterally to uncus, two arms joined at apex, apical half narrow, upturned, tapering, pointed, strongly sclerotised. Tegumen broad, sides fairly straight, dorsally slightly rounded; margins and a dorsal band slightly sclerotised. Vinculum articulated wth tegumen, with sclerotised margins, wider towards base, thinning towards apex. Saccus pointed at base, slightly produced. Juxta long narrow, tapering, pointed. Supravalva long, moderately flared, tapering to a round upturned point; dense apical tuft of setae. Costa of valva concave, apex round-pointed. Slight convex thickening of costa at proximal end. Lower margin of supravalva gently rounded; slightly turned in at base. Basis valvae about 40% of total length of valva; oblong-ovate. Sacculus robust; base rounded; broad, oblong-ovate; apex transeversely truncate; not indented by clasper. Lower saccular margin gently rounded, for lower ½, thence straight to blunt apex. Claspers fused to inner saccular margin, curved process extending much beyond apex of sacculus; lower edge convex, sclerotised, terminating in a short inturned point; longitudinal band of fine setae except at lower margin. Anellus short, mesally dilate, tapering, tubular, ventrally divided; outer margins of lobes longitudinally sclerotised. Aedeagus short, straight, tapering, distal end rounded, with a slender terminal projection.
Food plants: Larva boring in stem tying cut leaves at entrance to bore. Larval foodplants: Lophostemon confertus, L. suaveolens (Myrtaceae). (Edwards, 2003).
Flight period: September, October, November, December.
Distribution: New South Wales, Queensland. Endemic. (Edwards, 2003).

Remarks: C. epadelpha and C. pultenae are more or less only notionally separate species, one with dots on the wings, one without. However, there may be more than two species in this complex, and they may or may not be identifiable by the presence or absence of dots on the wings. Studies of regional variations and local populations may eventually provide a more complete picture, evidently more complicated than a simple but convenient division based on wing pattern. Further investigation is necessary.
Alternatively, it is possible that they may be different colour forms of the same species.