Monday, July 5, 2010

Plectophila electella

Plectophila electella (Walker, 1864)


Oecophora electella Walker, 1864, Tineites. List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. Vol. 29. 562–835 pp. [679]. Holotype BMNH ♂, Moreton Bay, QLD.
Oecophora retractella Walker, F. 1864. Tineites. List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. Vol. 29. 562–835 pp. [680]. Holotype BMNH ♂, Sydney, NSW.
Plectophila electella Walk. Meyrick, 1890, Descriptions of Australian Lepidoptera. Part I. Xyloryctidae. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 13: 23-81 [55].
Plectophila electella Walk. Lower, 1896, A catalogue of Victorian Heterocera. Part xix. The Victorian Naturalist, 12: 149-152.
Plectophila electella, Walk. Turner, 1898: The Xyloryctidae of Queensland. Annals of the Queensland Museum 4: 1–32 [24].
Plectophila electella Wlk. [Cryptophasidae]. Fletcher, T. B., 1929, A list of generic names used for Microlepidoptera. Memoirs of the Department of Agriculture of India,  11: 1-244 [180].
Plectophila electella (Walker, 1864). Nielsen, E.S., Edwards, E.D. & Rangsi, T.V. 1996. Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera, 4: i–xiv, 1–529 & CD–ROM [346: Note #131]. Holotype BMNH ♂, Moreton Bay, Qld.
Plectophila electella (Walker, 1864). 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 30 April 2010].
Borkenausia retractella Walker 1864 [Oecophorinae], 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 30 April 2010]. [Synonymy not noted].
Plectophila electella (Walker, 1864). Edwards, E. D. (2003), Xyloryctinae. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. [accessed 17 June 2010].

Original description, Walker 1864
Oecophora electella.
Mas. Argentea, subtus aurata palpi articulo 2o basi fusco; abdomen auratum; alae anticae fasciis tribus obliquis aurato-cervinis antice connexis, 1a basali, 2a. postice producta, 3a recurva et furcata; posticae obscure cinereae.
Male. Silvery white, gilded yellow beneath. Palpi nearly twice longer than the breadth of the head; second joint slightly fringed, brown towards the base; third setiform, a little shorter than the second. Antennae stout, smooth. Abdomen gilded, extending much beyond the hind wings. Legs smooth, rather stout. Fore wings rather broad, rounded at the tips, with three oblique gilded fawn-coloured hands, which are connected in front by a stripe; the latter is subcostal towards the base, costal exteriorly; first band basal; second continued along the interior border to the interior angle; third much recurved, forked towards the exterior border, which is very oblique; under side and hind wings dark cinereous; fringe pale, gilded. Length of the body 5 lines [10.6mm]; of the wings 10 lines [21.2mm].
a. Moreton Bay. From Mr. Diggles' collection.

Subsequent description, Walker 1864
Oecophora retractella.
Mas. Alba; palpi capitis latitutdine multo longiores, articulo 2o pubescente basi fusco; abdomen cinereum; tibiae posticae fimbriatae; alae anticae viae acutae, vitta costali fasciisque duabus indeterminatis cervinis, plaga extetiore cervina maculam apicalem albam includente, lineola marginali nigra; posticae pallide, cinereae.
Male. White, hardly stout. Palpi slightly curved, very much longer than the breadth of the head; second joint pubescent, brown towards the base; third lanceolate, much shorter than the second. Antennae slender, very much shorter than the fore wings. Abdomen cinereous, extending a little beyond the hind wings. Hind tibiae fringed. Wings moderately broad, hardly acute. Fore wings with a fawn-coloured costal stripe, which is subcostal towards the base; two irregular incomplete oblique fawn-coloured bands; an exterior fawn-coloured patch, which includes a white apical spot; a black line along the hind part of the exterior border; costa straight; exterior border moderately oblique. Hind wings pale cinereous. Length of the body 4 lines [8.5mm]; of the wings 10 lines [21.2mm].
Very closely allied to Oe. electella.
a. Sydney. From Mr. Lambert's collection.

Subsequent description, Meyrick 1890
Plect. electella, Walk.
(Oecophora electella, Walk., 679.)
Both sexes 15-16 mm. Head white. Palpi white, second joint dark ochreous-brown towards base. Antennae fuscous. Thorax white, with a horseshoe-shaped bright ochreous mark on middle of back. Abdomen whitish-ochreous. Legs ochreous-yellowish, anterior pair white above, dark fuscous beneath, hairs of posterior tibiae ochreous-whitish. Forewings suboblong, costa moderately arched, apex round pointed, hind margin nearly straight, oblique; silvery-white; markings bright deep ochreous-brown, partially margined with light ochreous-yellowish scales; a straight narrow fascia from base of costa to ¼ of inner margin; a streak from upper extremity of this beneath costa, bent up to costa before middle, and continued along costa to 4/5; a moderate irregular fascia from this streak before it reaches costa to inner margin at 3/5 where it runs into a thick streak, attenuated at extremities, along inner margin from before middle to anal angle; a moderate fascia from costa at 3/5 towards anal angle but not quite reaching it, connected with preceding fascia by a slender line in middle; a subapical spot, including. a white dot on hindmargin, sometimes connected beneath with lower extremity of preceding fascia: cilia white, with dark grey bars at apex, middle, and anal angle, and basal half dark grey on lower half of hindmargin, with a cloudy black median line on dark grey portions. Hindwings grey, slightly ochreous-tinged; cilia whitish-grey-ochreous, with a cloudy grey basal line.
Sydney, New South Wales, from December to March; six specimens.

Other references

P. ELECTELLA, Walk. (Oecophora electella, Walk., 679; Plectophila electella, Meyr., Tr. Roy. Soc. S.A., 55, 1889).
Clunes. (Lower, 1896).

Plectophila electella, Walk. (Oecophora electella Walker 679; Plectophila electella, Meyrick, 55.) Gympie: one specimen taken by Mr. Illidge. (Turner, 1898).·

131. Plectophila electella (Walker, 1864) and P. retractella (Walker, 1864) were published simultaneously. Priority is here given to P. electella as first reviser. (Common, 1996).

Food plants:
Flight period: December, January, February, March.
Distribution: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia. Endemic. (Edwards, 2003).