Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lichenaula comparella

Lichenaula comparella (Walker, 1864)



Oecophora comparella Walker, 1864, Tineites. List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. Vol. 29. 562–835 pp. [681]. Holotype BMNH ♀, Moreton Bay, NSW.
Lichenaula callisema Turner, 1898, The Xyloryctidae of Queensland. Annals of the Queensland Museum 4: 1–32 [19]. Syntype(s) ANIC 2♂, Ballandean, Qld.
Lichenaula comparella, Wlk.Turner, 1902, = syn. L. callisema Turner. Turner, New Australian Lepidoptera, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 26, 175-207 [196].
Lichenaula comparella (Walker, 1864), = syn. L callisema Turner 1898. Common, in Nielsen, Edwards, & Rangsi, 1996, Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera, 4: i-xiv, 1-529 & CD-ROM [87].
Xylorycta comparella (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. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/entomology/lepindex [accessed 23 April 2010].
Xylorycta callisema Turner, 1898. Beccaloni, G. W., Scoble, M. J., Robinson, G. S. & Pitkin, B. (Editors). 2003. The Global Lepidoptera Names Index (LepIndex). World Wide Web electronic publication. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/entomology/lepindex [accessed 23 April 2010]. [Synonymy not noted].
Lichenaula comparella (Walker, 1864). Edwards, E. D. (2003), Xyloryctinae. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/fauna/afd/taxa/XYLORYCTINAE [accessed 18 June 2010].

Original description, Walker 1864
Oecophora comparella.
Foem. Alba; palpi articulo 2o basi fusco; thorax fusco bifasciatus; pedes anteriores fuscescentes; posticae flavescentes; alae anticae fasciis tribus indeterminatis fuscis, 1a basali angusta, 2a postice latissima guttam albam includente strigam posticam emittente, 3a strigas quinque emittente; posticae cinereae.
Female. White: Palpi full twice longer than the breadth of the head; second joint brown at the base on the outer side; third setiform, shorter than the second. Antennae slender. Thorax with two  brown bands, one in front, the other hindward. Anterior legs mostly brownish; hind legs, yellowish, their tibiae fringed. Fore wings rather narrow, rounded at the tips, with three irregular brown bands; first band narrow, very near the base; second very broad hindward, containing an irregular white dot, and emitting a streak in the disk towards the first band; third connected in the hindward disk with the second, emitting five streaks to the exterior border, which is slightly convex and rather oblique; under side blackish cinereous.
Synonymic description, Turner 1898
Lichenaula callisema, n. sp. Male, 18 mm. Antennal ciliations, ½. Forewings with vein 7 to apex. Head and face snow-white. Palpi white, base of second joint and base and apex of terminal joint fuscous. Antennae fuscous, basal joint white. Thorax white, anterior margin broadly, posterior narrowly fuscous. Abdomen pale ochreous. Legs ochreous-whitish, anterior pair infuscated, Forewings elongate,  costa gently arched, apex round-pointed, hindmargin nearly straight,  moderately oblique, snow-white, markings fuscous; costal edge narrowly fuscous towards base; a strongly marked oblique fascia near base; a broad fuscous blotch on middle-half of inner-margin, enclosing a small white spot; this blotch narrows in disc and gives off one of which reaches costa at ½, the other is prolonged beneath costa towards base of wing; an irregular blotch extending from costa at 5/6 to anal angle, giving off a fine line joining the central blotch near inner-margin, and a short line to costa at 2/3; two or three fuscous dots on hindmargin; cilia white, barred with fuscous. Hind-wings and cilia pale-grey.
A very distinct species nearest L. calligrapha, Meyr. Ballandean (2,500 feet) , near Wallallgarra : two specimens in February.

Other references

Lichenaula comparella, Wlk.
(Oecophora comparella, Wlk., Tin., 681; Lichenaula callisema, Turn., Annals Queensland Mus., iv., p. 19.)
I have examined and identified Walker's type in the British Museum.
I may here remark that the large genera, Xylorycta and Lichenaula, are in an unsatisfactory position at present, and will need revision. The stalking or separation of veins 6 and 7 of the hindwings is certainly variable, in several species. (Turner, 1902).

Food plants: February.
Flight period: New South Wales, Queensland. Endemic. (Edwards, 2003).