Monday, August 30, 2010

Cryptophasa opalina

Cryptophasa opalina (Turner, 1900)

Cryptophaga opalina - Qld, Bucasia, 4. Feb. 1992, K.J. Sandery leg. (LWC). [AMO].

Cryptophaga opalina - Qld, Mt Cook National Park, Cooktown Lat.15 29 S Long.145 16 E, 11. Oct. 1980, E.D. Edwards leg. (ANIC). [AMO].

Cryptophaga opalina - Qld, Bucasia, 20. Aug. 2003, K.J. Sandery leg. (LWC). [AMO].

Cryptophaga opalina Turner, 1900. New Micro-lepidoptera - mostly from Queensland. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia  24: 6–23 [7]. Holotype ANIC ♂, Brisbane, Qld.
Cryptophasa opalina Turn. Common, 1990: Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press. 227-230 [230].
Cryptophasa opalina (Turner, 1900). Common, in Nielsen, Edwards, & Rangsi, 1996, Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera, 4: i-xiv, 1-529 & CD-ROM [87]
Cryptophasa opalina (Turner, 1900). 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 17 April 2010].
Cryptophasa opalina (Turner, 1900). Edwards, E. D. (2003), Xyloryctinae. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. [accessed 18 June 2010].

Original description, Turner 1900
Cryptophaga opalina, n. sp.
Antennal pectinations in male extremely short (one-half), cilia in tufts from pectinations. Veins 6 and 7 of hind wings separate, but closely approximated at base.
Male, 29 mm. Head white. Palpi white; base of second joint fuscous externally. Antennae dark-fuscous, with a few scattered whitish scales; basal joint white. Thorax white, with a few scattered dark-fuscous scales in patagia, and a large posterior dark-fuscous spot with purple reflections. Abdomen whitish; bases of segments partly ochreous-brown. Legs white; anterior and middle tibiae and tarsi dark-fuscous, annulated with white. Forewings elongate-oblong, costa slightly arched, apex rounded, hindmargin scarcely oblique, rounded beneath; white; a moderately broad fascia from costa near base, narrowing to inner-margin at one-fourth, produced along costa to base, near costa grey, thence dark-fuscous with purple reflections; an incomplete interrupted line posterior and parallel to this, dark-fuscous with purple reflections; a large fascia from costa before middle, much dilated in disc and on inner-margin, on costa and on posterior margin grey, the remainder a medley of dark-fuscous with purple reflections, ochreous-brown, and white scales; a broad grey line parallel to hindmargin; separated by a fine white line from a broad grey line on margin; cilia dark-fuscous, with a narrow basal white line, at anal angle wholly white. Hindwings grey; towards inner-margin whitish; cilia white, with a basal grey line along anterior half of hindmargin and around apex.
A very distinct and highly beautiful species. The extremely short antennal pectinations render it difficult to distinguish from Lichenaula.
Brisbane, Queensland; one specimen at light in November.

Other references

Pl. 6.10: Common, 1990

C. opalina Turn. (Pl. 6.10) also has a tropical distribution from Kimberley, West Australia, to northern Queensland, but in the east extending south to Brisbane. (Common, 1990).

Cryptophasa opalina, ♀ head, gvc12651, Herveys Range, Queensland

Cryptophasa opalina, wing venation


Cryptophasa opalina♂genitalia, T14, Herveys Range, Queensland.

Cryptophasa opalina, tip of phallus, with cornutus on vesica, T14, 

Cryptophasa opalina, clasper. T14,

Cryptophasa opalina, uncus and gnathos T14,

Cryptophasa opalina, anellus, saccus and juxta. T14.

Cryptophasa opalina, tip of clasper. T14.

Cryptophasa opalina, apex of tip of clasper. T14.

Cryptophasa opalina, costal process. T14.

Cryptophasa opalina, female genitalia. 11ANIC-11196 (BOLD:AAV9032).
Dissected b Patrick Strutzenberger ©BOLD.

Cryptophasa opalina, signum. 11ANIC-11196

Food plants:
Flight period: August, Septrmber, October, December, February.
Distribution: Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia. Endemic. (Edwards, 2003).

Remarks: The antennae of this moth are hardly pectinate; the cilia, in tufts, energe from small protruberances.  
On the evidence of the male genitalia this species is wrongly placed in Cryptophasa. It is more suitably located in the group near Phthonerodes, Telecrates and Illidgea, which all have bristle-like setae on their claspers and a columnar or cylindrical lamina of the clasper. 
The presence of a signum in the female genitalia should rule out C. opalina as a member of Cryptophasa.
The wing venation of C. opalina has a number of close similarities with Illidgea.

Updated 18 September, 2019.