Amerila affinis (Rothschild)

Male. Fw length 21-24 mm; fw along costal and inner margins pale greyish brown, the apex pale brown, with a large, central transparent area sharply delimited towards the apex, and discal vein finely lined with darker scales; hw pale greyish brown, weakly scaled, the central area partly transparent, and the apex slightly darker brown. Head, thorax and base of abdomen dorsally pale greyish brown; thorax ventrally and outer sides of femora, tibiae, and tarsi dark brown; inner sides of femora, tibiae, and tarsi red; tegulae with two black spots, one basally and another one distally. Abdomen dorsally dark red, ventrally pale greyish brown; the anterior margin of the abdominal tergites V and VI with a narrow band of velvet-like, presumably androconial scales, a similar broader band sometimes present on tergites III and IV; laterally, the intersegmental pleural folds between segments IV - VI each with an extrusible, small, roundish, membraneous vesicle-like projection.
Female. Similar to male, except for the absence of the abdominal androconial organs.

affinis f 94-0005.JPG (6339 Byte)

Male genitalia
affinis a.gif (2431 Byte) affinis b.gif (3803 Byte) affinis c.gif (1542 Byte) affinis d.gif (4964 Byte)
view on leftside of vinculum and valva, lateral view inner side of right valva tegumen/uncus, dorsal view aedeagus with vesica everted
Uncus small, triangular, distally narrow, and pointed. Valvae short, distally squarish, at the ventral posterior corner with a distinct edge; outer surface without extrusible coremata; inner sclerotized process short, orientated ventrally and curved, with 4-7 short spines along the ventral side in a continuous line from the base to the pointed tip. Vesica with two separate cornuti; a large, straight cornutus distally, and a small, strongly curved, hook-like cornutus medially.
Distribution. East and South Africa; from southeastern Ethiopia and eastern Zaire to the Cape.
Although this species is externally very similar to A. luteibarba, most authors have accepted it as a separate species (Gaede, 1926; Hampson, 1920). Muller (1980), however, despite constant differences in the male genitalia placed affinis as a subspecies of A. luteibarba because the two taxa show a largely vicariant distribution over most of the African continent. According to the material examined for this study, A. affinis and A. luteibarba coexist in eastern Zaire, Kenya, and northern Tanzania without the occurrence of any transitional forms. Therefore, we treat both taxa here as separate species.
The most apparent external diagnostic features between the two species are the slightly larger size and paler greyish brown ground colour in A. affinis which is most noticeable dorsally on the thorax, particularly on the patagiae and tegulae. In the male genitalia, the uncus is broader in A. affinis, the valvae of A. affinis are posteriorly not rounded but ventrally acuminate, the inner sclerotized process of the valva has spines from base to tip, and the small cornutus on the vesica is shorter and more curved.
The description of pallens Bethune-Baker appears to have been based on a single worn, much faded male specimen.
Rhodogastria affinis Rothschild, 1910: 184. Lectotype male (here designated): Natal, A.J. Spiller /Rhodogastria affinis Rothsch. Type / Type / Arctiidae male Genitalia Slide VU no. 12.50 / Arctiidae genitalia slide No. 4447 [BMNH; abdomen dissected]. Type locality: SOUTH AFRICA: Natal.
Rhodogastria affinis subsp. pallens Bethune-Baker, 1925: 325. Holotype male (examined): Gimson, N. Rhodesia, 1908 / Rhodogastria affinis pallens Type B-B / G.T.B.-Baker Coll., Brit.Mus. 1927-360. / Type / B531 [BMNH, abdomen partly dissected]; note: the genitalia had been dissected and illustrated by Bethune-Baker (1925: plate xxxix); during the examination of material in the BMNH, however, an associated genitalia preparation could not be found. Type locality: ZIMBABWE: Gimson. Syn.n.
Additional material examined. ZAIRE: Haut-Zaire: Haut Ituri, Nioka, v.-vi.1976 (3 males, SMNS), x.-xi.1976 (3 males, SMNS); Kivu: Tongo, 1620 m, 21.viii.1990 (2 males, MCSN); Lwiro bei Bukuvu, 1800 m, (1 male, SMNS). ETHIOPIA: Jlubabor: Gore, 2007 m, 3531'E 88'N, 8.-21.xii.1959 (3 males, SMNS). KENYA: Kakamega: Kakamega Forest, 27.iv.1988 (2 males, MB); Eastern: Meru, Kathita R. area, iv.1979 (1 male, NMKE); Coast: Kwale: Shimba Hills, 20.viii.1979 (2 males, MB), 8.iv.1995 (1 male, SMNS), Loc.Jadini, (1 male, ZMUC). TANZANIA: West Lake: Bukoba, 19.ii.1963 (1 male, ZSSM), 26.ix.1963 (1 female, ZSSM), Bukoba, Kikuru F., Ruzinga, c.1200 m, 14.iii.1993 (1 male, BJ); Arusha: Mt.Meru, 1400 m, 18.vii.1963 (1 male, ZSSM), Mt.Meru, Momella, 1600-1800 m, 1.10.ii.1964 (1 male, ZSSM), Mbulu District, Karatu, 1700 m, 20.ii.1979 (1 male, BJ), 3.iv.1979 (1 female, BJ), Babati nr.Tarangira Nat.Park, 412'S 3545'E, 31.iii.1995 (1 male, SMNS); Chagga: Makoa [near Moshi], 7.-27.i.1959, (1 male, SMNS), 2.+6.ii.1959 (1 male, SMNS); Tanga: E.Usambara Mts., Amani, ii.1953, (1 male, NBMZ), iv.1961 (1 male, BMNH), 800 m, 3.iv.1995 (1 male, SMNS), Usambara-Berge, Malindi, 29.iv.1962 (1 female, ZSSM), Lushoto, W.Usambara Mts., Ambangulu, 4000', 25.ii.1981 (1 male, BJ); Kigoma: Tubira Forest, 1100 m, 7.v.1989 (1 male, BJ); Mbeya: Rungwe, Tukuyu, Musekwa, 1100 m, 27.v.1984 (1 female, BJ); Morogoro: Kilombero, Sanje, 350 m (2 males, 1 female, BJ), Nguru Mt., Mkombola, 1200 m, 14.ii.1985 (1 female, BJ); Marangu, 7.viii.1978 (1 male, ZMUC). MALAWI: Southern: Limbe (1 male, BMNH). MOZAMBIQUE: Sofala: 30 m.E. of Inhaminga, Chironde, 18.v.1969 (1 male, NBMZ]. ZIMBABWE: Vumba, 20.xii.1963 (1 male, NMBZ), Laurenceville, Vumba, 12.x.1993 (1 male, MB). SOUTH AFRICA: Natal: Durban (1 female, BMNH), Sea St.Lucia, Charters Creek, 29.12S 32.25E, 0 m, 11.ii.1989 (1 male, 2 females, WT), St.Lucia Estuary, 28.17S 32.25E, 20 m, 12.-13.ii.1989 (1 male, WT).