Amerila phaedra Weymer

06 phaedra m.JPG (7399 Byte) 07 phaedra w.JPG (6657 Byte) phaedra m 94-0038.GIF (8869 Byte) phaedra f 94-0042.GIF (8438 Byte)
male female male female
Male. Fw length 24-27 mm; fw uniformly pale brown, without any transparent area; fw veins slightly dark, a faint dark brown streak along the discal vein; hw pale yellowish ochre, densely scaled; hw outer margin slightly concave towards the anal angle; underside of all wings bright ochre. Head, thorax dorsally, and fore coxae grey; tegulae with a single black spot basally; outer sides of fore and mid tibiae and tarsi dark brown, inner sides of legs red. Abdomen dorsally pinkish red, darker red towards the tip, ventrally bright ochre, without obvious androconial organs.
Female. Wings, head, thorax, and dorsal base of abdomen white; wings weakly scaled, but veins not dark; hw shape as in male. Abdomen dorsally red, ventrally white.
phaedra a.GIF (3543 Byte) phaedra b.GIF (6126 Byte) phaedra c.GIF (2252 Byte) phaedra d.GIF (9184 Byte)
view on leftside of vinculum and valva, lateral view inner side of right valva tegumen/uncus, dorsal view aedeagus with vesica everted
Male genitalia (Plates). Uncus short and narrow, distally pointed. Valvae large but not very broad, oval-shaped, and distally rounded; outer surface with short extrusible, tube-like coremata; inner sclerotized process short but large, curved, distally pointed, and with several spines along the outer side. Vesica distally with a single very large, almost straight cornutus, and medially with more than 15 small, straight, parallel cornuti.
Female genitalia. Bursa copulatrix large, corpus bursae distally with broad appendix.
East and South Africa; from southern Kenya to Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The profound sexual dimorphism in this species, which is exactly paralleled in A. leucoptera (see above), has been the cause of considerable taxonomic confusion in the past, and the situation could only be resolved after successful laboratory breeding experiments (Boppré, 1981b). A. phaedra was first synonymized by Hampson (1901: 504) with A. astreus from India, but later he corrected this view and accepted A. phaedra as a separate species (Hampson, 1920: 524). A. subleucoptera was synonymized with A. niveivitrea (Gaede, 1926; Goodger & Watson, 1995), and all females of A. phaedra have been in the past generally placed under that species or under A. leucoptera. Muller (1980: 105) called it Rhodogastria orientis in his unpublished thesis.
In contrast, the original type-series of A. phaedra was already reported by Weymer (l.c.) to consist of a male and a white-coloured, sexually dimorphic female. This second specimen, however, represents a male of A. catinca (see above). The conspecifity of the two specimens had already been doubted by Bartel (1903) and was confirmed by Boppré (1981b). In order to provide stability for the current use of the name of this species, the listing of the other male specimen as the 'holotype' of A. phaedra by Boppré (1981b: 163) is accepted here as effective lectotype designation for this species.
Amerila phaedra Weymer, 1892: 106. Lectotype male (designated by Boppré, 1981b: 163; examined): Saadani, 1871, Schubert / Amerila phaedra m male, Stt. Zg. 1892, 106 / Coll. Weymer; 2116c / Typus / Lectotypus, Amerila phaedra Weymer, 1892, designated by M.Boppré (1981) Mitt.Münch.Ent.Ges., 71: 163, det. C.Häuser, 1996 [MNHU]. Type locality: TANZANIA: Sadani.
Rhodogastria subleucoptera Strand, 1911: 587. Holotype female (examined): D.O.Afrika, Daressalam, iv.1909, Reuss S.G. / Rhodogastria subleucoptera m., female Strand det. / Type / Rhodogastria am ähnlichsten leucoptera Hmpsn. (2122) / 365 / Genital-Präparat Nr. 91-41, Chr. Häuser / Holotypus, Rhodogastria subleucoptera Strand, 1911, det. Chr.Häuser [MNHU; abdomen dissected]. Type locality: TANZANIA: Daressalam. Syn.n.
Additional material examined. KENYA: Kwale: Shimba Hills, 21.-22.viii.1979 (3 males, MB), (10 males, 6 females, MB), 3.viii.1983 (5 males, 1 female, MB); South coast, (1 male, MB). TANZANIA: Tanga: Mombo (1 male, MNHU); Pwani: Saadani (3 males, MNHU), Kidugallo, 26.xii.1951 (1 male, ZMUC); Daressalam (2 males, 1 female, BMNH, 1 female, MNHU), iv.1909 (1 female, MNHU); Morogoro: Kilossa, 15.v.1921 (1 female, BMNH), Ilonga Kilosa, 16.+19.ii.1966 (2 males, BMNH), (4 males, BMNH), Morogoro Town, 26.ii.1992 (1 male, BJ); Mtwara: Lindi (1 male, 1 female, BMNH), Mikindani, i.-v.1897 (1 female, BMNH). MOZAMBIQUE: 1911 (1 female, BMNH); Amatonga, 31.viii.1962 (1 male, NMBZ); Sofala: Beira [= Sofala], 26.viii.1971, (1 female, NMBZ). ZIMBABWE: Sabi Valley, Nyamadzi R., iii.1962 (1 male, NMBZ); Nyanyadzi River, 30.ix.1962 (1 male, NMBZ).