|A. puella (Fabricius) ssp. puella|
Male. Fw length 22-25 mm; fw dark ochre, central area, from the base to the postdiscal region weakly scaled and partly transparent, suffused with brown scales and not sharply delimited; fw veins finely lined with dark scales, a broader streak along the discal vein; basally of the discal vein a broad, very faint, dark grey transversal band, often hardly visible; hw pale creamy brown, overall weakly scaled, darker at the apex and sometimes with a pinkish tint. Head, thorax, and dorsal base of abdomen dark greyish ochre; outer sides of femora, tibiae, and tarsi dark brown; inner sides of legs pinkish red; tegulae with a single black spot basally. Abdomen dorsally pink at the base, darker red towards the tip, ventrally pale ochre suffused with pink, without obvious androconial organs.
Female. As male.
|view on leftside of vinculum and valva, lateral view||inner side of right valva||tegumen/uncus, dorsal view||aedeagus with vesica everted|
|Uncus short, triangular, and distally with a small pointed tip. Valvae large, oval-shaped, distally rounded; outer surface with long extrusible, hirsute, tube-like coremata which distally bear a bush of long, broad, spade-like scales; inner sclerotized process short and smooth, curved, and apically pointed. Vesica long and tube-like, distally with two very long, slender, parallel, curved cornuti fused at their base.|
West and Central Africa; from Ghana to Zaire; as different subspecies from Senegal to Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria and East Africa.
A. puella had been synonymized with A. vidua by Hampson (1901: 503), a view which has since been followed by most authors (Strand, 1919; Gaede, 1926; Goodger & Watson, 1995). Serial examinations of male genitalia, however, showed that two distinct species were united under that name. The type material of A. puella preserved at ZMUC has allowed us to allocate the name published by Fabricius (l.c.), and the other species is now being referred to as A. vidua (see below). A. puella was originally described from "Guinea", which cannot be allocated to any specific present country or place in western Africa.
A number of similar taxa are here united under A. puella on the basis of almost identical male genitalia, but three taxa are provisionally maintained as different subspecies, which show constant phenotypic differences. As the genitalia characters also show some variation, some of them might still prove to represent distinct species.
A. puella is externally very similar to A. vidua with which it had been synonymized in the past. The two species, however, are very distinct in the male genitalia, particularly with regard to the cornuti of the vesica. In A. puella the fw are more narrow than in A. vidua, and the faint dark discal transverse band in the fw is never present in A. vidua.
Bombyx puella Fabricius, 1794: 474. Lectotype male (here designated): Mus.Seh. e T.L. / siehe Präparat Nr. 93-80, Chr.Häuser / Lectotypus, Bombyx puella Fabricius, 1794, designated by Häuser & Boppré [ZMUC; abdomen dissected]. Paralectotype female: puella / siehe Präparat Nr. 92-22, Chr.Häuser / Paralectotypus, Bombyx puella Fabricius, 1794, designated by Häuser & Boppré [ZMUC; abdomen dissected]. Type locality: West-AFRICA.
Rhodogastria uniformis Berio, 1935: 27. Holotype male (examined): Princp. Inf. D. H., 100-300 m, 16.iii. 901 / 21 / unformis, Berio / Rhod. fennia var., Det.Aurivillius / Typus / Genital-Präparat Nr. 93-86, Chr.Häuser [MCSN; abdomen dissected]. Type locality: SAO TOME & PRINCIPE: La Roca Infante Henrique. Syn.n.
Additional material examined. GHANA: Western: Sekondi, 1.vi.1995 (1 male, MB); Central: Manso, N.E. of Cape Coast, iii.-iv.1922 (2 males, BMNH), Kakum NP, 29.+30.v.1995 (35 males, MB); NIGERIA: Old Calabar (2 males, BMNH). SAO TOME & PRINCIPE: Principe, La Roce Infante Don Henrique, 16.iii.1901 (1 male, MCSN). ZAIRE: Zaire Central: Banana, 5.iii.1885 (1 female SMFM); Leopoldville [= Kinshasa], 19.v.1949 (1 male, MRAC), 6.ii.1956 (1 female, MRAC); Chencoco, Falkenstein (1 male, MNHU); Congo, Kuilu (2 males, MNHU).