Africa Wild Insect Book: Moths (Lepidoptera)

Discussions and information on all Southern African Invertebrates

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Klipspringer
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Re: AW Insect Book: Moths (Lepidoptera) Noctuidae Catocalinae

Post by Klipspringer » Thu May 21, 2020 4:43 pm

Lienard's Achaea Achaea lienardi
Family: Noctuidae. Subfamily: Catocalinae
or: Family: Erebidae. Subfamiy: Calpinae

Achaea lienardi.jpg
Achaea lienardi.jpg (215.94 KiB) Viewed 22 times
Kruger National Park, Oilfants camp, April 2016 © arks

Description
Achaea lienardi is very variable. There is a paper written almost a century ago which says that if you make a collection of 50 of these moths, scarcely two are alike. The little white markings on the trailing margin of the hindwing are a constant feature (but can be covered by the way the moth is resting) and the shape of the postmedial line on the forewing is diagnostic.
The wings are a greyish-brown colour. The forewings have an oblique but almost straight inner line and the hindwing a brown colour with a trace of white in the centre and white marginal spots. The length of the forewing is 25-30 mm.

Distribution
It is found in most countries in tropical Africa from Egypt to South Africa. In South Africa, Achaea lienardi occurs mainly along the coastal region of the Eastern Cape, and northward into the Lowveld of Eswatini, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. There are also records in the Northern Cape and the Western Cape from major citrus production regions along the Orange River and along the Olifants River.

Biology
The larva is a semi-looper and has been recorded feeding on various plants, belonging to the genera Maerua, Pappea, Rhus, Citrus, Schotia, Sideroxylon, Ptaeroxylon, Acacia, Allophylus, Croton, Pinus and Ricinus.
Most of the species in the genus Achaea are attracted to light and to overripe fruit. This is one of the fruit-feeding moths. There are two broad categories of fruit-feeding moths, fruit-piercing moths and fruit-sucking moths. This is a fruit-sucking moth; in other words it sucks the juice out of fruit which have already been compromised. Their proboscis is simply not sharp and rigid enough to pierce the skin of fruit. Instead they, together with many other insects, exploit bleeding and over-ripe fruit for the sugar.

Links:
African Moths

Klipspringer
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Re: AW Insect Book Moths Lepidoptera, Sphingidae, Macroglossinae

Post by Klipspringer » Sat May 23, 2020 7:55 pm

V Nephele Nephele vau
Family Sphingidae. Subfamily Macroglossinae. Tribe Macroglossini


Image © Alf
Male, Centurion


Description
The length of the forewings is 25–31 mm. Abdomen black-banded. Anal tuft 3-cornered in male, truncate in female. The forewings have a large dark olive to reddish-brown subtriangular spot and a V-shaped golden-white stigma. The hindwings are olive bordered with brown or copper. This species differs a good deal in colour.

Distribution
Common throughout most of Africa south of the Sahara: Central African Republic, Congo, DRCongo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Biology
Larval foodplants: Carissa edulis

Links: African Moths

Klipspringer
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Re: AW Insect Book: Moths (Lepidoptera) Gelechioidea, Scythrididae

Post by Klipspringer » Sun May 24, 2020 9:58 am

Flower Moth
Superfamily Gelechioidea. Family Scythrididae.

Flower moth.jpg
Flower moth.jpg (318.65 KiB) Viewed 6 times
Garden in Darling, Western Cape © arks


Scythrididae (flower moths) is a family of small moths in the superfamily Gelechioidea. The family embraces about 680 species assigned to about 30 genera. They are distributed worldwide. The scythridids typically are associated primarily with arid areas (steppe, savannah, semi-desert, etc.).

Scythrididae adults are smallish to mid-sized moths, which when at rest appear teardrop-shaped. The species of Scythrididae are rather small moths having a wingspan of 6–30 mm with the most common value in the span 10–15 mm. In temperate and boreal regions the moths are mostly dark with brownish or greyish coloration, while in the tropic regions the scythridids frequently have pale forewings with beige or ivory ground colour. This is most certainly a result of adaptation to the parched environment and the climate in general; dark insects benefit from the fainter solar radiation in the northerly or southerly latitudes.
A typical scythridid has lanceolate wings with highly fringed edges, the hindwing fringes longer than the largest width of the wing. In resting pose the moth seems elongated drop-shaped with round head. A scythridid may easily be confused with micro-moth species in other families.

The genus Eretmocera embraces small, brilliant or extremely glaringly coloured moths, usually with strong forewing coloration in blackish, red and/or yellow. The hindwings and abdomen are in general also brightly coloured in red or yellow. Only a few species are more modestly coloured in fuscous tinges but may in most cases still be identified as members of Eretmocera due to the coloration of the abdomen. A pair of cream spots are usually present on metanotum. Many species have antennae conspicuously thickened by black, erect scales in basal half or in middle third.

Links:
http://esperiana.net/mediapool/86/86251 ... 7_7-46.pdf

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