The Papua Insects Foundation

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The Tigermoths (Erebidae, Arctiinae, Arctiini) of Papua Indonesia

by Rob de Vos




Utetheisa (Utetheisa) lotrix (Cramer, 1777)

[Phalaena Geometra lotrix Cramer, 1777] (holotype: "Indiis Orientalis", BMNH)


ssp. lotrix (Cramer, 1777)

Distinguishing characters with pulchelloides

The sibling species pulchella Linnaeus, 1758, lotrix Cramer, 1777 and pulchelloides Hampson, 1907 always were objects of confusion when trying to identify by external characters. The genitalia, however, show distinct differences. The males also show a difference in the antenna which might be of use for a fast determination. With some practice you will even notice a difference in the thickness of the filiform female antenna. Males of pulchelloides have dentated antenna (even visible with naked eye after some practice), those of lotrix are thinner and more like a string of pearls, with rounded segments. The females of pulchelloides have thicker filiform antenna than those of lotrix. The pictures below show photographs of the male antenna and male genitalia, with an inlay of an antenna filament detail.

Utetheisa pulchella is restricted to Europe and Africa and is not expected to occur in Papua. Therefore we only depict lotrix and pulchelloides.






STATUS: In Papua very rare, outside New Guinea more abundant to very common. It might have been an introduced species which has been able to settle near the entrance harbour. In most collections lotrix is usually confused and mixed up with pulchelloides. From the typical form of pulchelloides only the males can easily externally be distinguished from lotrix by the antenna (see above). The females, however, also show difference in the antenna but less pronounced.

PAPUA LOCALITIES: New Guinea: Kota Nica (Jayapura), Sentani, Tanahmerah, Waena, Waris. Details in gazetteer.

EXTERNAL DISTRIBUTION: The species has a very wide distribution, from the Indian Ocean islands, i.e. the Seychellen, through South Asia and Indo-Australia, including the Solomon Islands.

DATA SOURCES: ZMAN. Literature (see below).






Literature refering to New Guinea

Hampson, G.F., 1894. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma, Moths Vol. II: 609 pp. Taylor & Francis, London.
Hampson, G.F., 1901. Catalogue of the Lepidoptera Phalaenae in the British Museum 3. Catalogue of the Arctiadae (Arctianae) and Agaristidae in the collection of the British Museum: 690 pp. British Museum, London.
Holloway, J.D., 1988. The Moths of Borneo 6, Arctiidae, Syntominae, Euchromiinae, Arctiinae, Aganainae (to Noctuidae): 101 pp. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur.
Jordan, K., 1939. On the constancy and variability of the differences between the Old World species of Utetheisa (Lepid.; Arctiidae). Novitates Zoologicae 41(3): 251-291.