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

by Rob de Vos




Oeonistis bicolora Bethune-Baker, 1904

[Oeonistis bicolora Bethune-Baker, 1904] (holotype: Dinawa, PNG, in BMNH)

Similar species

The genus Oeonistis has a few sibling species groups of which bicolora - bistrigata is one. Confusion with identification of the two species is obvious but when you keep in mind the two most distinguishing characters it must be easy to separate the two species. Oeonistis bicolora is generally smaller than bistrigata with a much more delicate appearance. The space between the red collar line and the black head is filled with pale yellow, the ground colour of the thorax. In bistrigata the space between the red collar line and the grey - yellow head is filled with dark grey, like most of the thorax. On the forewing of bicolora the conspicuous marking is metallic shiny blue to black with a distinct angle of about 90º, while in bistrigata this marking is dull dark brown, broader and with a blunt angle of about 45º.

At some places Oeonistis bicolora is one of the most common lithosiine species,
here at light in Walmak (Nipsan, Jayawijaya Mountains, 2008)




STATUS: A very common species, especially in the Central Mountain Range. At some places it is the most abundant lithosiine species at light. Local people name the species "Tuju" [number "seven"], after the metallic blue "7" dorsal mark when in rest.

PAPUA LOCALITIES: New Guinea: Abmisibil, backland Jayapura, Bivak 39a (Star Mts.), Borme, Enaro, Foja Mts., Jiwika, Keerom River, Kwerba, Langda, Mabilabol (Oksibil), Mokndoma, Mokwam, Pass Valley, Timeepa, Walmak (Nipsan), Wamena, Wasior (Wandammen Peninsula). Details in gazetteer.


DATA SOURCES: BMNH, KSP, RMNH, ZMAN. Literature (see below).







Bethune-Baker, G.T., 1904. New Lepidoptera from British New Guinea. Novitates Zoologicae 11(2): 367-429.
Draudt, M., 1914. In: Seitz, A. Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde 10: Spinner und Schwarmer des Indo-Australischen Gebiets, Arctiidae: 134-223. A. Kernen, Stuttgart.
Strand, E., 1922. Lepidopterorum Catalogus 26: Arctiidae: Subfam. Lithosiinae: 501-899. W. Junk, Berlin.