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

by Rob de Vos

Utetheisa (Atasca) pellex (Linnaeus, 1758)

[Phalaena Noctua pellex Linnaeus, 1758] (lectotype: "In Indiis", in MLUU)


Leptosoma artemis Boisduval, 1832 (lectotype: "New Guinea", in BMNH)
Nyctemera simplex Walker, [1865] (holotype: "New Guinea", in OXUM)
Deilemera signata Butler, 1878 (holotype: Darnley Island, Australia, in BMNH)
Nyctemera doriae Oberthür, 1880 (holotype: Sorong, Papua, in MCSN)
Nyctemera pellex f. tangens Seitz, 1915 (infraspecific name)
Deilemera paradelpha Swinhoe, 1917 (lectotype: Fergusson Island, PNG, in BMNH)


The species is extremely variable which has led to the many described synonyms. Extension of white in the wingpattern, like in f. tangens, is rather rare. More common are darker forms, like f. signata and f. simplex. Records of pellex from the Moluccas appeared to belong to several other species which are very much resembling the phenotype of pellex and are revised by De Vos (2007).




STATUS: Common. It is found almost everywere in Papua, however, it is rare in the south but this may be due to undercollecting.

PAPUA LOCALITIES: Biak: Biak city; Kurudu; Mapia; Misool: Waigama; Numfor: Suer; Roon; Supiori: Korido; Waigeo; Yapen: Serui; New Guinea: Ampas, Andai (Arfak), Ati-Ati-Onin, Base Camp (Utakwa River), Betabib, Bodem, Bokondini, Dewaro, Etna Bay, Fakfak, Genyem, Getentiri, Ifar, Keerom, Kisui (Watubela), Mt. Goliath (Mt. Yamin), Jayapura, Kaisah, Mt. Kunupi, Langda, Lelambo, Mabilabol, Manokwari, Momi (Arfak), Nabire (Samabusa), Ngat Biep, Ninay Valley (Arfak), Nomnagihé, Pukusam (Humboldt Bay), Sarmi, Senopi, Sentani, Setekwa River, Sorong, Taja, Taritatu River, Teminabuan, Uskwar, Utakwa River, Wandammen Peninsula, Warkapi, Wembi (Humboldt Bay), Weyland Mts, Yaour. Details in gazetteer.

EXTERNAL DISTRIBUTION: Aru, Papua New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, North Australia, Vanuatu.






Literature refering to New Guinea

Boisduval, J.B.A.D. de, 1832. Voyage de decouvertes de l'Astrolabe, execute par ordre du Roi, pendant les annees 1826-1829, sous le commandement de M.J. Dumont d'Urville. Faune Entomologique de l'Ocean Pacifique, avec l'illustration des insectes nouveaux recueillis pendant le voyage. Premiere Partie. Lepidopteres: 267 pp. J. Tastu, Paris.
Bryk, F., 1937. Lepidopterorum Catalogus, 82: Arctiidae, Subfam.: Callimorphinae et Nyctemerinae: 1-105. W. Junk, 's-Gravenhage.
Butler, A.G., 1879. On the Heterocera in the Collection of Lepidoptera from New Ireland obtained by the Rev. G. Brown. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1879: 160-166.
Holloway, J.D., 1988. The Moths of Borneo 6, Arctiidae, Syntominae, Euchromiinae, Arctiinae, Aganainae (to Noctuidae): 101 pp. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur.
Kirby, W.F., 1892. A synonymic catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera (Moths). Vol I. Sphinges and Bombyces: 951 pp. Gurney & Jackson, London and Friedländer & son, Berlin.
Linnaeus, C., 1758. Systema naturae, sive regno tria naturae systematice proposita, per classes, ordines, genera et species, 3: 823 pp. Stockholm (Holmiae).
Meyrick, E., 1889. On some Lepidoptera from New Guinea. The Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1889: 455-522.
Mikkola, K. & M.R. Honey, 1993. The Noctuoidea (Lepidoptera) described by Linnaeus. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 108: 103-169.
Oberthür, C., 1880. Etude sur les collections de Lepidopteres Oceaniens appartenant au musee civique de genes. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova 15: 461-529.
Pagenstecher, A., 1886. Heteroceren der Insel Ceram. Correspondenz-Blatt des Entomologischen Vereins Iris, Dresden 1: 41-44.
Pagenstecher, A., 1888. Beiträge zur Lepidopterenfauna des Malayischen Archipels (V.). Verzeichnis der Schmetterlinge von Amboina. Jahrbücher des Nassauischen Vereins für Naturkunde 41: 85-217.
Pagenstecher, A., 1900. Die Lepidopterenfauna des Bismarck-Archipels mit Berücksichtigung der thiergeographischen und biologischen Verhältnisse systematisch dargestellt. II. Theil: Die Nachtfalter. Zoologica, Stuttgart 29: 1-268.
Pagenstecher, A., 1901. Über die Gattung Nyctemera Hübn. und Ihre Verwandten. Jahrbücher des Nassauischen Vereins für Naturkunde 54: 91-175.
Rothschild, L.W., 1915. Lepidoptera of the British Ornithologists' Union and Wollaston Expeditions in the Snow Mountains, Southern Dutch New Guinea, Macrolepidoptera: 1-148. Zoological Museum, Tring.
Seitz, A., 1915. VI. Subfamilie: Callimorphinae & VII. Subfamilie: Nyctemerinae. In: A. Seitz (ed.). Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde 10: Spinner und Schwärmer des Indo-Australischen Gebiets: 264-290. A. Kernen, Stuttgart.
Swinhoe, C., 1892. Catalogue of Eastern and Australian Lepidoptera Heterocera in the collection of The Oxford Museum, part I, Sphinges and Bombyces: 324 pp. At The Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Swinhoe, C., 1903. On the Genus Deilemera Hübner. The Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1903: 53-85.
Swinhoe, C., 1917. New Species of Indo-Malayan Lepidoptera. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History (8)19: 331-343, 409-416.
Vos, R. de, 2007. The Utetheisa species of the subgenera Pitasila, Atasca and Raanya subg. n. (Insecta, Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Aldrovandia 3: 31-120.
Walker, F., 1854. List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, II. Lepidoptera Heterocera: 279-581. Trustees British Museum, London.
Walker, F., 1864 [1865b]. List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, XXXI. Supplement: 1-321. Trustees British Museum, London.
Watson, A., D.S. Fletcher & I.W.B. Nye, 1980. The Generic Names of Moths of the World, Volume 2. Noctuoidea (part): Arctiidae, Cocytiidae, Ctenuchidae, Dilobidae, Dioptidae, Lymantriidae, Notodontidae, Strepsimanidae, Thaumetopoeidae, Thyretidae: 228 pp. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London.
Zamesov, A.N. & O.G. Gorbunov, 2014. To the knowledge of Macroheterocera of Southeast Asia and New Guinea. III. Tiger moths (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae: Arctiinae) of Papua Province, Indonesia. Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea 2: 437-448.