The Papua Insects Foundation

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The Ghost Moths (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae) of Papua Indonesia

by Rob de Vos




Listed Papua species: 45 (35 endemic for Papua)*

* ("endemic" in this sense can mean that it is just not found in PNG or elsewhere yet!)

Grey coloured species names indicate that they are found on New Guinea but not yet confirmed for the Indonesian part.

Species belonging to Elhamma and Aenetus are rather easy to identify but most Oxycanus species are very difficult to distinguish from each other. Many species show a wide range of colour varieties which are in many species overlapping. Oxycanus specimens must therefore be identified by the male genitalia of which drawings are depicted on the species pages. In most cases it is not necessary to dissect the genitalia from the abdomen, just brushing away the hairy scales from the genitalia should be sufficient to show the often dentated rim on the tegumen which is specific. Mounted specimens on the pictures shown in this website are all genitalia checked for their identification.

thumbnail gallery Oxycanus genitalia


Elhamma Walker, 1856

diakonoffi (Viette, 1952) [endemic]

grehani Simonsen, 2015 [endemic]

roepkei (Viette, 1952) [endemic]

toxopeusi (Viette, 1952) [endemic]

viettei Simonsen, 2015 [endemic]

Aenetus Herrich-Schäffer, 1855
Achladaeus Herrich-Schäffer, 1855 nomen nudum

arfaki Bethune-Baker, 1910 [endemic]
ninayana ( Pfitzner, 1914)

crameri Viette, 1956 [endemic]

eugyna (Rothschild & Jordan, 1907)
floralis (Jordan, 1937)

hampsoni (Joicey & Noakes, 1914) [endemic]

marginatus Rothschild, 1896
misimanus Rothschild, 1898
saturatior Rothschild, 1915
eugynoides (Strand, 1912)

sordida (Rothschild & Jordan, 1905)

tegulatus (Pagenstecher, 1888)
rosatus (Pagenstecher, 1888)
cyanochlora (Lower, 1894)
thermistis (Lower, 1894)
walsinghami (Olliff, 1895)

toxopeusi Viette, 1956 [endemic]

wollastoni Rothschild, 1915 [endemic]

Oxycanus Walker, 1856

aegrus (Viette, 1956) [endemic]

altenai (Viette, 1956) [endemic]

atrox Tindale, 1955

albostrigata (Rothschild, 1913)

diakonoffi (Viette, 1956) [endemic]

discipennis Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

dives Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

eos Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

fuliginosa (Rothschild, 1915) [endemic]

hebe Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

hecabe Tindale, 1955
lethe Tindale, 1955

herbuloti (Viette, 1956) [endemic]

mayri Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

meeki (Viette, 1950)

nigra (Viette, 1956) [endemic]

nigripuncta (Joicey & Talbot, 1917)
nigricosta (Joicey & Talbot, 1917)

novaeguineensis (Viette, 1950) [endemic]

perplexus Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

postflavida (Rothschild, 1915) [endemic]

postxois (Viette, 1956) [endemic]

rileyi Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

salmonacea (Rothschild & Jordan, 1905)

serratus Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

snelleni (Viette, 1956) [endemic]

subochracea (Joicey & Talbot, 1917)
argentipuncta (Joicey & Talbot, 1917)
subochrea sensu Viette, 1950 and Tindale, 1955 (misspelling)

tamsi Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

thasus Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

thoe Tindale, 1955 [endemic]

toxopeusi (Viette, 1956) [endemic]

tyres (Viette, 1956) [endemic]

xois Tindale, 1955 [endemic]



last update on 25th February 2021


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Joicey, J.J. & A. Noakes, 1914. A new Oenetus from New Guinea. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (8)14: 282-283.
Joicey, J.J. & G. Talbot, 1917. New Heterocera from Dutch New Guinea. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (8)20: 50-87.
Nielsen, E.S., G.S. Robinson & D.L. Wagner, 2000. Ghost-moths of the world: a global inventory and bibliography of the Exoporia (Mnesarchaeoidea and Hepialoidea) (Lepidoptera). Journal of
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Rothschild, W., 1898. Some new Lepidoptera from the East. Novitates Zoologicae 5(2): 216-219.
Rothschild, W., 1913. Some new Lepidoptera from German New Guinea. Novitates Zoologicae 20(2): 278-279.
Rothschild, 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.
Rothschild, L.W. & K. Jordan, 1905. On some new Lepidoptera discovered by A.S. Meek in British New Guinea. Novitates Zoologicae 12(2): 448-478.
Rothschild, L.W. & K. Jordan, 1907. Lepidopteren aus Neu-Guinea. Deutsche entomologische Zeitschrift 1907: 189-198.
Simonsen, T.J., 2015. Elhamma Walker (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae) revisited: adult morphology, assessment of recently proposed synonyms and descriptions of two species. Zootaxa 3955(3): 301-328.
Strand, E., 1912. Über einige exotische Lepidoptera aus der Sammlung des Herrn W. Niepelt in Zirlau. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 78 A(9): 178-186.
Tindale, N.B., 1955. Revision of the ghost moths (Lepidoptera Homoneura, Family Hepialidae). Part VI. Records of the South Australian Museum 11(4): 307-344.
Tindale, N.B., 1968. On a new Oxycanus (Lepidoptera Homoneura, Family Hepialidae) from New Guinea. Zoologische Mededelingen 42: 303-305.
Viette, P.L., 1950. Contribution a l'etude des Hepialidae (22eme note), Hepialidae du Musee de Leiden. Zoologische Mededeelingen, Leiden 31(7): 67-77.
Viette, P.L., 1952. Contribution a l'etude des Hepialidae (Lep.) (28eme note). Nouveaux genres et especes neo-guineens. Results of the Archbold Expeditions. Treubia 21(2): 257-262.
Viette, P.L., 1956. Contribution a l'etude des Hepialidae (Lepidoptera) (32eme note). Hepialidae de Nouvelle-Guinee. Nova Guinea, new series 7(1): 41-58.
Wagner, H. & R. Pfitzner, 1911. Lepidopterorum Catalogus 4: Hepialidae: 1-26. W. Junk, 's-Gravenhage.