Astictopterus stellata mineni Trimen, 1894

Cock, Matthew J. W. & Congdon, T. Colin E., 2014, Observations on the biology of Afrotropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera). Part 7. Hesperiinae incertae sedis: grass and bamboo feeders, Zootaxa 3872 (4), pp. 301-354 : 305

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3872.4.1

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Astictopterus stellata mineni Trimen, 1894


Astictopterus stellata mineni Trimen, 1894

Our limited observations are based on an egg that TCEC watched being laid on an unidentified grass on the Rondo Plateau, south-eastern Tanzania, where the subspecies is A. stellata mineni ( Kielland 1990) . Heath et al. (2002) give the food plant as Asystasia sp. ( Acanthaceae ), but we discount this record, which is probably based on MJWC’s observation that adults of A. s. stellata are attracted to Asystasia flowers (in Larsen 1991).

The ovum (Figure 2.1) is pale, dome-shaped and appears to be finely rugose. The early instars are green with a darker dorsal line, black head, T1 dorsal plate and anal plate (Figures 2.3–4), but later the head becomes brown, darker ventrally and posteriorly (Figure 2.5). The original ovum was collected in late March 1998, but after the early instars it was transferred onto another grass, and development slowed. MJWC saw and photographed the same caterpillar in rearing in early July when it was still only 10mm long (MJWC 98/200), and it died soon afterwards. Hence we do not know the final instar or the pupa.

Although the early stages of the Asian A. jama are well documented ( Bascombe et al. 1999), those of the African species are incompletely known, and so we can only compare the early instars. These are rather similar, both species having an unusual black anal plate.

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