Darala lineosa

Prins, Willy De, 2017, On the identity and status of Darala lineosa (Lepidoptera: Eupterotidae), Zootaxa 4344 (1), pp. 163-164: 163

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Darala lineosa


On the identity and status of Darala lineosa  ( Lepidoptera  : Eupterotidae  )


Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Uautierstraat 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail: willy.deprins@gmail.com In 1862, F. Walker described Darala lineosa  in the family Liparidae  (now Erebidae  , subfamily Lymantriinae  ) on a single female (he stated that it is a male but see Swinhoe 1892: 209) from Australia ( Walker 1862: 269). The genus Darala  is now considered a synonym of the large genus Anthela  which belongs to the Anthelidae  , a family entirely confined to the Australian region with representatives in Australia and New Guinea ( Edwards & Fairey 1996: 258). These authors mention 61 Anthela  species with about the same amount of synonymic species-group names, but they do not cite Darala lineosa  , already indicating that this species does not belong to the Australian fauna and hence that the indication of “ Australia ” in the original description, and repeated in Walker (1865: 369), is erroneous.

Turner (1921: 190) states: “49. Darala lineosa Wlk., Trans. Ent. Soc.  , (3), i., 1862, p. 269. I have seen the type in the Oxford Museum. It has been removed to the Eupterotidae  and bares an MS. label “Not Australia but Delagoa Bay.” I do not doubt that it is not Australian.” The card in the online catalogue of LepIndex ( Beccaloni et al. 2005) contains, apart from the usual reference to the original description, an indication on the back side stating that same text in the handwriting of A. J. Turner.

After that date, Darala lineosa  has not been mentioned in the entomological literature anymore, as far as I have been able to ascertain. It is e.g. omitted in the treatment of the Afrotropical Eupterotidae  by Gaede (1927) and in the checklist of Lepidoptera  of southern Africa by Vári et al. (2002).

Fortunately, the female holotype is still in good condition and preserved at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History ( OUMNH) ( Fig. 2, see also www.oum.ox.ac.uk/collections/irn/ca2002). The excellent website of a.o. the Lepidoptera  types deposited in that museum does not merely give good pictures of the upper and underside of the specimen, but also of its 6 labels. The original locality label "Del. B." was added by W.W. Saunders, the handwritten label " lineosa  " was added by F. Walker (J. Hogan, pers. comm.). Later on, during the preparation of his catalogue of the Australian type specimens in the OUMNH, Swinhoe added three labels on a slightly more whitish paper: a larger square handwritten label “A Walker’s type …” [recognizing that it is indeed the type on which Walker based his description in 1862, the numbers “32 369” refer to Walker’s publication in 1865], a small printed label “982” [indicating the number in his catalogue], and a small handwritten label “Austral.” [repeating the erroneous type locality “ Australia ” mentioned in the original description] (J. Hogan, pers. comm.). The large rectangular label was added subsequently by the curators of the Lepidoptera  collection at the OUMNH. Neither Walker (1862, 1865) nor Swinhoe (1892) paid enough attention to the small label “Del. B.”, which is obviously the short for “Delagoa Bay”, as noticed by Turner (1921: 190), nowadays the Maputo Bay (Baía de Maputo) in southern Mozambique.

A comparison of the type specimen of Darala lineosa  with the other Afrotropical Eupterotidae  species ( De Prins & De Prins 2017) soon revealed that it is conspecific with Marmaroplegma paragarda Wallengren, 1860  , described from South Africa. The male holotype of that species is deposited in the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm ( SNHM) ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1, see also http://www2.nrm.se/en/lep_nrm/p/ marmaroplegma  _ paragarda  .html). I hereby formally transfer Darala lineosa  to the genus Marmaroplegma  (comb. nov.) and synonymize it with Marmaroplegma paragarda  (syn. nov.).


Sudan Natural History Museum