Morabia politzari Hausmann & Tujuba, 2020

László, Gyula M. & Hausmann, Axel, 2022, Taxonomic review of the genus Morabia Hausmann & Tujuba, 2020 with descriptions of two new species and introducing five new generic combinations (Lepidoptera, Geometridae, Ennominae), Zootaxa 5134 (2), pp. 215-237 : 217-218

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Morabia politzari Hausmann & Tujuba, 2020


Morabia politzari Hausmann & Tujuba, 2020  

( Figs 1–2 View FIGURES 1–10 , 20–21 View FIGURES 20–28 , 35 View FIGURES 35–42 )

Tujuba et al. (2020): 74. Holotype, female, Kenya, Sokoke Forest , coll. ZSM.  

Type material examined. Holotype. Female, “ Kenya, Sokoke Forest , 31.7.94, leg. Dr. Politzar ”, BOLD sample ID: BC ZSM Lep add 57894 ( ZSM).  

Paratypes. DRC. 1 female, E.[lizabeth]ville [ Lubumbashi ], 16.x.1955, Seydel, gen. slide No.: ZSM G 20935 View Materials ( ZSM)   Kenya. 1 female, with the same data as in the holotype   ; 1 female, same locality, 2.vii.1994, BOLD sample ID: BC ZSM   Lep 74389   ; 1 male, Watama , 2.viii.1973, leg. H. Politzar, gen. slide No.: ZSM G 20934 View Materials ( ZSM)   . Tanzania. 3 females, Bagamoyo dist. Vigwaza , 231 m, 06°42.89’S, 038°52.52’E, 30.iii.2014, leg. Ph. Darge GoogleMaps   ; 1 female, Pwani region, Ruvu forest reserve, 220 m, 06°57.27’S, 038°49.36’E, 03.iii.2014, leg. Ph. Darge ( ZSM) GoogleMaps   .

Additional material examined. Kenya. 1 male, Gedi, Arabuko, Sokoke Forest Reserve , Brachystegia sand forest, ca. 50m, 3º24’S, 39 º53’E, 21.vii.2002, leg. H.S. Staude ( RCHS) GoogleMaps   . Mozambique. 1 male, Maputo Special Reserve, West Gate, Sand Forest , 22m, 26°30’14.2”S, 32°42’59.6”E, 3-13.xii.2016, Light Trap, Aristophanous, M., Cristovão, J., László, G., Miles, W. leg., ANHRT GoogleMaps   : 2017.22, unique number: ANHRTUK00011745, gen. slide No.: LG 5467 ( ANHRT)   . Republic of South Africa. 1 male, Natal, Pinetown, Krantzkloof Nature Reserve , 200m, 29°46’S, 30°50’E, Riverine forest , H.S. Staude, 26.iv.1995, gen. slide No.: LG 5527 GoogleMaps   ; 1 male, Northern Province, Gundani village, Brachystegia woodland, 840m, 22.39°S, 30.34°E, 26.xi.2000, H.S. Staude, gen. slide No.: LG 5528 ( RCHS) GoogleMaps   ; 1 female, The Haven, Transkei , 2.i.1981, leg. A.J. Duke, gen. slide No.: NHMUK 010317360 View Materials (prepared by László) ( NHMUK).  

Diagnosis. Morabia politzari (Hausmann & Tujuba, 2020)   has conspicuous, large, isolated, black subapical blotches on the underside of fore- and hindwings, similar to M. nigripunctata ( Warren, 1897)   and M. cryptica   sp. n. The distinctive characters between the three taxa are discussed in detail under the diagnosis of the last species.

Description. Detailed description of the species is provided in Tujuba et al. (2020).

Genetic information ( Fig. 44 View FIGURE 44 ). BIN: BOLD: ABX0432 (n=2 from Kenya), intraspecific variation 0.25%. Nearest neighbouring species: M. smithi   , BIN-sharing at a genetic distance (minimum pairwise distance) of 1.1%. Minimum genetic distances of less than 2% in allopatric populations ( M. smithi   versus M. politzari   ) are often best classified as different subspecies, but in this case the marked differences in morphology clearly support distinct species status of both taxa.

Distribution ( Fig. 43 View FIGURE 43 ). The species is distributed along the eastern coast of Africa with records from DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa. The specimens from Mozambique and South Africa represent new country records.


Bavarian State Collection of Zoology


Natural History Museum, London