Bireta morozovi Saldaitis & Ivinskis, 2011

Saldaitis, Aidas, Ivinskis, Povilas & Rimsaite, Jolanta, 2011, Bireta morozovi, a new species (Lepidoptera, Notodontidae) from China, Zootaxa 2831 (1), pp. 57-62: 57-61

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3020.1.3


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scientific name

Bireta morozovi Saldaitis & Ivinskis

sp. n.

Bireta morozovi Saldaitis & Ivinskis   sp. n.

(Figs. 1–4)

Holotype: male (Fig. 1), China, W Sichuan, road Menghugang / Kangding, N 29“49.955, E 102“02.827,12.04.2010. h– 3000 m, leg. A. Saldaitis (deposited in MWM / ZSM); (slide No.BJ 1531)  

Paratypes: 4 males (Figs. 3, 4), with the same labels as holotype, 1 female, China, W Sichuan, Kangding , near Zheduo Pass, N 30“17.022, E 101“50.256,13.04.2010. h– 3230 m, leg. A. Saldaitis (coll. AFM; ASV; MWM; PMM). Slide No. BJ 1530 (female)  

Diagnosis. Bireta morozovi   is the sibling species of Bireta astrae ( Schintlmeister & Fang, 2001)   (Fig. 5), but differs by a number of external and genital features and by its distribution. Compared to the new species, B. astrae   has a longer and a more prominent silvery basal line, a more pronounced oval reniform spot, and pure white rather than grey-yellow hindwings. Bireta astrae   , B. ortharga (Wu & Fang, 2003)   and the newly-described species represent closely related group of species characterised by typical rectangular-shaped robust socii. The base of socii in the new species, however, is visibly wider than in B. ortharga   , and the apex of socii is widening and obtuse, whereas the apices of socii in B. astrae   and B. ortharga   are tapering. The uncus in both B. astrae   and B. morozovi   is similarly shaped but in the new species it is considerably longer and is of the same width throughout. Bireta astrae   is endemic to the Shaanxi Province, whereas the new species was collected in the Sichuan Province. Externally, B. ortharga   is nearly identical to B. argentea ( Schintlmeister, 1997)   (Fig. 6), but its genitalia is clearly different. B. morozovi   substantially differs morphologically from recently described Bireta   including B. ihlei Schintlmeister, 2007   , B. swetlanae Schintlmeister, 2007   , B. elutus Schintlmeister, 2007   and B. fortis ( Kobayashi & Kishida, 2004) ( Kobayashi, Kishida & Min, 2008)   .

Description. Male: Forewing length of holotype 19 mm, wingspan 40 mm; forewing length of paratypes 19-20 mm, wingspan 41-42 mm; antennae long, bipectinate; ground color of forewings pale yellowish, with orange-brown pattern; basal line short, narrow, slightly silvery; discoidal spot indistinct; postmedian line brown, medially Z-shaped; hindwings greyish-yellow, without pattern; ventral side without pattern, only costal part of forewings darker. Male genitalia (Figs. 7,9): Socii typically rectangular-shaped, robust, wide at base; apex broad and widening; uncus broad, even width, slightly narrower than its length; apex wide, even; arms of socius reduced; vinculum strong, substantially widening in the apical area; valvae symmetrical, with straight margins, gradually narrowing apically; apex broad, obtuse; juxta large, strongly sclerotised, saddle-shaped; aedeagus strong, big, curved, apically widening, with small teeth; vesica simple, wide at base, without cornuti. Female (Fig. 2): Forewing length of paratype female 23 mm, wingspan 48 mm; antennae simple, filiform; ground color of forewings as in males, but paler, silver basal line absent; discoidal spot indistinct; postmedian band inconspicuous, medially interrupted; antemedian spots elongate and prominent; hindwing color and pattern as in males but have an arched outer side; ventral side also without pattern. Female genitalia ( Fig. 8): Papilla analis wide, densely covered with short, thin and sparse, long setae; apophysis posterioris 4.5 times longer than apophysis anterioris; ductus bursae and bursa copulatrix not sclerotised; signa absent. Variation: Forewings in the female and the holotype of B. morozovi   are a lighter ground colour than the intense yellow brown male paratypes, whereas lines forming the wing pattern are contrasting deeper brown.

Bionomics and distribution. Known only from the Kangding area of Sichuan Province of China’s on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau, B. morozovi   is hitherto endemic to West Sichuan. All specimens were collected in mid-April at altitudes ranging from 3000 to 3200 m; both males and females were attracted to light even during the periods of snowfall and appear to have a local distribution as was discovered in only two valleys near Kangding. The new species was collected in mountain virgin mixed forests dominated by various broad-leaved trees, rhododendron and bamboo. It flies with other early spring moths such as Hyalobole nigripalpis (Warren, 1911)   , Lasianobia albilinea (Draud, 1950)   , Perigrapha (Harutaeographa) odavissa Ronkay, Ronkay, Gyulai & Hacker, 2010   , Orthosia (Orthosia) kalinini Ronkay, Ronkey, Gyulai & Hacker, 2010   or overwintering Dasypolia (Dasypolia) bicolor Hreblay & Ronkay, 1995   and Lithophane (Litholomia) compromissa Ronkay, Ronkay, Gyulai & Hacker, 2010   (all Noctuidae   ).

Etymology. The new species is named after Pavel Morozov, a Russian Notodontidae   specialist.


Bavarian State Collection of Zoology