Malgassesia Le Cerf, 1922

Bartsch, Daniel, 2018, Taxonomic changes in Synanthedonini from Madagascar, with description of two new genera and species (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae), Zootaxa 4433 (1), pp. 174-186: 177

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Malgassesia Le Cerf, 1922


Malgassesia Le Cerf, 1922 

Type species: Malgassesia rufescens Le Cerf, 1922  , by original designation.

In the original description of Malgassesia  by Le Cerf (1922) only a single species, M. rufescens  , was included. Later, Viette ([1955], 1957, 1982) assigned five more species to the genus. Two of them, M. biedermanni  and M. pauliani  , are discussed in detail below. The remaining three, M. ankaratralis  , M. milloti  and M. seyrigi  , appear exceptionally heterogeneous and a close relationship with M. rufescens  is questionable. The following striking differences are noted in comparison to the type species M. rufescens  : M. seyrigi  has the male antenna slightly clavate, distally gradually broadened, dorsally with white subapical spot (narrower, less distinctly clubbed, without white spot in M. rufescens  ); the body long and slender (shorter and stronger in M. rufescens  ); the forewing discal spot and apical area broad (narrow in M. rufescens  ); the hindwing discal spot very small (largest of the group in M. rufescens  ). The holotype of M. milloti  misses the antennae; it has the body long and slender; the forewing discal spot and apical area very narrow; the hindwing discal spot absent; the wings, particularly the hindwing tornus, and the transparent areas broadest of the group. M. ankaratralis  has the male antenna long and narrow, very slightly clavate, without white spot; the body long and very slender; the forewing discal spot and apical area broad; the hindwing discal spot very small. It is further the only nocturnal Synanthedonini  of Madagascar ( Viette 1982). The male genitalia in M. ankaratralis  with valva very long, narrow, apically pointed, without crista sacculi (not elongated, apically rounded, crista sacculi well developed in M. rufescens  ). The genitalia of M. seyrigi  and M. milloti  are not known. The relationship of three further species, which were originally described in Chamaesphecia  and later excluded from this genus as “incertae sedis” ( Pühringer & Kallies 2004), could not yet be clarified. These species are here transferred to Malgassesia  : M. andrianony ( Viette, 1982)  comb. nov. ( Figs 6–7 View Figure ); M. lemur ( Le Cerf, 1957)  comb. nov. ( Figs 13–14 View Figure ); and M. ferdinandi  nom. nov., (in honour of Ferdinand Le Cerf), a replacement name for Chamaesphecia seyrigi Le Cerf, 1957  ( Figs 15–16 View Figure ). M. ferdinandi  differs considerably from all other African Synanthedonini  , in particular by the coloration of abdomen and forewings, and may well belong to a separate genus.

In its current form Malgassesia  is certainly paraphyletic and represents the melting pot of Madagascan Synanthedonini  , which could not be assigned to genus. However, detailed examination of Malgassesia  is beyond the scope of this study and will have to await a broader phylogenetic analysis of the African Synanthedonini  .