Nesosphecia mystica

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: 184-185

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Nesosphecia mystica

sp. nov.

Nesosphecia mystica  sp. nov.

Figs 23–24 View Figure , 27 View Figure , 29 View Figure

Holotype ♂: Madagascar Est: Moramanga, Andasibe, vic. Anevoka , Foret Pluviale de Maromiza NR., 1150 m, mountain ridge in primary forest [ Bellevue / Camp I], 18°58’33‘‘S, 48°27’45‘‘E, 6.XII.2006, at pheromone, leg. J. Berg & D. Bartsch ( SMNSAbout SMNS).GoogleMaps 

Paratypes (78). 1 ♂, same locality as holotype, 15.XI.2004; 1 ♂, ibid., 19.XI.2004; 2 ♂, ibid., 20.XI.2004; 2 ♂, ibid., 24.XI.2004; 9 ♂, ibid., 23.XI.2004; 1 ♂, ibid., 2.XII.2006; 2 ♂, ibid., 6.XII.2006; 4 ♂, ibid., 11.XII.2006; 1 ♂, ibid., 15.XII.2006; 1 ♂, 1100-1150 m, mountain ridge in primary forest [Bleubleu], 18°58’12-18‘‘S, 48°27’18- 54‘‘E, 14.XII.2006; 4 ♂, ibid., 7.XII.2006; 1 ♂, ibid.GoogleMaps  , 7 ♂, Madagascar Est: Moramanga, Andasibe, vic. Anevoka, Foret Pluviale de Maromiza NR., 950-980 m, trail in disturbed primary forest [between col / Camp II], 18°58'18- 24‘‘S, 48°27'48-54‘‘E, 14.XI.2004; 6 ♂, ibid., 15.XI.2004; 5 ♂, ibid., 18.XI.2004 (1 ♂, gen. prep. Bartsch 2006– 10, Fig. 26 View Figure ); 2 ♂, ibid., 19.XI.2004; 1 ♂, ibid., 20.XI.2004; 5 ♂, ibid., 1150 m, slashed and burned place near disturbed primary forest, 18°57’58‘‘S, 48°27’51‘‘EGoogleMaps  , 16.XI.2004; 12 ♂, ibid., 22.XI.2004; 2 ♂, ibid., 1100-1120 m, disturbed primary forest [Carriere / Camp I], 18°57’7-9‘‘S, 48°27’1-3‘‘E, 17.XI.2004; 5 ♂, 1000m, slashed and burned place near disturbed primary forest [ Pl. de Banane ], 18°58’57‘‘S, 48°27’52‘‘EGoogleMaps  , 5.XII.2006; 1 ♂, 1110 m, clearing on mountain ridge in disturbed primary forest [Montagne], 10.XII.2006; 2 ♂, 1000-1150 m, mountain ridge in disturbed primary forest [ Indri-trail ], 18°58’33‘‘S, 48°27’45‘‘EGoogleMaps  , 1.XII.2006; 2 ♂, ibid., 4.XII.2006. All specimens at pheromone, leg. D. Bartsch & J. Berg ( SMNSAbout SMNS)GoogleMaps  .

Etymology. Latin mysticus, -a, -um (= enigmatic, mysterious). The name refers to the unusual structures of the male genitalia.

Description. Alar expanse 13–18 mm, forewings 6–8 mm, antennas 4–5 mm, body 8–11 mm. Head with first and second palpomere white, dorsally with a slight brownish tinge; second palpomere dorso-distally and third entirely dark brownish-grey; frons dark grey with purple gloss; vertex shiny black, laterally between antenna and ocellus orange-brown; pericephalic scales orange-brown; antennae dorsally black, with narrow orange-brown spot subapically, ventrally brown with black tip. Thorax and legs dark brownish black, some paler yellowish brown scales below wing base, especially fresh specimens with bright coppery gloss; femur, tibia and tarsomeres of all legs each distally with narrow yellowish white ring; spurs dorsally yellowish white, ventrally blackish grey; fore leg with coxa white, inner margin grey, tibia ventrally yellowish white; tibia of hind leg medio-internally with yellowish white spot. Wings dark brownish-black with slight coppery gloss. Forewing with discal spot black; apical area with some yellowish-brown scales; longitudinal transparent area almost reaching discal spot; external one longitudinal-oval, twice as broad as discal spot, consists of five subcells; apical area somewhat broader than discal spot. Hindwing with margin narrow; discal spot narrow and short, wedge-shaped, extending to vein M2. Abdomen dark brownish-black with coppery gloss; analtuft laterally and ventro-medially yellowish-brown. Variation insignificant, except for size. Female unknown.

Male genitalia. Gnathos apically pointed; scopula androconialis short; uncus apically with broad transverse edge. Valva apically with narrow, rounded tip; ventral margin basally somewhat bulbous-like enlarged. Saccus apically broadened. Phallus with enlarged and slender part of equal length; cornutus of vesica very strong and long.

Behaviour. Males are active in sunshine from late morning to late afternoon, with maximum activity between noon and 3 pm. They are strongly attracted to various artificial pheromones, usually in small numbers; however, they can be common at certain localities. The species appears to prefer disturbed places with various herbaceous plants close to or inside the forest.


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