Parasa pygmy Solovyev, 2010

Wu, Shipher & Chang, Weichun, 2013, Review of the Parasa undulata (Cai, 1983) species group with the first conifer-feeding larva for Limacodidae and descriptions of two new species from China and Taiwan (Lepidoptera, Limacodidae), ZooKeys 345, pp. 29-46 : 34-36

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Parasa pygmy Solovyev, 2010


Parasa pygmy Solovyev, 2010 Figs 5, 6, 12, 13, 22, 23, 26-33

Parasa pygmy Solovyev, 2010, 89 (11): 1358, figs. 1, 5; 2, 5; Solovyev 2011, 91(1): 100, figs. 1, 5; 2, 5. (Type locality: Taiwan)

Material examined.

TAIWAN, 2♂, Chiai Hsien [Nantou County], Luhlin Lodge, [ca. 2600 m], 16-VIII-1990, leg. B. S. Chang (coll. NMNS); 3♂, Miaoli County, Guanwu, 2000 m, 27-IX-2010, S. Wu leg.; 1♂, Nantou County, Black Water Cottage, 2757 m, 7-IX-2012, S. Wu & W. C. Chang leg.; 1♂, Nantou County, Chen-gong Lodge, 2853 m, 10-IX-2012, leg. S. Wu & W. C. Chang; 7♂, Nantou County, Piluchi, 2000 m, 3-IX-1986, leg. Y. J. Chang; 4♂, same locality, 4-IX-1986, Y. J. Chang leg.; 18♂, same locality, 14-IX-1986, Y. J. Chang leg.; 5♂, same locality, 15-X-1987, Y. B. Fan (coll. TFRI); 1♂, Nantou County, Hohuanshan, 3006 m, 14-IX-2009, L. C. Shih leg., slide ESRI A12-20090914-037 (coll. ESRI); 1♂, Nantou County, Yuanfeng, 2700 m, 11-IX-2012, leg. S. Wu, slide TFRI00148804; 1♂, Nantou County, Xiaofengko, 3002 m, 13-VIII-2012, leg. S. Wu & W. C. Chang; 1♂, Ilan County, Jianchin, 1930 m, 8-X-2012, leg. S. Wu; 8♂, Hualien County, Guanyuan, 2400 m, 13-IX-2012, leg. S. Wu (coll. TFRI); 13♂, Hualien County, Kuanyan (=Guanyuan), 2370 m, 13-IX-2012, leg. M. Owada & S. Wu (coll. NSMT); 1 Mature larva, Hualien County, 820 Logging Trail, 2600 m, 26-V-2012, leg. S. Wu & W. C. Chang (coll. TFRI); 1♀, Hualien County, Jinma Tunnel, 2400 m, 23-IX-2009, leg. L. C. Shih, slide ESRI A09-20090923-127 (coll. ESRI); 1♀, Hualien County, Biluishenmu, 2150 m, 22-VIII-1991, leg. H. Y. Wang (coll. NMNS).


This species represents the insular sister species of Parasa undulata from China. It can be easily distinguished from Parasa undulata by its broader forewing medial green patch and its longer coecum. The comparison of the female genitalia is given under the diagnosis of the preceding species.


The female and mature larva are described for the first time.

Female (Fig. 6).

Measures. Wingspan 24-25 mm (n=3).

Head. Antennae filiform. Eyes black, round. Frons, vertex, labial palpi fringed with long, chestnut hair-like scales, 3rd labial palpal segment short.

Thorax. Thoracic segments green with chestnut dorsal stripe. Forewing ground coloration chestnut with large median green patch delimited externally by thin white line which is in turn lined by brown border; marginal scales ochreous. Hind wings chestnut, marginal scales ochreous.

Abdomen. Abdominal segments fringed with long chestnut hair-like scales.

Female genitalia (Figs 22-23). Apophyses elongated, length of anterior and posterior ones equal; ductus bursae long; corpus bursae small, about 3.5 times shorter than ductus bursae, signum saddle-shaped in transverse axis.

Immature stages.

Mature instar (Figs 28-33). Body spindle-like, length 20 mm when fully extended. Legs very small, largely reduced. Prolegs fully absent; adhesive, sucker-like regions on abdomen present. Head and body ground coloration green; a pair of prominent conical dorsal scoli arising from the dorsal part of mesothorax and on the 9th abdominal segment, respectively, the remaining parts smooth. 10 fresh red spots, circled by light blue ring, arranged longitudinally along mid-dorsum; two cream yellow subdorsal lines running parallel adjacent to the red spots; dorso-lateral, lateral and ventro-lateral lines wide; regions between subdorsal and dorso-lateral lines pale green; small subdorsal scoli, arising from mesothorax, metathorax and abdominal segment A2 to A8, orange, along on lateral lines and reduced as small scobinate patches; spiracles orange.

COI sequence.

Two new COI sequences (identical) from adult male and mature larva, respectively, were deposited in the GenBank database (KF595046, KF595047).

Distribution and bionomics.

Parasa pygmy is endemic to Taiwan. The adults occur from mid August to early October in mid to high elevation mountains of central Taiwan (~2000-3000 m), where they match the distribution range of the presently known hostplant, Picea morrisonicola Hayata ( Pinaceae ). The single mature larva was taken in late May, the leaf flushing period of Picea morrisonicola . This observation suggests a univoltine life cycle for Parasa pygmy and the overwintering stage is inferred to be the egg. The patterns of the adult and mature larva are similar to the needle leaves of Pinaceae , especially the hostplant species. This potential evolutionary adaptation is detailed in results and discussion.