Tsitana Evans, 1937,

Cock, Matthew J. W. & Congdon, T. Colin E., 2014, Observations on the biology of Afrotropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera). Part 7. Hesperiinae incertae sedis: grass and bamboo feeders, Zootaxa 3872 (4), pp. 301-354: 303

publication ID

http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3872.4.1

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:8FECCFC1-7CA9-4A90-B881-4BD40157AD99

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/03AA87B3-FFC4-3503-FF79-FD4822C0DA34

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Tsitana Evans, 1937
status

 

Tsitana Evans, 1937 

There are five species of this exclusively southern African genus, four from South Africa discussed below, and Tsitana wallacei Neave  from Zambia and the adjoining DR Congo and Tanzania ( Evans 1937, Ackery et al. 1995). The four South African species are grass feeders, but only T. uitenhaga Evans  has been documented.

Tsitana tsita (Trimen)  and T. uitenhaga  are reported to feed on Stipa dregeana  ( Murray 1959, Dickson & Kroon 1978, Pringle et al. 1994, Henning et al. 1997). Stipa dregeana  has been treated as a synonym of S. keniensis  , but this does not seem to be generally accepted as yet. Although Evans (1937) and Ackery et al. (1995) treat uitenhaga  as a subspecies of T. tsita  , South African workers treat the two as separate species ( Dickson & Kroon 1978, Pringle et al. 1994, Henning et al. 1997, Woodhall 2005). Clark (in Dickson & Kroon 1978) illustrates the complete life history of T. uitenhaga  . The ovum is dome-shaped, relatively tall, and rather smooth. The caterpillars are green, long and cylindrical, and there are six instars; the head is marked with brown and white in the final instar, black and white in the earlier instars, and plain black in the first instar. The pupa is white, cylindrical, downturned at the cremaster, with a dark head bearing a pair of short, upward-directed projections.

Tsitana tulbagha Evans  was recorded from Pseudopentameris macrantha  (as Pentameris macrantha  ) by Murray (1959). However, subsequent authors refer to the food plant as a coarse tussock grass, Danthonia  spp. ( Dickson & Kroon 1978) or Merxmuellera  spp. ( Pringle et al. 1994, Henning et al. 1997), the latter genus having been separated from the former, and correctly applied to the African species. Tsitana dicksoni Evans  is recorded from Pseudopentameris macrantha  (as Pentameris macrantha  ) by Murray (1959), which is subsequently referred to as probably P. macrantha  ( Dickson & Kroon 1978, Pringle et al. 1994, Henning et al. 1997).