Morabia hero ( Viette, 1971 ) László & Hausmann, 2022

László, Gyula M. & Hausmann, Axel, 2022, Taxonomic review of the genus Morabia Hausmann & Tujuba, 2020 with descriptions of two new species and introducing five new generic combinations (Lepidoptera, Geometridae, Ennominae), Zootaxa 5134 (2), pp. 215-237 : 230-232

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.5134.2.3

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Morabia hero ( Viette, 1971 )

comb. nov.

Morabia hero ( Viette, 1971) View in CoL , comb. n.

( Figs 15–16 View FIGURES 11–19 , 33 View FIGURES 29–34 , 40 View FIGURES 35–42 )

Ectropis hero Viette (1971) View in CoL : 181. Holotype, male, Madagascar, Marojejy massif, Reserve Naturelle Intigrale no. 12, Ambatosoratra, 1000 m, coll. MNHN.

Material examined. Madagascar. 1 male, Marojejy Nature Reserve, Ambatosoratra , 1000m, VIII.1960, leg. P. Soga, gen. slide No.: ZSM G 21271 (prepared by László) ( ZSM) ; 1 male, Ranomafana, Hotel Cristo , transformed garden/disturbed montane forest/riverine/forest mosaic, 607m, 21°16’42.9”S, 47°30’23.8”E, 13.i.2015, leg. H.S. Staude, gen. slide No.: LG 5525 ( RCHS) GoogleMaps . 1 male, Betampona Nature Reserve , camp 1, 315m, 1.iv.2017, 17°55’50.52”S, 49°12’11.93”E, leg. Carlos Lopez Vaamonde & Allaoui Ahamadi, BOLD sample ID: KLM GoogleMaps Lep 09276 ; 1 female, Ambanoro, 1, 3 km N: Nosy Be , -13.3677, 48.3, 75m, 26.x.2013, leg. C. Wieser, BOLD sample ID: KLM Lep 03656 ( KLM) ; 1 female, Diego Suarez , 24.viii.1917, leg. G. Melou, gen. slide No.: NHMUK 010317356 View Materials (prepared by László) ; 1 female, same site and collector, Feb.-April 1917, gen. slide No.: NHMUK 010317358 View Materials (prepared by László) ; 1 female, same site and collector,; 1 male, same site and collector, 16.vii.1917, gen. slide No.: Geom. 4991; 1 male, same site and collector, 4.iii.1917, gen. slide No.: NHMUK 010317357 View Materials (prepared by László) ; 1 male, same site and collector, 18.iv.1917; 1 male, same site and collector, Feb.1917, gen. slide No.: NHMUK 010317359 View Materials (prepared by László) ( NHMUK) ; 1 female, Antsiranana, Nosy Be , 3.8km NE Andoany, -13.3677, 48.283, 160m, 28.x.2013, leg. N. Pöll, BOLD sample ID: BC ZSM Lep 84867 (coll. N. Pöll, Bad Ischl, Austria) GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis. Morabia hero ( Viette, 1971) is distinguished externally from all other Morabia species by the markedly thicker transverse lines which are right angled on the forewing and obtusely angled on the hindwing with straight proximal and distal sections, while the much thinner transverse lines are more undulate in the other taxa. The underside of the wings bear black subapical blotches typical of Morabia , but the dark marginal area of M. hero is the widest in the genus. Based on the genital morphology, M. hero is closely related to M. distinctaria but distinguished by the noticeably shorter, more conical and less setose uncus, the slightly shorter, apically less elongate costal arm, the longer, broader and more curved valva bearing markedly more robust setae and the smaller, apically rounded saccus, which is pointed in M. distinctaria . The configuration of the aedeagus is very similar in both species, but it is shorter by approximately 10% in M. hero , with the vesica bearing a shorter and thinner, hair-like cornutus compared to the somewhat thicker, needle-like cornutus of M. distinctaria . In the female genitalia, M. hero has a shorter, less deeply recessed antrum, a considerably longer membranous section of the ductus bursae, and a somewhat smaller signum bursae compared to M. distinctaria .

Re-description. Adult ( Figs 15–16 View FIGURES 11–19 ). Forewing length 18.0– 18.5 mm. Sexual dimorphism limited, expressed by the more undulate fasciae of wing upperside and somewhat darker underside in female with broader terminal fascia than in male. Antenna ciliate-fasciculate. Head relatively small, palp short, porrect, apically pointed, covered in brownish-grey scales, compound eye relatively large, frons broad, quadrangular, brownish-grey with two dark brown hair tufts laterally, vertex pale grey. Collar and tegula brownish-grey, thorax pale grey, first abdominal segment black, further segments brownish-grey with silvery-grey suffusion dorsally, creamy-yellow ventrally. Upperside of wings. Ground colour grey with brownish shade of variable intensity, markings black. Forewing. Basal and subbasal lines deleted; antemedial line very thick, basal two-thirds straight, then right angled towards costa, distal third straight. Discal spot blurred, small, elongate-ovoid, oblique. Medial line diffuse, narrow, costal half deleted, ventral half straight, continuous. Postmedial line very thick, ventral three-quarters straight, then right angled towards costa, costal quarter straight. Subterminal line diffuse, fine, slightly undulate; terminal line sharply defined, thin, sinuous between veins. Cilia moderately creamy-white, sparsely chequered with pale greyish-brown. Hindwing. Basal line thick, straight, antemedial line thick, anal two-thirds straight, then obtuse angled towards costa, costal third diffuse. Discal spot present, blurred, small, ovoid. Medial line deleted, postmedial line thick, slightly undulate in anal two-thirds, then obtuse angled towards costa, costal section straight. Subterminal line very thick and straight in anal two-thirds, then obtuse angled towards costa, costal section narrow, diffuse. Terminal line relatively thick, sinuous; cilia as on forewing. Underside of wings. Ground colour pale creamy-grey; discal spots sharply defined, black, elongate-ovoidal, that of forewing three times larger than that of hindwing. Ante- and postmedial lines present, rather diffuse. Subapical area of fore- and hindwings with a large, rounded-quadrangular black blotch, forewing subapical patch larger than that of hindwing. Terminal area of both wings with conspicuously wide, dark brown marginal band of variable width, merged with apical blotch; cilia as on upperside.

Male genitalia ( Fig. 33 View FIGURES 29–34 ). Uncus medium long, elongate conical, narrow at base, apically rounded, sparsely covered in fine, short setae. Gnathos very short and narrow, weakly sclerotized, without dilated medial plate. Tegumen short and broad. Juxta shield-like, heavily sclerotized anteriorly and laterally, forming horseshoe-shaped basal margin. Vinculum very short and broad, apically rounded, saccus very short, trapezoidal. Valva very broad at base, basal half moderately sclerotized, scobinated, bearing a stout, quadrangular costal arm ending in pointed thorn-like process directing caudad. Distal half of valva heavily sclerotized with a longitudinal crest bearing robust, spike-like setae distally, curved ventrad, distally tapering, apically pointed; ventral margin deeply concave; costa membranous, covered with long, fine sparse setae. Sacculus long and narrow, moderately sclerotized, with a short, broad-based conical process directing ventrad. Aedeagus short and stout, anterior quarter slightly curved ventrad, coecum short, broadly rounded, medial and distal section straight, apex with a moderately sclerotized, short, somewhat arrowheadshaped carina; vesica with a single, short, very thin, pointed, hair-like cornutus with round basal part.

Female genitalia ( Fig. 40 View FIGURES 35–42 ). Ovipositor moderately long, papilla analis elongate, apically rounded, sparsely setose, apophyses long and thin, posterior one ca. twice as long as anterior one. Eighth tergite shield-like, distal margin straight, proximal margin gently undulate with a very shallow medial depression. Ostium bursae broad, semi-circular with heavily sclerotized margin, antrum very short, heavily sclerotized, plate-like. Ductus bursae moderately long, relatively thick, distal ca. half heavily sclerotized without striation, proximal half membranous, gradually dilated anteriorly. Cervix bursae very small, membranous, erected at posterior end of ductus bursae. Corpus bursae elongate ovoid, signum bursae small, somewhat horseshoe-shaped, with short, strongly sclerotized crest anteriorly and laterally encompassing a finely scobinate semi-oval internal plate.

Genetic information ( Fig. 44 View FIGURE 44 ). BIN BOLD:ACS1540 (n=2 from Madagascar). Genetically nearest species: M. distinctaria (3.7%), M. smithi (6.6%).


Bavarian State Collection of Zoology


Natural History Museum, London














Morabia hero ( Viette, 1971 )

László, Gyula M. & Hausmann, Axel 2022

Ectropis hero

Viette, P. 1971: 181
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