Coeliades bixana Evans

Cock, Matthew J. W., 2010, 2547, Zootaxa 2547, pp. 1-63: 54

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Coeliades bixana Evans


Coeliades bixana Evans  

Vuattoux (1999) reared this species from Triaspis odorata   ( Malpighiaceae   ). Under the synonym C. bixae (Linnaeus)   , Fontaine (1988) records finding a fully mature caterpillar on Cassia sp.   ( Fabaceae   ) at Lusambo (Sankuru Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo), 20 Dec 1949. Caterpillar: glabrous, deep grey-pearl with transverse grey and red bands, head red. (Glabre, fond gris-perle avec anneaux transversaux gris et rouges, tête   rouge.). Pupa. In a leaf more or less folded, fixed with a girdle like the pupae of Pieridae   . Bluish white in colour, with several black spots in the area of the spiracles, and on the legs and wing veins. Three short cephalic spikes: a slightly longer middle one and two lateral ones. (Dans une feuille plus ou moins repliée, fixée par une ceinture comme les chrysalides de Pieridae   . Sa teinte   est blanc-bleuâtre, avec quelques points noirs à la région des stigmates, ainsi qu'au niveau des pattes et sur les étuis des ailes. Présence de trois courtes apophyses céphali'ques: une médiane (un peu plus longue) et deux latérales.) The caterpillar and pupa are similar to others described and illustrated here of Pyrrhiades   and Coeliades spp.  

Lepesme (1947) included a record of this species (as Rhopalocampta bixae   ) as a pest of oil palm, Elaeis guineensis   ( Arecaceae   ), based on a record by J. Ghesquière (in litt.). This single uncorroborated record, like that of Pyrrhochalcia iphis   on coconut (above), has been perpetuated, e.g., Mariau (2001). In an advice on hesperiid defoliators of oil palm in West Africa, Mariau & Morin (1974) treated only two species: Zophopetes cerymica (Hewiston)   (misidentified as Z. dysmephila (Trimen) and Pteroteinon laufella   , so C. bixana   cannot be an important pest on oil palm. Today, in light of clear records of C. bixana   on Malphigiaceae and Fabaceae   , the record from oil palm looks unlikely. Furthermore, given that C. bixae   , like Pyrrhochalcia iphis   , is a dark species suffused with metallic green, it seems likely that the adults were also confused with Pteroteinon laufella   (see discussion above under Pyrrhochalcia iphis   ).