Theophoba pendulans Mell, 1958

Wang, Xing, Wang, Min, Zolotuhin, Vadim V., Hirowatari, Toshiya, Wu, Shipher & Huang, Guo-Hua, 2015, The fauna of the family Bombycidae sensu lato (Insecta, Lepidoptera, Bombycoidea) from Mainland China, Taiwan and Hainan Islands, Zootaxa 3989 (1), pp. 1-138: 116-118

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Theophoba pendulans Mell, 1958


77. Theophoba pendulans Mell, 1958  ( FIGURES 46View FIGURE 46 A – 46 E)

Theophoba pendulans Mell, 1958, Dt.  ent. Z. 5: 207, figs 8, 10. TL: “Lungtaoshan, Kwangtung” [Guangdong prov.] China. Holotype: male ( ZMHU) [examined].

Diagnosis. Easily distinguished by the following characters: forewing with apex hooked; uncus short, pyramidal, with an apical bifurcation; costal process of valva apically swollen; external margin of valva with protruded ventrocaudal angle; aedeagus apically flattened and broadened, with a ventral rounded plate bearing two large teeth and one or two small marginal thorns.

Specimens examined. [SHANGHAI] 1 female, Miss.-Mus. Steyl. ( ZFMK); [GUANGDONG] Lungtaoshan (Lianping County): 1 male, holotype deposited in ZMHU with the label “[ China, Guangdong] Lungtaoshan, ex p. 25.X. 19 ??, leg. R. Mell ”; [GUANGXI] Dayao Shan (Jingxiu County): 1 male, 100 km SE of Liuzhou, 23 ˚ 45 ’N, 109 ˚ 45 ’E, 1.200 m, April 2005, Sinjaev & his team leg. (MWM); [YUNNAN] Weibaoshan (Weishan County): 1 male, 2.800 m, September 2002, Ying et al. leg. ( SMFL); Puwen (Xishuangbanna Dai Auton. Pref.): 1 female, 30 km SSW Simao, 900 m, 22 ˚ 30 ’N, 100 ˚02’E, 16.III – 10.IV. 2000, Brechlin’s local collector leg. (MWM).

Bionomics. The larval host and preimaginal stages are unknown, although the holotype was hatched from a cocoon found in the wild. The shape of the cocoon is strongly dissimilar to those of other Bombycidae  , resembling rather the saddle-shaped cocoon of Trabala  ( Lasiocampidae  ), but has a very long thread connecting the cocoon with a substratum (Plate 11 F).

Distribution. Mainland China (Shanghai, Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunan) and Taiwan, northern Thailand, northern Myanmar.

Remarks. This is the most widespread species of the genus, being known from southern and southwestern China, northern Thailand and nothern Myanmar. The same species is probably also native to Taiwan (1 female, Chunyang, Jenai, Nantou County, Taiwan, C.S. Lin leg. [] and 1 female, Lushan spa, Nantou Hsien, 26.II. 1983, H. Yoshimoto leg.) (Kishida, 1984). In Taiwan, we found specimens were almost always incorrectly identified as the endemic Javanese species, Bombyx horsfieldi (Moore, 1859)  .


Zoologisches Museum der Humboldt Universitaet


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig