Holocacista salutans (Meyrick)

van Nieukerken, Erik J. & Geertsema, Henk, 2015, A new leafminer on grapevine and Rhoicissus (Vitaceae) in South Africa within an expanded generic concept of Holocacista (Insecta, Lepidoptera, Heliozelidae), ZooKeys 507, pp. 41-97: 55-58

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Holocacista salutans (Meyrick)

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Taxon classification Animalia Lepidoptera Heliozelidae

Holocacista salutans (Meyrick)  comb. n. Figs 4, 54-58, 65, 66, 85, 86, 97-100, 111, 113, 115

Antispila salutans  Meyrick, 1921: 108. 5 Syntypes ♂♀: South Africa, [KwaZulu Natal], Durban, x.[19]18/19, v.d. Merwe (TMSA, BMNH) [partly examined].

Antispila salutans  ; Vári and Kroon (1986): 154; Vári et al. (2002): 10; De Prins and De Prins (2014): database.

Differential diagnosis.

Externally Holocacista salutans  hardly differs from Holocacista capensis  , but the male usually has a costal spot at 1/3 from base, albeit very small. The only consistent characters to separate it from Holocacista capensis  are in the male genitalia: the row of larger spines dorsally on the phallocrypt, whereas Holocacista capensis  has a row ventrally and just a single spine ventrally; also the shape of the transtilla Holocacista salutans  differs from that in capensis  . The leafmines of Holocacista salutans  have the gallery mine with wider frass, more clumped and not zigzag as in Holocacista capensis  .


Male (Fig. 4). Head: face and vertex covered with appressed, metallic, silvery-white scales, more brownish grey on vertex. Palpi porrect, white; base of proboscis covered with white scales. Antenna with 16 segments, ringed, each flagellomere with a basal fuscous scale ring and apical white scale ring on upper side, scales on underside all white. Legs grey, tarsi mostly yellowish white, especially on underside. Thorax and forewings ground colour grey brown, slightly irrorate, caused by scales being dark tipped and paler at base. A silver-white pattern on forewing consists of a triangular dorsal spot at 1/4 from base, a smaller spot at costa, sometimes joined to dorsal spot as a narrow fascia; a second triangular dorsal spot at 1/2, reaching almost to middle of wing; a triangular costal spot just beyond middle, always separate; fringe line very distinct, demarcated by dark-tipped scales. Terminal fringe silvery white. Hindwings pale grey. Underside of wings fuscous, with white spots visible. Abdomen lead grey, including vestiture on external genitalia.

Female. Antenna with 16 segments. Colour pattern distinct from male: scales almost uniformly dark fuscous with purplish tinge, resulting in darker, velvety wing colour and contrasting silvery-white pattern; first costal and dorsal spots always joined to form a narrow fascia, wider at dorsum; second dorsal and costal spots as in male; fringe line distinct, scales forming cilia line with slightly paler bases. Abdomen almost black, narrowly pointed posteriorly.

Measurements. Male: forewing length 1.7-2.3 mm (2.0 ± 0.2, 6), wingspan: 4.0-5.0 mm. Female: forewing length ca. 2.0 mm (n=3), wingspan ca. 4.5 mm.

Male genitalia (Figs 54-58, 97-100, 111, 113). Total length vinculum + tegumen ca. 460-490 µm (n=3). Vinculum (S IX) long, reaching anterior margin of segment VI. Tegumen and uncus well sclerotised, with two medial projections, probably representing tegumen and uncus, dorsalmost projection very similar to tegumen of Holocacista capensis  , ventral one truncate, slightly excavated posteriorly, with serrate margins. Valva narrow, apex blunt, with stalked pectinifer halfway along inner margin, pecten comprising 8-10 blunt sensilla. Valva length (without transtilla) ca. 165-215 µm. Transtilla with long sublateral processes and medial spatulate posterior process, with produced lateral corners (Fig. 111). Juxta (Fig. 56) elongate, as a narrow ventral process of phallus, attached to phallus near phallocrypt spines. Phallus (Figs 56, 97-100) long and narrow, ca. 390-430 µm long. Phallocrypt (manica) with two rows of strongly-sclerotised conical spines, arranged symmetrically; in lateral view seen dorsally, all curved ventrad, more than 6-7 spines in a row; a group of small spines posterior to these. Phallus outer tube not constricted, with ventrally-curved appendix of ca. 105-125 µm long (measured along curve).

Female genitalia (Figs 65, 66). Length of anterior apophyses 850 μm (n=1), posterior apophyses 890 μm (n=1). Oviscapt not yet studied in ventral view. Ductus spermathecae with many wide convolutions, spermathecal papilla with circle-shaped sclerotisation (Fig. 66).


Host plants. Vitaceae  : Rhoicissus digitata  (L.f.) Gilg. & M. Brandt, Rhoicissus revoilii  Planch., Rhoicissus tomentosa  (Lam.) Wild. & R.B. Drumm. and Cissus cornifolia  (Baker) Planch. Records from Rhoicissus tridentata (L. f.) Wild. & R. B. Drumm. subsp. cuneifolia  (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Urton require confirmation (see below).

Leafmines (Figs 85, 86). The egg is inserted on the leaf underside, usually close to a vein; some mines start at the leaf edge. The mine starts as a much contorted narrow gallery with all convolutions close to each other, hardly leaving leaf tissue between them. Later, the mine enlarging into an irregular wide gallery or a blotch. The frass is black throughout, clumped and almost filling the gallery, but with space between the clumps. Mines are very often clustered in groups. The larva cuts out an elliptic case of about 3 mm long and 2 mm wide.

Voltinism. Larvae have been found from March to June, in September and again from December to January; adults usually emerge between 3-8 weeks after collecting of leafmines; probably multiple overlapping generations.


(Fig. 115). South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Zimbabwe: Masvingo. Records from Gauteng (Pretoria) need confirmation, several leafmines from Rhoicissus tridentata  resemble those of Holocacista salutans  on other hosts, but we have yet no proof from adults that they are this species.


Meyrick (1921) described Antispila salutans  from five specimens from "Natal, Durban, in October (Janse)." They were part of a much larger series, of which the labels in the Ditsong Museum (former Transvaal Museum) give more information: all from Durban, collected by v.d. Merwe, Coll. Janse. Some are dated 10.10.18 [in hand], others x.19 or xi.19 [in print], those dated x.19 also have a label with the text "Ac. n. 453" [Accession number 453]. Many specimens have a cocoon added, showing that they have been reared. The five specimens in London are merely labelled (in Meyrick’s hand) "Durban, Natal, AJTJ, 10 [or 11].19". Meyrick usually replaced original labels of specimens that he kept for his own collection with shorter ones in his own hand or print ( Clarke 1955). Meyrick (1921) wrote in the introduction of his paper: "The types of those new species received from Mr A. J. T. Janse are contained in his collection, ….” Three specimens of Antispila salutans  are placed in the type collection in Pretoria under the type numbers 109-111. In addition to the locality label, they have a type label in red ink, with name and type number, and an additional label, printed in black, with a 4-digit number, split in two rows. Such labels are always attached to Janse specimens studied by Meyrick, but no registry book is available in Pretoria with more information (Martin Krüger, personal communication). So if we regard these as real syntypes, even though one of these was labelled with ‘xi’, thus from November, only two of the specimens in London can be regarded as the remaining syntypes, and all other specimens are just topotypical, but not types (see also Razowski and Krüger 2007). For the time being we cannot make a decision as to which specimens in London are actual syntypes, and suggest that the male specimen in the type collection in Pretoria with "Type No. 109" is probably the best candidate to be selected as Lectotype, preferably during a full revision. For now a Lectotype selection does not seem necessary.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to find information on the rearing and hostplant of van der Merwe’s series. The Accession number 453 on some labels had previously been misinterpreted as a number of Vári, who labelled all his reared material with such numbers [probably following up on Janse’s system, but with new numbers]. The leaf with mines that was pinned in the salutans  box belongs to Bridelia cathartica  Bert. ( Euphorbiaceae  ), has probable Coleoptera  mines, and has Vári’s number 453. Obviously, this has nothing to do with the heliozelid. There are no notebooks of Janse left that could shed light on this number (Martin Krüger, personal communication).

Unfortunately, we did not find recent material of this species and are therefore as yet unable to give the DNA barcode.

Material examined.

Syntypes. South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal: 1♂, "DURBAN / 10.10 / v.d. Merwe 18/ Coll. Janse" [black print, date in hand, black cadre]; "24 / 93" [black print]; "Antispila /salutans /Type No. 109"[hand, red ink, "Type No" in print]. 1♂, "DURBAN / 10.10 / v.d. Merwe 18/ Coll. Janse" [black print, date in hand, black cadre]; "24 / 93" [black print];"Antispila /salutans /Cotype No. 111" [hand, red ink, "Cotype No" in print]. 1 adult, "DURBAN / v.d. Merwe xi.19/ Coll. Janse" [black print, black cadre]; "29/ 28" [black print]; "Antispila /salutans /Cotype No. 110" [hand, red ink, "Cotype No" in print]. 4 specimens including 2 possible Syntypes in London, not examined.

Non-type material.

Adults and leafmines: South Africa, Kwazulu-Natal, 2♂, 1♀, Durban, emerged x and xi.1919, van der Merwe [ex coll. Janse], genitalia slide TM4023 (♂), wing slide TM1585 (♀); 5♂, 3♀, 1 leaf with 8 mines, Jozini Dam [Pongolapoortdam], Lebombo Mts., 14.i.1965, Ac. no 2788, leafmines on Rhoicissus tomentosa  , emerged 27. i– 5.ii1965, L. Vári, genitalia slides EvN4384 (♂),EvN4668 (♀); 1♂, 2♀, Umhlanga Rocks, 9-16.vi.1968, Ac. no 2944, leafmines on Rhoicissus revoilii  , emerged 2-5.viii.1968, L. Vári; 1♂, 1♀, Umhlanga Rocks, 25.iii.1975, Ac. no 3342, leafmines on Rhoicissus revoilii  , emerged 10-11.iv.1975, L. Vári, genitalia slide EvN4383 (♂); Limpopo: 1♂, 1♀, 1 leaf with 3 mines, Cyprus Farm, nr. Ofcolaco, 20.ix.1960, Ac. no 2247, leafmines on Rhoicissus tomentosa  , emerged 11-13.x.1960, L. Vári; 6 leafmines on 6 leaves, Debengeni, De Hoek, Waterfalls, 15.vi.1954, Ac. no. 1329, leafmines on Rhoicissus revoilii  , L. Vári; 1♂, 5 mines on 2 leaves, Louis Trichardt, 17.iii.1964, Ac. no 2693, leafmines on Rhoicissus tomentosa  , emerged 31. iii– 5.iv.1964, L. Vári. Zimbabwe, Masvingo: 2♂, 11 mines on 11 leaves, Lundi, 22.iv.1956, Ac. no 1916, leafmines on Cissus cornifolia  , emerged 1-30.vi.1956, L. Vári; genitalia slide EvN4386 (♂) (all TMSA).