Udea delineatalis (Walker in Melliss 1875)

Mally, Richard, Aarvik, Leif, Karisch, Timm, Lees, David C. & Malm, Tobias, 2022, Revision of Afrotropical Udea Guenee in Duponchel, 1845, with description of five new species of the U. ferrugalis (Huebner, 1796) group (Lepidoptera, Crambidae, Spilomelinae), Nota Lepidopterologica 45, pp. 315-353 : 315

publication ID


publication LSID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by

Nota Lepidopterologica by Pensoft

scientific name

Udea delineatalis (Walker in Melliss 1875)


Udea delineatalis (Walker in Melliss 1875)

Figs 1 View Figures 1–5 , 11 View Figures 11–20 , 21 View Figures 21–23 , 28 View Figures 28–32

Scopula delineatalis Walker in Melliss 1875: 189. Type locality. St. Helena.

Material examined.

Cotype: Saint Helena • ♀; "St Helena. Wollaston Coll. 79-68.", [round label with green border] “Type”; unique specimen identifier NHMUK010209954; NHMUK. Additional material : Saint Helena • 1 ♂ 5 ♀♀; Napoleon's Tomb ; 15°57.4733'S, 5°41.91'W; 540 m a. s. l.; 11 Apr. 2018; T. Karisch & A.-J. Dutton leg.; mixed non-native forest, light catch with 250 W HQL • 1 ♂; same collection data as for preceding; genitalia dissection no. 3945, Karisch 2022; SDEI, MNVD • 3 ♀; Bevins Gut bei [near] Crack Plain, 3.6 km SSW Jamestown; 15°57.0667'S, 5°44.2323'W; 460 m a. s. l.; 28 Dec. 1995; T. Karisch leg.; felsiges, gebüschreiches Tal, kl. Weideflächen [rocky, shrub-rich valley, small grazing areas], light catch with 125 W HQL; DNA voucher MTD Lep356; MNVD, SDEI • 1 ♀; same collection data as for preceding; DNA voucher MTD Lep248; SMTD • 1 ♀; SW Steilhang [steep slope] Cuckhold’s Point, 5.25 km SSO Jamestown; 15°58.0167'S, 5°42.4167'W; 780 m a. s. l.; 24 Dec. 1995; T. Karisch leg.; Dicksonia arborescens - Melanodendron integrifolium -Sisalflur [sisal meadow], light catch with 125 W HQL; SDEI • 3 ♀♀; SO-Hang [SE slope] Rose Hill, 5.6 km SSO [SSE] Jamestown ; 15°48.0667'S, 5°42.0167'W; 640 m a. s. l.; 27 Dec. 1995; T. Karisch leg.; Sisalflur [sisal meadow], Acacia longifolia -reiche Gehölze [ Acacia longifolia -rich groves], light catch with 125 W HQL; SDEI • 1 ♀; Fisher’s Valley nordöstlich [northeast of] Tobacco Plain, 5.4 km SO [SE] Jamestown; 15°57.1'S, 5°46.8333'W; 380 m a. s. l.; 23 Dec. 1995; T. Karisch leg.; lückige Trockengebüsche, grasreiche Bachaue [gappy dry scrubs, grass-rich stream meadow], light catch with 125 W HQL; SDEI • 1 ♀; Hooper’s Rock; 15°59.4933'S, 5°44.515'W; 690 m a. s. l.; 26 Mar. 2018; T. Karisch leg.; Ulex -rich shrubland on rocks, light catch with 250 W HQL; SDEI • 1 ♀; Black Gate Nursery, 0.1 km WSW; 15°58.3917'S, 5°41.94'W; 755 m a. s. l.; 16 Apr. 2018; T. Karisch leg.; Dicksonia - Melanodendron thicket, light catch with 250 W HQL; SDEI GoogleMaps .


Similar to U. ferrugalis (Fig. 2 View Figures 1–5 ), but forewings more triangular, apex not as acute, postmedian field more grey, antemedian line not as sharply angulated in the middle; hindwing with distinctive broad greyish brown marginal field, postmedian line also visible in anal area. In male genitalia, the apical margins of the juxta of U. delineatalis (Fig. 21 View Figures 21–23 ) do not have projections as in U. ferrugalis (Fig. 22 View Figures 21–23 ), and the cornutus of the phallus has a blunt and not rounded tip. In the female genitalia of U. delineatalis (Fig. 28 View Figures 28–32 ), the distal, cup-shaped part of the antrum is wider at the transition to the short stalk-like section than in U. ferrugalis (Fig. 29 View Figures 28–32 ).

Description of adults.

Head: Orange; labial palps about three times as long as eyes, covered with long scales, orange, ventrally whitish, third segment short, greyish-brown; maxillary palps ochre, speckled with grey, long enough to touch each other at apex; haustellum about 5 mm long, basally covered with whitish scales. Antenna filiform, ciliate in male and female, flagellum orange, intermixed with brown scales. Thorax: Greyish orange. Tibia of fore- and midlegs slightly ochre brown, of hindlegs whitish, outer tibial spur pair of midlegs and proximal spur pair of hindlegs with outer spur about half as long as inner spur, distal spur pair of hindlegs with outer spur about 4/5 length of inner spur. Wings: (Fig. 1 View Figures 1–5 ) Forewing length of male 9.5 mm, of females 8-9 mm. Forewings of orange brown ground colour, suffused with grey. Antemedian line grey, obtuse angled in middle, outward angled just before dorsum. Proximal discoidal stigmata oval or ellipsoid, distal discoidal stigmata narrow, often divided by a grey line in the middle; space between proximal and distal stigmata often less grey tinged. Postmedian line fine, grey, dentate, convex curved from costa to CuA1, with abrupt dent inward at CuA2, then continuing slightly dentate towards dorsum by reaching it at right angle. Distal area along postmedian line and along margin less greyish. Marginal line black, disrupted at veins. Fringes orange-brown, with a broader grey transversal line. Underside pale yellowish, discoidal stigmata, veins, and marginal area grey; postmedian line dark grey, visible from costa to CuA1. Hindwing pale yellowish, anal area slightly greyish dusted. Discoidal spot conspicuous, dark grey. Postmedian line greyish brown, very fine and dentate between M2 and CuA2. Marginal band greyish brown, broad, paler towards anal angle. Fringes whitish, with a grey postbasal fascia and grey tips. Underside whitish, marginal area slightly dusted with grey, darker grey strigulae between veins; postmedian line broken into patches. Outer discoidal spot large, blackish, round; upper discoidal spot comma-shaped, grey. Abdomen: Greyish ochreous, distal margins of tergites whitish; tip pale orange; ventral side of abdomen pale yellowish. Tympanal organs (Fig. 11 View Figures 11–20 ) with lobulus well developed, broad. Male genitalia: (Fig. 21 View Figures 21–23 ) Uncus tip rounded, covered with stronger bristles, bulbous thickening at basis; tegumen roughly rectangular; transtilla arms broad triangular; vinculum U-shaped, saccus quite broad; juxta large, plate-like, basal somewhat rounded, narrowed apical, with a straight but irregular margin. Valvae long, slender in distal part, narrowest at half of costa; costa curved; cucullus rounded; fibula present, strong and long with a broader basis. Phallus slender, with a broad, sclerotized cornutus with a blunt tip; at tip of the uneverted vesica a dense group of small, less sclerotised spines. Female genitalia: (Fig. 28 View Figures 28–32 ) Papillae anales simple, with long chaetae. Apophyses posteriores slender, more or less straight; apophyses anteriores about 1.5-times as long as apophyses posteriores, thicker, widest at a triangular bulge at 1/3 length from base, distal half slightly curved dorsad. Antrum simple, sclerotised, broadly funnel-shaped with posterior 2/3 with slightly tapering sides towards anterior, then sharply constricting into the narrower funnel-shaped anterior third that is about as long as broad. A very short membranous section leads to colliculum; colliculum tubular, slightly tapering towards anterior, twice as long as broad, sclerotised except for a broad longitudinal membranous dorsal strip. Ductus bursae membranous, somewhat longer than, and about as wide as colliculum, posterior half leading laterally into a small bulge, then running anteriad, producing an angle in the course of ductus. Ductus ejaculatorius attached at posterior end of ductus bursae, near colliculum. Corpus bursae large, ovate, membranous apart from signum. Signum large, dentate, longitudinally oriented, broadest at half its length, posterior signum arm with concave sides drawn out long into an acute tip, anterior arm broad, concave near to signum centre, convex along distal 2/3, ending in a broad-angled tip.


Only known from the mid-Atlantic island of Saint Helena.


The larval hostplant remains to be determined. The species can be attracted by night with 125 W and 250 W mercury vapour (HQL) lamps. The investigated material consists almost exclusively of females, with only one male present among the 17 specimens, suggesting that males could be less attracted by light. The material was collected at elevations ranging from 380 to 780 m above sea level in various habitats, such as mixed non-native forest, rocky, shrub-rich valleys with small pastures, Ulex -rich shrubland on rocks, vegetation mosaics formed by Phormium tenax and Acacia longifolia , and Dicksonia - Melanodendron thicket of the cloud forest zone.

Genetic data.

A single DNA Barcode (COI-5P) sequence is available of U. delineatalis , published in Mally and Nuss (2011) as part of the 1,434 basepair sequence of the mitochondrial COI gene GenBank accession number JF497043). The DNA Barcode is placed in the BOLD BIN (Barcode Index Number) BOLD:AAC3729 - the same BIN as U. ferrugalis and the Asian U. testacea (Butler, 1879), although all three species are clearly distinguishable morphologically.


Unlike U. hageni , which is endemic to the mid-Atlantic Tristan da Cunha Island, U. delineatalis shows no wing reduction. Apart from U. delineatalis , U. ferrugalis was also recorded from St. Helena (Walker in Melliss 1875), although it has not been found there in the past decades (pers. obs. T. Karisch).