Eagris sabadius ( Gray, 1832 )

Cock, Matthew J. W. & Congdon, T. Colin E., 2011, Observations on the biology of Afro-tropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera) principally from Kenya. Part 2. Pyrginae: Tagiadini 2893, Zootaxa 2893 (1), pp. 1-66 : 9

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https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.2893.1.1

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Eagris sabadius ( Gray, 1832 )


Eagris sabadius ( Gray, 1832) View in CoL

This species occurs as five subspecies on the islands of the Indian Ocean, including the nominate subspecies, sabadius , described from La Réunion ( Gray 1832) and also found on Mauritius ( Evans 1937), and andracne ( Boisduval 1833) from Madagascar ( Evans 1937; Ackery et al. 1995). Subspecies astoria Holland was described from 'East Africa' ( Holland 1896), based on a single male collected on the 1894 expedition of Mr. William Astor Chandler and Lieutenant Ludwig von Höhnel which ascended the Tana River to the Jombene Range northeast of Mt Kenya ( Linell 1896); although specimens from the expedition were not labelled with locality “the greater number of the specimens were taken upon the Jombene Range” ( Holland 1896), and so the type locality is in Kenya. Evans (1937) recognised a second subspecies on mainland Africa: ochreana Lathy, which was described and illustrated from Zomba based on at least one male ( Lathy 1901). It is restricted to Malawi according to Evans, but extends to East Africa according to Carcasson (1981) including the Shimba, Taita and Chyulu Hills in south–east Kenya ( Larsen 1991). Kielland (1990) suggests that ochreana, which is characterised by paler hind wings, is only a form of astoria, and the specimen he illustrates as ochreana seems to be no more than a worn female of astoria, such as I have seen around Nairobi. I have noted that in my reared material from the Kenyan range of ssp. astoria , the males are fairly uniform, but the females have variable hind wing colouring ( Figure 1.4 View FIGURE 1. 1–3 ); larger individuals tend to have paler markings on the upper surface of the hind wing. Based on the material which we have seen and reared in Kenya and Tanzania, there seems to be only subspecies astoria.

In Mauritius, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Malvaceae) is recorded as a food plant by Williams (1989) and Davis & Barnes (1993), while in La Réunion, Guillermet (2010) lists Hibiscus spp. such as H. boryanus , H. rosa-sinensis , H. columnaris (an endangered endemic of La Réunion and Mauritius), Abutilon exstipulare (an endangered La Réunion endemic), Dombeya populnea (Malvaceae) , Litsea glutinosa ( Lauraceae , an Asian species), Molinaea arborea (= M. alternifolia ) ( Sapindaceae ), etc. as food plants. The record from Lauraceae should be confirmed. Guillermet (2010) also illustrates the caterpillar, which appears similar to the final instar of ssp. astoria ( Figure 8 View FIGURE 8 ), but the head is much redder.













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