Abantis bamptoni Collins & Larsen 1994

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 : 48-50

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

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Abantis bamptoni Collins & Larsen 1994


Abantis bamptoni Collins & Larsen 1994 ( Figures 39–41 View FIGURE 39 View FIGURE 40 View FIGURE 41 )

As Collins & Larsen (1994) have shown, this species was previously confused with A. arctomarginata (above). Abantis bamptoni is known from Mpanda and Tukuyu in Tanzania, and adjoining areas of Malawi (Karonga to Mzuzu); from Zambia including the Kalambo Falls area on the Tanzania border, and from Zimbabwe. The type is a male from Solwezi, northern Zambia from the Dollman collection.

Collins & Larsen (1994) record that A. bamptoni has been reared from Uapaca kirkiana by J.I.W. Mullin and R. Paré near Harare, Zimbabwe – these are the observations recorded as A. arctomarginata in Pringle et al. (1994), where U. nitida (after Paré) and U. sansibarica (after Mullin) are also given as food plants. There is a long reared series from northern Zambia from the Dollman collection in the NHM accessions, which Collins & Larsen (1994) didn’t see. As noted under A. arctomarginata above, the males of A. bamptoni do not seem to hill-top, although those of A. arctomarginata do so.

Dollman (unpublished) found caterpillars principally on “mulundu”, i.e., Uapaca nitida ( Radcliffe-Smith 1996) and later on “musuku” i.e., Uapaca sp. (N.D. Riley in Dollman unpublished) in Zambia. Between September and June, Dollman collected 30 caterpillars in shelters ( Figure 39 View FIGURE 39 ) on mature winter foliage of U. nitida , never on flush foliage, and found that to rear them it was necessary to provide the old foliage, since young foliage was deleterious. TCEC has reared this species on U. kirkiana , U. nitida , and U. sansibarica in Tanzania.

The caterpillars ( Figure 40 View FIGURE 40 ) are similar to that of A. bamptoni painted by Dollman (unpublished) in dorsal view as A. arctomarginata , except that Dollman shows a caterpillar with the ground colour reddish plum, with a darker dorsal line. The caterpillars shown here are very similar to those of A. arctomarginata ( Figure 37 View FIGURE 37 ), but the yellow spots on A1–A8 are slightly more extensive and positioned laterally rather than dorsolaterally. The pupae of these two species are also very similar, but that of A. arctomarginata ( Figure 38 View FIGURE 38 ) has a dark spot at the base of the wing, and small dark markings dorsolaterally and laterally on the abdomen, none of which are present in A. bamptoni ( Figure 41 View FIGURE 41 ).

There are four emerged and two complete dry pupae in NHM, ex Dollman coll. as A. arctomarginata They resemble those shown here; frontal projection short, the distal portion reduced compared to A. paradisea and A. zambesiaca , turned upwards and bifurcate; brown.

Paré (in Pringle et al. 1994) notes that many small caterpillars are taken by small spiders, and tachinid parasitoids “account for numbers in the wild”. The three complete dry pupae from the Dollman collection in the NHM had been parasitized by a small gregarious Hymenoptera , which made exit holes of about 1mm diameter.