Chondrolepis uluguru Larsen & Congdon, 2012,

Cock, Matthew J. W. & Congdon, T. Colin E., 2014, Observations on the biology of Afrotropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera). Part 7. Hesperiinae incertae sedis: grass and bamboo feeders, Zootaxa 3872 (4), pp. 301-354: 334-335

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Chondrolepis uluguru Larsen & Congdon, 2012


Chondrolepis uluguru Larsen & Congdon, 2012 

This species was discovered by an ABRI expedition in forest margins near Nyachilo village on the southern edge of the North Uluguru  Mountains, Tanzania, in 2004; it seems most closely related to C. obscurior De Jong  from the Udzungwa Mountains, south of the Ulugurus ( Larsen & Congdon 2012).

Life history

The food plant is a member of the Setaria palmifolia  complex (although this grass has been identified as S. palmifolia  , we refer to the S. palmifolia  complex, since the Asian S. palmifolia  should not occur in the region, and is difficult to distinguish from African members of the complex: S. sulcata  and S. megaphylla  , particularly when not flowering (Clayton 1979 )). Early stages were found on plants growing along paths and roadsides on forest edges. TCEC and colleagues did not find it on any of the other grasses growing nearby. Caterpillars construct their shelters by rolling the distal part of a leaf, and feeding basally to this, leaving the midrib bare.

Early instars are green with a black head. In the final instar caterpillar, the head is oval, indent at vertex; matt, rugose; brown, with the posterior margin dark; wider basally, and sutures on face slightly darker; covered with scattered short, pale, erect setae. Pronotum narrowly dark, divided at dorsum. Body dull, translucent pale greenish white; transverse ridges or folds visible in posterior half of segments; dorsal line darker; yellow Malpighian tubules visible in posterior half; covered with scattered short, pale, erect setae; anal plate with slight brown tint; all legs concolorous; spiracles pale.

The pupa ( Figure 35View FIGURE 35) is formed in the final leaf shelter. There is no white waxy powder on the pupa or lining the shelter. The pupa is cylindrical, with a short, blunt frontal projection; proboscis extends to end of cremaster; erect brown setae on anterior and posterior parts of eye, dorsally on thorax, and weaker on abdomen; colour rather uniform pale brown, except brown spiracle T 1.