Ampittia kilombero Larsen & Congdon, 2012,

Cock, Matthew J. W. & Congdon, Colin E., 2012, Observations on the biology of Afrotropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera) principally from Kenya. Part 4. Hesperiinae: Aeromachini and Baorini, Zootaxa 3438, pp. 1-42: 4-5

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.246331

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Ampittia kilombero Larsen & Congdon, 2012


Ampittia kilombero Larsen & Congdon, 2012  ( Figures 4–5View FIGURE 4View FIGURE 5)

This newly described species is only known from two colonies in the Kilombero  Valley at the south-eastern end of the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania ( Larsen & Congdon 2012). It seems to be a species of open wetland, where the food plant is an unidentified fine-leaved grass. The caterpillar ( Figure 4View FIGURE 4) is green with a pale lateral line, dark speckles T 2–3 and anal plate; a narrow black dorsal plate T 1; a pale brown head with dark brown markings—very different from that of A. capenas  ( Figure 2View FIGURE 2); pale brown spiracles. The spiracles visible on A 7 –A 8 in Figure 4.4 are distinctly projecting; we have not noticed spiracles of this form in any other Hesperiidae  . The pupa is cylindrical, white, with pale brown spiracles ( Figure 5View FIGURE 5). Like that of A. capenas  , it has two frontal projections, but directed anterolaterally, not laterally. As for A. capenas  , the pupa was formed in a closed grass leaf tube and attached at the cremaster. It was most inconspicuous, the blade having been partially severed so that the portion containing the pupa was hanging down.


Larsen & Congdon (2012) considered whether the African and Asian Ampittia  spp. were truly congeneric, and somewhat to their surprise concluded that they were, based on characters of the male genitalia and the unusual double frontal projections of the pupae. Nevertheless, this is not a character unique to Ampittia  , as we have observed a similar structure in Gorgyra  spp. ( Hesperiinae  , incertae sedis) and several species of the Cyperaceaefeeding Australian genus Hesperilla  ( Trapezitinae  ) have pupae with two frontal projections ( Common & Waterhouse 1981).