Alonina rufa, Bartsch, 2013

Bartsch, Daniel, 2013, Revisionary checklist of the Southern African Sesiini (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) with description of new species, Zootaxa 3741 (1), pp. 1-54 : 11-12

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Alonina rufa

new sp.

Alonina rufa new sp.

Figs 21–24, 34, 111

Specimens examined. Holotype: ♂ ( Fig. 22), South Africa, Cape Province, Cape Town , Nov.1885 ( BMNH).

Paratypes: 1 ♀ ( Fig. 34), South Africa, Knysna, R. Trimen leg. (paralectotype of Austrosetia semirufa ) ( BMNH) ; 2 ♂, South Africa, Western Cape Province, vic. Kleinmond, southern slopes of Palmiet Mountains , 200– 300 m, 18.–19.Dec.2005, leg. Freina ( CFM) ; 1 ♂ ( Fig. 23–24) ibid., (gen. prep. Bartsch 2009 –13, Fig. 111) ; 1 ♀ ( Fig. 21) “ Cap , v. Ludw. 37” [ South Africa, Cape, 1828–1837, von Ludwig leg. ( Häuser et al. 2003)] ( SMNS) .

Etymology. Latin rufus (= red).

Description of the male ( Figs 22–24). Wingspan 24.5–36.0 mm, forewing length 10–16 mm, antenna 7.5– 10.0 mm, body 16–23 mm. Head with labial palpus orange, laterally a narrow stripe of black, hair-like scales; frons medially light, laterally dark grey with pearly shine; vertex covered with mixed dark grey and black, hair-like scales; dorsal pericephalic scales dark grey and black, lateral ones white; antenna bright orange-red, spotted with some black, ciliate part brown; flagellum distally and scapus dorsally black. Thorax and abdomen almost black, thorax densely interspersed with grey, hair-like scales; patagia laterally with orange spot; tegula orange-red, medially black, mesothorax laterally with small, orange spot in front of wing base and some dark grey scapular scales; anterior half of tergite 2 and some dorso-anteriorly located scales on tergite 3 pale yellow; posterior margin of tergites 3–7 white, small on tergites 3 and 5–7, broad on tergite 4; basal sternites medially sparsely mottled with orange-red scales, other sternites medially densely orange-red; anal tuft laterally and medio-ventrally orange-red. Fore leg orange-red, coxa medially black, femur black with dorsal edge orange-red; mid- and hind leg black, except extensively orange-red marking of mid femur dorsally, mid tibia laterally, distal two thirds of hind tibia laterally and tarsus of all legs throughout. Forewing with wing base black; costal area and cubitus stem anthracite-grey, costal margin and subcosta with some orange-red scales; dorsum orange-red; discal spot black with narrow orangered distal margin; apical area reddish-brown; longitudinal transparent area sparsely covered with orange-red and anthracite-grey scales; anterior with fine orange longitudinal line indicating position of media stem; external longer than broad, 5-partite, with orange-red veins. Hindwing hyaline; wing base black; margins, veins and discal spot orange; dorsum sparsely covered with orange scales; fringes of all wings black, at hindwing dorsum orange. Underside of wings similar to upper one.

Male genitalia ( Fig. 111). As stated in the genus description. Valva rather narrow, rectangular, dorsally slightly upturned, ventral- and distal margin equally rounded.

Description of the female ( Figs 21, 34). Wingspan 27–36 mm. Head with labial palpus almost orange-red; first palpomere and mesal side of second one dark grey; the third sparsely mottled with dark grey; frons dark grey; vertex black; antenna dorsally black, laterally orange-red. Thorax and abdomen black; anterior half of tegula with orange-red spot in front of forewing base. Legs black; hind tibia medio-laterally with some orange-red scales; mid- and hind tarsomeres mesally and distally orange-red. Forewing proximally orange-red, distally pale orange-brown, sparsely covered with brownish-black; costal area, distal margin, veins and fringes brownish black; wing base and discal spot black; external transparent area very small, tri-partite semitransparent covered with orange scales; hindwing as in male. Genitalia not dissected.

Variation. The males differ slightly in width and extension of the transparent wing areas, the apical area and the white abdominal markings. Fresh specimens have the longitudinal area entirely covered with red scales, which get lost with age and flight.

Diagnosis. A. rufa is somewhat similar to A. pyrethra , A. luteopunctata and A. pyrocraspis . The hindwings are most diagnostic; they have an orange coloured, semitransparent dorsum, which is singular within the species group and orange veins, discal spot and margins (predominantly black in A. luteopunctata and A. pyrocraspis ). The distinct contrast of the orange margins with the black fringes is only true in A. pyrethra , which further differs by the entirely red forewings. The male genitalia of A. rufa differ from that of A. luteopunctata , A. pyrocraspis and A. fusca by the longer and narrower, somewhat more upward bent valva, from A. pyrocraspis additionally by the shorter saccus. A. luteopunctata has the shortest valva of the species group with a unique, small, crista sacculi-like protrusion near the middle of the ventral margin. The genitalia of the female are not dissected. See also diagnosis of A. pyrethra .

Remarks. Only two very old female specimens are known, both of which are in poor condition with bodies largely devoid of scales. The specimen in SMNS ( Fig. 21) is somewhat better preserved. With a wingspan of 36 mm, it is distinctly larger than the one in BMNH ( Fig. 34) with 27 mm. The latter lacks both antennas and the left forewing.

So far Alonina rufa was overlooked or confused with other Sesiidae species. The holotype was formerly described as the male of Alonina pyrethra by Hampson (1919). The female paratype from Knysna (BMNH) was listed as one of the primary types of Austrosetia semirufa by Felder & Felder (1874).


Staatliches Museum fuer Naturkund Stuttgart