Felderiola karooensis, 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 : 20-22

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Felderiola karooensis

new sp.

Felderiola karooensis new sp.

Figs 49–51, 79–83, 103, 118, 128

Specimens examined. Holotype: ♂ ( Fig. 49) Namibia, 15–16 km E Helmeringhausen, vic. Lovedale Guestfarm , 1550m, 25°54'44"S, 16°40'15"E, 17.Feb.2010, at pheromone, leg. D. Bartsch & J. Berg ( SMNS). GoogleMaps

Paratypes: 24 ♂ ( Figs 49, 79), 1 ♀ ( Figs 50–51, 80), with the same data as the holotype (1 ♂, gen prep. Bartsch 2010–14, Fig. 118) GoogleMaps ; 19 ♂, 27 ♀, ibid., ex larva, imagines emerged Jul.–Nov.2010, ex Melolobium microphyllum (♂, gen prep. Bartsch 2011–15, Fig. 128; antenna Fig. 103) ( TMPS, SMNS) GoogleMaps ; 3 ♂, Namibia, 13 km ENE Nauchas , 1800 m, 23°35'57"S, 16°24'01"E, 3.Feb.2010, at pheromone GoogleMaps ; 2 ♂, Namibia, vic. Spreetshoogte Pass, Namibgrens Guestfarm , 1800–1820 m, 23°35'–37'S, 16°15'E, 6. Feb.2010, at pheromone, leg. D. Bartsch & J. Berg ( SMNS) ; 1 ♀, [ South Africa] Bloemfontein , 7.Dec.1924, leg. H.E. Irving ( TMPS) ; 1 ♀, South Africa, Cape Province, 14 km south of Kenhardt , 28.Nov.1981, leg. Whitehead ( SAMC) (image by W. Mey, Berlin) ; 1 ♂, 25 km SW Swellendam, Salt-Uferregion , 250 m, 14.Apr.1997 ; 12 ♂, South Africa, Eastern Cape Province, 25 km NW Barkley East, Umg. Lynndale, Kraaririver valley , 1600–1700 m, 9.–10.Dec.2004 ; 3 ♂, ibid., 11.–12.Dec.2004 leg. J.J.de Freina ( CFM) ; 2 ♂, Northern Cape Province, Great Karoo , 40 km NE Victoria West, 1200 m, 19.Nov.2007, leg. D. Bartsch ; 5♂, 1 ♀, South Africa: N.- Cape, 10 km N Kimberley, Dronfield NR, 1215 m, 28°37'05.2"S, 24°48'33.0"E, ex larva 8.Feb.2012, imagines emerged 21.–22.Oct.2012, 13.Apr.2013, 15.May 2013, 1.Aug.2013, ex. Melolobium sp. ( SMNS) GoogleMaps ; 1 ♂ Northern Cape Province, Steylerville , 450 m, 17.Sep.1996, leg. P.S. Roos ( CRH) .

Etymology. This new species is named after the Karoo, a semi-desert natural region of Namibia and South Africa, which largely corresponds to the species’ distribution area.

Description of the male ( Figs 49, 79). Wingspan 20–30 mm, forewing length 8.5–13.0 mm, antenna 6.0–8.5 mm, body 13–19 mm. Head with labial palpus white; second palpomere laterally with narrow black stripe, ventrally some black, short hair-like scales; terminal palpomere mixed black and white; frons white, medially dark grey; vertex black, mottled with some white scales, between antennae respectively antenna and ocellus white; pericephalic scales white, dorsally interspersed with black; antenna black, ventrally covered with reddish-brown scales. Thorax and legs, except for fore leg, black, densely mottled with white, hair-like scales; patagia laterally and scapular spot at forewing base white; fore leg almost white, coxa mesally, other segments dorsally densely mixed with black; mid- and hind leg with coxa and femur framed with white, spurs white; hind tibia with dense tufts of white and some interspersed black, hair-like scales, medio-laterally and distally white; tarsus of all legs dorsally dark grey, ventrally white. Abdomen dorsally black, tergites 1 and 3 mottled with brownish-grey, other tergites with white, at basal tergites hair-like scales; sternites dark grey, densely mottled with white and reddishbrown scales; tergites 4–7 and sternites 2–7 with indistinct, narrow whitish posterior margin; anal tuft black, laterally and ventrally densely mottled with white and reddish-brown. Wings dark blackish-grey; forewing with transparent areas well developed; anterior and longitudinal one relative short, the first medially with fine longitudinal scale line; external one five-partite, somewhat parallelogram-shaped, broader than high; discal spot wedge-shaped, darker than other wing parts; apical area with distal part between vein interspaces somewhat translucent; hindwing hyaline, base and dorsum dark grey; discal spot short, triangular; margins narrow; fringes of all wings somewhat paler grey.

Male genitalia ( Fig. 118). As stated in the genus description. Gnathos simple; valva elongated, rather narrow, upturned, ventral margin evently curved, dorso-distal part of inner surface without thorn-like setae; coecum penis of phallus very long.

Description of the female ( Figs 50–51, 80). Distinctly different from male, with bright yellow markings; usually somewhat larger than the male with wingspan 32–37 mm. Specimens reared from larva, however, are considerably smaller with wingspan 20–27 mm. Head with labial palpus basally whitish-yellow, distally orangeyellow, second palpomere laterally with narrow black stripe, tip of third palpomere black; frons and vertex yellow, frons laterally white mottled with orange; vertex occipitally dark brownish-grey, between antenna and ocellus a small white spot; pericephalic scales yellow. Thorax black, between patagia and wing base yellow, dorsally densely mottled with yellow, except for three narrow, longitudinal black stripes and medial part of tegula; patagia yellow, dorsal part posteriorly black; scapular spot yellow; dorso-lateral scale tufts of metathorax yellow. Abdomen black; segments 1 and 2 with yellow lateral stripe, sternites posteriorly and tergite 2 dorsally yellow, segment four yellow throughout, segments 5 and 6 with broad yellow posterior bands; anal tuft orange-yellow, laterally and ventrodistally mottled with some black scales. Fore leg with coxa whitish-yellow; tegula black, in particular distally mottled whitish-yellow, ventrally as well as first tarsomere pinkish. Mid- and hind leg black; coxa yellow, posteriorly white; femur distally yellow; tibia yellow, basally and subapically black; tarsus of all legs black orange, laterally black; spurs yellow. Wings similar to the male; but darker, forewing with margins of transparent areas, longitudinal scale line of anterior transparent area, veins of external transparent area and vein interspaces of apical area subapically pinkish-red; hindwing black, wing base and dorsum as well as some scales at costal margin and discal spot pinkish-red; underside of all wings dense covered with pink, costal margins yellow; fringes dark grey, at hindwing dorsum yellow.

Female genitalia ( Fig. 128). As characterized in the genus description. Ostium very wide; ductus bursae narrow; ductus seminalis diverges clearly separated from bursa copulatrix.

Variation. Older male specimens appear darker due to loss of the paler scales of the abdomen.

Diagnosis. Somewhat similar to Felderiola candescens , from which F. karooensis is easily distinguished by the larger transparent areas, the presence of a longitudinal transparent area, the smaller discal spot and the narrower margins of the hindwings. Males differ further by the lack of pinkish-red scales of the body and by the unilaterally pectinate antenna, females by the more extensive yellow coloration of the body and the yellow (not pink) fringe of the hindwing dorsum. The male genitalia differ from that F. candescens by the lack of strongly pointed, lateral projections of the gnathos; the more elongate valva without medial enlargement of the ventral margin, the lack of thorn-like setae of the dorso-distal part of the inner surface and by the longer coecum penis of the phallus; the female genitalia by the wider ostium and the distinctly narrower ductus bursae.

Bionomics, distribution and habitat ( Figs 81–83). The life history of Felderiola karooensis closely resembles that of F. candescens . The host plant in central Namibia is Melolobium microphyllum ( Fabaceae ) ( Fig. 83) (det. T. Jossberger & S. Seybold), a small, spiny shrub mostly growing on somewhat disturbed places such as way margins or dry fallen creeks. The other 13 species of Melolobium ( Harvey & Sander 1894) are also possible hosts. Several larvae often bore together in the upper part of the swollen root, in most cases causing the death of the plant. Fully grown they construct a rather strong exit tube up to the surface. Hatching of the adults takes place during a long period, which minimally extends from September to April. From fully grown laevae found in February one male emerged in May and one female in August of the following year. Adults, pupae, fully grown and young larvae were found together at the same locality in the middle of February. The males were frequently attracted to artificial pheromones from the late morning to the afternoon. A female was observed depositing eggs at the upper part of the host in the early afternoon. Felderiola karooensis seems widely distributed and locally frequent in the south-west of Africa from the cape region, across the Karoos and Namaqualand to central Namibia. The eastern most populations are known from Kimberley and the vicinity of Bloemfontein.


Staatliches Museum fuer Naturkund Stuttgart


Iziko Museums of Cape Town


Centre de Recherche en Hydrobiologie