Felderiola candescens ( Felder & Felder, 1874 )

Bartsch, Daniel, 2013, Revisionary checklist of the Southern African Sesiini (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) with description of new species, Zootaxa 3741 (1), pp. 1-54 : 19-20

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Felderiola candescens ( Felder & Felder, 1874 )


Felderiola candescens ( Felder & Felder, 1874) rev. comb. ( Trochilina )

Figs 43–48, 88, 96, 117, 127.

Literature. Felder & Felder 1874: 9, pl. 82; Boisduval 1875 [imprint “1874”]: 462 ( Sesia ); Hampson 1919: 58 ( Monopetalotaxis ); Dalla Torre & Strand 1925: 7 ( Monopetalotaxis ); Gaede 1929: 520 ( Monopetalotaxis ); Heppner & Duckworth 1981: 42 ( Monopetalotaxis ); Vári, Kroon & Krüger 2002: 67 ( Monopetalotaxis ); Pühringer & Kallies 2004: 44 ( Monopetalotaxis ).

Specimens examined. Syntype: 1 ♀ ( Fig. 45) Africa mer. Knysna, Trimen leg. ( BMNH) .

Additional specimens examined: 1 ♂, W-Cape, Uitsig-farm near Clanwilliam, 31°58.3’S, 19°07.2E, 380 m, larva reared 29.Nov.1996, adult 1.–3.Jan.1997, Neser, Oberprieler & Stiller, emerged from stems [...] of rooibos tea [...] GoogleMaps ; 1 ♀, Willow More Brauns , 10.Feb.1921, Janse ; 1 ♂ ( Figs 43–44; wing venation Fig. 88), 1 ♀ ( Figs 46–47), South Africa, Orange Free State, Bethlehem , 450 m, ex larva, imago emerged 17.Sep.1996, leg. P.S. Roos (gen. prep. Bartsch 2009 –27; 2009–28, Figs 117, 127) ( CRH) .

Similar as in Austrosetia semirufa no information to the number of specimens was given in the original description. Thus, the only single female, which was found in the BMNH is here regarded a syntype. It is demaged, the thorax is broken, the legs and the tip of the right antenna are missing.

Description of the male ( Figs 43–44). Wingspan 27–35 mm, forewing length 12–15 mm, antenna 8–9 mm, body 16–18 mm. Head with labial palpus white, second palpomere mesally and laterally with narrow black stripe, interspersed with some pinkish-red scales; frons bright white, upper part with some dark grey scales medially and a few pinkish-red scales near base of antenna; scales of vertex and pericephalic scales interspersed with black and brown, the latter laterally white; male antenna ( Fig. 96) with rami short, extremely compact, nearly as broad as segment, covered with minute ciliae, causing the impression of a broad somewhat flattened ventrally velvety antenna. Thorax black, densely mixed with white and pinkish-red scales; pro- and mesothorax laterally with narrow, white patch, which extends from patagia to forewing base; dorso-lateral scale tufts of metathorax mixed black, white and pinkish-red, lateral scale tufts pale whitish-brown. Abdomen black, tergites 2, 4–7 and sternites scarcely interspersed with white and pinkish-red, partially hair-like scales; tergite 2 with broad white anterior margin; tergites 2 and 4–7 with narrow white posterior margin; anal tuft black. Legs black, sparsely mixed with white and pinkish-red scales; dorsal edge of femur of all legs as well as fore coxa laterally and hind tibia dorsomedially white; hind tibia with tufts of dark grey, hair-like scales; spurs grey. Wings brownish-black; forewing with veins, margins of transparent areas and distal part of apical area between the veins more or less suffused with pinkish-red; wing base distally with narrow, pinkish-red spot; longitudinal transparent area very short and narrow or absent, anterior transparent area short, exterior transparent area 4-partite, higher than broad, somewhat parallelogram-shaped. Hindwing with margins and discal spot broad, wing base and dorsum black.

Male genitalia ( Fig. 117). As stated in the genus description. Gnathos laterally with strongly pointed projections; valva ovoid, somewhat upturned, ventral margin medially roundly enlarged, dorso-distal part of inner surface sparsely covered with short, bristle-like setae.

Redescription of the female ( Figs 46–48). Larger and much stronger than the male. Two differently coloured forms are known, a bright yellow banded one with extensively pinkish-red suffused wings and an almost black one with more or less reduced markings; intermediate forms may exist. The yellow form has labial palpus yellow, distally interspersed with pinkish-red, a black stripe laterally; frons yellow, medially dark grey, laterally white; vertex yellow with some dark grey scales; antenna black, some yellow proximally and pinkish-red ventrally. Thorax black subdorsally with two yellow lines; mesal margin of tegula yellow; prothorax laterally as well as scale tufts of metathorax yellow. Abdomen with tergites 1 and 3 black; tergite 1 laterally with yellow patch; margins of tergites 2 and 4 anteriorly broad yellow and posteriorly fine black; tergites 3 and 5 each medially with a large yellow patch; tergites 5 and 6 with pale yellow posterior margins; sternites 1 and 2 black; sternite 2 medially, other sternites yellow throughout; anal tuft black, dorso-medially broad and laterally narrow orange-yellow. Legs black; fore coxa pale yellow; fore tibia orange-yellow; mid tibia with proximal half and distally yellow; hind tibia mediolaterally yellow and distally with narrow yellow ring; tarsomeres of all legs dorso-distally pinkish-red. The pinkishred colouration of the wings is much more extensive than in male. The black form has legs and abdomen black, anal tuft dorso-medially yellow; pinkish-red colouration of the wings reduced, except for apical area.

Female genitalia ( Fig. 118). As specified in the genus description. Ostium rather narrow; ductus bursae wide; ductus seminalis diverges near bursa copulatrix.

Diagnosis. See F. karooensis .

Bionomics and habitat. Felderiola candescens is well known as a pest of Rooibos ( Aspalathus linearis , Fabaceae ). Often several larvae together bore in a single root, causing dry stems or the death of the host. Infestation is indicated by pale yellow expelled dust, adhering to the root. Fully grown larvae construct a short exit tube from frass and silk. Pupation takes place inside the gallery. Before hatching, the pupa emerges between the stem bases of the host, where the exhuvia can be found later ( Pretorius 2008; Hatting, Brand & Damavandian 2011; Toševski pers. com.).


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