Delorhachis zambica Taberer, Fiebig, Giusti and László, 2023

Taberer, Tabitha R., Fiebig, Ralf, Giusti, Alessandro & László, Gyula M., 2023, Taxonomic revision of the genus Delorhachis Karsch 1896 (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae), Journal of Natural History 57 (1 - 4), pp. 54-129 : 90-91

publication ID 10.1080/00222933.2022.2157346


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scientific name

Delorhachis zambica Taberer, Fiebig, Giusti and László

sp. nov.

Delorhachis zambica Taberer, Fiebig, Giusti and László sp. nov. ( Figures 37–39 View Figures 31–45 ,

83, 11 5–116 View Figures 67–90 View Figures 1–15 View Figures 16–30 View Figures 31–45 View Figures 46–57 View Figures 58–66 View Figures 91–96 View Figures 97–102 View Figures 103–108 View Figures 109–114 View Figures 115–120 , 154 View Figures 133–156 )

Holotype. Male , ′ ZAMBIA 1179 m | Bruce-Miller Farm, Choma | 16°38′12̍S, 27°01′30″E | 28. ii-8.iii.2019 MV Light Trap | Dérozier, V., Imakando, M., | Miles, W., Mulvaney, L. Leg. | ANHRT:2019.5″ || ANHRTUK | 00210196 || ′ Gen. slide No. | TT 077 | prep. by T. R. Taberer ̍ ( ANHRT).

Paratypes. DRC. 1 male, Katanga, Ruwe , February 1957, Allard, R .V . leg .; 1 male, Elisabethville , January 1949, Seydel, C . leg . ( RMCA). Malawi. 2 males, Mtangatanga Forest Reserve , Mzimba District, 1615 m, 11.928°S, 33.700°E, 24 December 2015, Murphy, R GoogleMaps .J GoogleMaps . leg., gen. slide no. NHMUK 010317407 View Materials , QR code nos . NHMUK 014200544 View Materials , 014200607 View Materials ( NHMUK) . Zambia. 2 males, Kapishya Hot Springs, Shiwa N ̍gandu Estate , 1437 m, 11.170°S, 31.600°E, January – March GoogleMaps .2016, M.T. Harvey Coll., Smith, R., Takano, H. leg., ANHRT:2017.29, gen. slide no. TT 078, unique IDs: ANHRTUK 00225213, 00225216; 1 male, same site, January–March 2017, M.T. Harvey Coll., Miles, W., Oram, D., Smith, L. leg., ANHRT:2017.30, gen. slide no. TT 043, unique ID: ANHRTUK 00211568; 1 male, Lumangwe Falls, Kalugwishi River , 1187 m, 9.543°S, 29.388°E, 4–7 February 2019, Dérozier, V GoogleMaps ., Mulvaney, L GoogleMaps ., Smith, R., Takano, H. leg ., ANHRT: 2019.4, unique ID: ANHRTUK 00229501 ( ANHRT); 1 male, Mumbwa , 25 February 1957, Dening, R .C . leg. ( NHMUK).


Male external morphology. Fore wing length 10–11.5 mm. Head and collar bright orange, antenna bipectinate in basal fourth, otherwise filiform, colour as of head. Thorax and tegula uniformly chestnut brown dorsally, with a white longitudinal streak posterior-medially. Legs bright orange. Abdomen bright orange dorsally, yellowish laterally and brownish ventrally. Fore wing short, broad, triangular, with rounded apex; ground colour rusty-brown, veins contrasting black in postmedial area. Medio-ventral fascia white, circular or oval-shaped, margined with black on both proximal and distal edge. Fringe long, slightly darker than ground colour. Hind wing pale brown with beige area along anal margin, veins sometimes highlighted with brown. Underside of wing: fore wing light brown, hind wing beige without markings, fringe same as ground colour.

Female. Unknown.

Male genitalia. Uncus moderately long, tapered, pointed apically. Tegumen broad. Gnathos very broad, weakly sclerotised, rounded. Juxta very short and rounded with two short, ventral, ribbon-like distal processes; manica with a bunch of numerous, fine, relatively short, straight pseudocornuti. Vinculum short, rounded. Valva moderately broad, triangular, with more or less straight margins, apex with very small rounded distal process. Phallus medium-length, thin, medially very slightly bent, with sclerotised, apically pointed ventral surface in its basal half. Vesica membranous without cornuti.


This species is a closely related allopatric sibling of D. kilosa , showing only minor differences in the genital morphology, expressed by the slightly longer and slimmer valva of D. zambica . Despite the high similarity in the male genitalia, the distinctive features are obvious in external morphology where the fore wings and abdomen are a deeper brown in D. zambica , and the abdomen possesses a wider longitudinal white streak compared to D. kilosa . The fore wing fascia of the new species is larger, white, and circular or ovoid, whilst in D. kilosa this feature is smaller, cream to Veronese green, and triangular.

Genetic information

This species was not sampled for DNA barcoding.


The species name is in reference to Zambia, where the species is most abundant, inhabiting the extensive Miombo woodlands of the Zambian Plateau.

Distribution and habitat ( Figures 169 View Figures 165–170 , 185 View Figure 185 )

Delorhachis zambica has been found from south DRC, Malawi and Zambia, in areas dominated by miombo and scrub woodland. It appears to be separated from D. kilosa by the western branch of the Rift Valley, a biogeographic barrier inducing allopatric speciation which has seemingly driven noticeable divergences in external morphology of the two species but less so in male genitalia. Further genetic studies are required to assess the genetic divergence between these sibling species.


Royal Museum for Central Africa


Natural History Museum, London













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