Nigilgia browni, Kallies, Axel, 2013

Kallies, Axel, 2013, New and little known Brachodidae from tropical Asia and Papua New Guinea (Lepidoptera, Cossoidea), Zootaxa 3641 (3), pp. 241-259: 257-258

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Nigilgia browni

sp. nov.

Nigilgia browni  sp. nov.

( Figs 24, 25View FIGURES 18 – 27, 32View FIGURES 31 – 32)

Material examined. Holotype. 3, [Australian Territory] “Christmas Id., E. Pacific, XII. 1897, C.W. Andrews, 1898 - 20 / Phycodes  , adjectella Wkr  [sic], Named by Wlsm. / 3500, Wlsm. 1899 ” (BMNH). Paratype. 13, same data as holotype (BMNH).

Etymology. Named in honour of Bob Brown, former leader of the Greens in Australia. Bob is a passionate advocate for the protection of old-growth forests and National Parks in Australia and for the rights of refugees, many currently detained on Christmas Island.

Description (paratype, male, Fig. 24View FIGURES 18 – 27; holotype, male, Fig. 25View FIGURES 18 – 27). Alar expanse 9.5 –10.0 mm. Head: labial palpus minute, grey, basal segment white; frons pearlescent; antennae very short ciliate; proboscis well developed. Thorax: dorsally grey. Forewing: covered with parallel, transverse rows of black scales, each with distinct white tip; scales in fasciae and area of termen without white tips; black, golden-bordered transverse fascia at about 1 / 3; Y-shaped black mark at about 2 / 3; Y-shaped mark with a golden inner border; outer arm of Y-shaped mark with a single golden line extending from subapical area, reaching almost to posterior margin; termen narrowly black, with a few golden scales near lower angle. Hindwing: dark grey with grey fringe. Abdomen: grey dorsally, pale crème ventrally, sternite 5 grey anteriorly, terminal segment grey.

Genitalia. Male (holotype, Gen. Prep. AK 725 / BMNH 32394; paratype Gen. Prep. AK 652 / BMNH 32393, Fig. 32View FIGURES 31 – 32). Valva relatively short, wide, baso-ventral sclerotization of the valva without distinct brush of setae; uncus long, narrow, with prominent tip.

Diagnosis. This species can be distinguished from most congeners that occur in southeastern Asia and Papua New Guinea by its small size and by the white-tipped scales on the forewing, which create the appearance of fine white transverse lines (scales each with a white spot in the centre in most other species, including N. venerea  , N.

anactis  and N. atribractea  sp. nov.). Furthermore, N. browni  sp. nov. differs from N. venerea  by the single golden line that runs along the outer arm of the black transverse Y-shaped mark of the forewing (two golden lines in N. venerea  ), and from N. anactis  by the absence of white speckles in the inner black fascia of the forewing (present in the lower part in N. anactis  ). It also differs from all species mentioned above by the absence of the distinct tuft of bristles at the ventral margin of the valva (present in species compared). N. diehli  from Sumatra possesses whitetipped scales similar to those of N. browni  sp. nov.; however, the former species is much larger (alar expanse 17.5 mm in female) and has a simple transverse fascia in the outer part of the forewing instead of the Y-shaped mark. The male of N. diehli  is unknown.