Tuesday 9 January 2018

Elcysma ziroensis: A new species of Burnet Moth from Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Burnet Moths, Zygaenidae, are large, brightly coloured, day-flying Moths found in tropical and temperate regions. They tend to be slow fliers, but have few predators as their bright colours are a warning, with the Moths storing the distasteful and poisonous compound hydrogen cyanide within their bodies. The genus Elcysma currently contains three described species, one from western China, one from Japan and one from the state of Nagaland in northeastern India.

In a paper published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa on 26 December 2017, Punyo Chada of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh, Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi of the Bombay Natural History Society, and James Young of the Hong Kong Lepidoptera Society, describe a new species of Elcysma from Arunachal Pradesh.

The new species is named Elcysma ziroensis, in reference to the town of Ziro, meaning 'from Ziro', the species being described from a single female specimen found on the Talle Wildlife Sanctuary, which is roughly 30 km from Ziro. This specimen has a wingspan of 7 cm, and has a cream colour with black markings on the wings, and prominent large red spot on the forewing.

Elcysma ziroensis, female laying egg showing the papillae anales inserting egg on crack off host plant. Mohammad Arif Hussain in Chada et al. (2017).

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