Open Access
How to translate text using browser tools
1 June 2015 Two New Species of Genus Zadadra Moore (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae) from India
Rahul Joshi, Jagbir Singh Kirti, Navneet Singh
Author Affiliations +

Two new species of Lithosiini (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae), Zadadra cucullata sp. nov., and Zadadra neodistorta sp. nov., are described from India. In addition, a dichotomous key to all the Zadadra Moore species is given.

Moore (1878) erected the monotypic genus Zadadra to accommodate Lithosia distorta Moore, 1872 from Darjeeling (India). Hampson (1894) treated Zadadra as a junior synonym of Prabhasa Moore, and subsequently Eilema Hübner (Hampson, 1900), respectively, and Strand (1922) followed the latter placement. Daniel (1954) resurrected the genus Zadadra Moore with sole included species, distorta Moore and extended its known distribution range into China. Arora & Chaudhary (1982) also considered Zadadra as a distinct and monotypic genus. Fang (2000) transferred three species to the genus: Prabhasa fuscistriga (Hampson, 1894), P. plumbeomicans (Hampson, 1894), and P. costalis (Moore, 1878) and also diagnosed the male genitalia of Z. distorta Moore. However, Holloway (2001) synonymized the genus with Eilema Hübner, whereas Černý & Pinratana (2009) treated it as synonym of Prabhasa Moore. Once again, Dubatolov & Zolotuhin (2011) resurrected Zadadra and transferred Z. plumbeomicans (Hampson) to the genus Prabhasa. So presently, the genus Zadadra Moore includes three species, Z. distorta Moore, Z. fuscistriga (Hampson) and Z. costalis (Moore, 1878). In this paper, we describe two new species, Z. cucullata sp. nov. and Z. neodistorta sp. nov., bringing the total number of included species to five. Both the new species are closely allied to the type of Zadadra Moore, but are distinct due to the characters discussed in remarks. The photographs of adult and male genitalia of Z. distorta Moore is provided for comparison. A dichotomous key to the known Zadadra species is also given.

Materials and Methods

The studied material was collected using a vertical sheet light trap. The collected specimens were processed using standard techniques in lepidopterology. Klots (1970) and Robinson (1976) were followed for the study of genitalia. Adult moths were photographed using a digital camera, and photography of male genitalia was undertaken with the help of an Image Processing Unit (Leica M205A fitted with a Leica DFC 500 digital camera). The identification of Z. distorta (Moore) (Fig. 11–13) is confirmed by comparing our specimens with the photograph of its syntype received from Dr. Alessandro Giusti, Curator - Lepidoptera, NHM, London (Fig. 14) and comparison of male genitalia with figures of Fang (2000) and Dubatolov & Zolotuhin (2011). The holotypes and all paratypes of the new species are deposited in the Department of Zoology & Environmental Sciences Museum, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, and have been allotted registration numbers as noted under each species.


We used the following abbreviations: AED: Aedeagus, CU: Cucullus, DU.EJ: Ductus ejaculatorius, JX: Juxta, PUP/ RJ: Punjabi University, Patiala/ Rahul Joshi collection, SA: Saccus, SL: Sacculus, SL.: Saccular projection, TG: Tegumen, UN: Uncus, VES: Vesica, VIN: Vinculum, VLA: Valvula.

Results and Discussion

Genus Zadadra Moore

  • Moore, 1878, Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1878: 25.


    Lithosia distorta Moore, 1872 (by monotypy)


    India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal.


    Genus Zadadra Moore is closely allied to genus Prabhasa Moore. The main synapomorphic characters for both the genera are reduced juxta and transtilla forming an arch above aedeagus. But are distinct due to uncus long and narrow and sacculus and cucullus wide in Zadadra Moore and uncus slightly S-curved; sacculus almost fused by their ventral edges, their apices upturned; cucullus noticeably shorter than sacculus in Prabhasa Moore (Dubatolov & Zolotuhin, 2011).

  • Figs. 1–5.

    Zadadra cucullata sp. nov. 1, Adult male. 2, Male genitalia. 3, Uncus with Tegumen. 4, Valva. 5, Aedeagus.


    Zadadra cucullata Joshi, Kirti & Singh sp. nov. (Figs. 1–5)


    MALE: Adult (Fig. 1). Head with frons yellow; vertex brown. Antennae greyish- yellow. Labial palpi with tip black. Thorax with patagia and tegulae grey. Forewing fuscous grey; costa yellowish towards base; a groove above cell; indistinct medial band. Hindwing pale yellow with terminal area pale fuscous, androconial patch from antemedial to medial region. Abdomen grey with ventral surface and anal tuft yellow.

    Male genitalia (Fig. 2, 3). Uncus slender, broad at base, narrow towards apex; tegumen as long as uncus, broad U-shaped; vinculum longer than tegumen, deep, U-shaped; saccus knob-like. Valvae (Fig. 4) broad, extending much beyond uncus; cucullus broad, lamellate; sacculus broad, valvula short, curved; a small harpe present. Transtilla membranous. Aedeagus (Fig. 5) moderately long, slightly curved, apically narrow with a short spine; vesica membranous, cornutus absent; ductus ejaculatorius entering laterally.

    Wing span. Male 34–36 mm.



    HOLOTYPE: 1 male INDIA. Nagaland, Tuenseng, 1600 m, 03.V.2010. (Registration number: PUP/RJ -141). PARATYPES: 3 males INDIA. Sikkim, Aritar, 1400 m, 30.IV.2009 -3♂ (Coll. R Joshi). (Registration numbers: PUP/RJ -142a; PUP/RJ -142b; PUP/RJ -142c)

    DISSECTED SPECIMEN: PUP/RJ -142a; Slide no. Gen. ♂ PUP/RJ -142a


    Tuensang (Nagaland, India)


    The name of the new species refers to its distinct shape of cucullus.


    Morphologically, the new species differs from Z. distorta (Moore) and Z. neodistorta sp. nov. in the absence of a post medial spot and a yellow fascia on the forewing costa. The male genital features of a broad and lamellate cucullus and the presence of a harpe also separates Z. cucullata sp. nov. from Z. neodistorta sp. nov. and Z. distorta Moore. Furthermore, Z. cucullata sp. nov. is distinct from Z. costalis (Moore) and Z. fuscistriga (Hampson) in the presence of an androconial patch on hindwing.

    Zadadra neodistorta Joshi, Kirti & Singh sp. nov. (Figs. 6–10)



    Adult (Fig. 6). Head with frons blackish; vertex dull orange. Antennae black, base yellow. Labial palpi black at tips. Thorax with patagia and tegulae grey. Forewing fuscous grey; costal area ochreous, suffused with fulvous; a costal spot beyond middle, with an obscure obliquely curved fuscous band from the spot to inner margin; inner margin narrowly ochreous, termen obtuse. Hindwing pale yellow, tinged with fuscous towards apex; androconial patch fuscous, not reaching beyond discal cell. Abdomen grey with ventral surface and anal tuft orange.

    Male genitalia (Fig. 7, 8 and 9). Uncus swollen at base, tip blunt, sparsely setosed; tegumen longer than uncus, inverted V-shaped; vinculum broad, shorter than tegumen; saccus wide and rounded. Valvae with costa linear; cucullus like halters; valvula sclerotized, sickle shape; sacculus shorter than costa, saccular process broad and elevated in front. Juxta strong spine like; transtilla sclerotized, eye-like. Aedeagus (Fig. 10) slightly S shape; vesica membranous without cornuti; ductus ejaculatorius entering laterally.

    Wing span. Male 38 mm



    HOLOTYPE: 1 male INDIA. Sikkim, Rongli, 1400 m, 05.V.2009. (Registration number: PUP/RJ - 143a). PARATYPES: 2 males INDIA. Sikkim, Rongli, 1400 m, 05.V.2009 - 2♂. (Coll. R Joshi). (Registration numbers: PUP/RJ - 143b; PUP/RJ - 143c)

  • DISSECTED SPECIMEN: PUP/RJ -143a; Slide no. Gen. ♂ PUP/RJ -143a


    Rongli (Sikkim, India)


    Name of the species pertains to its allied species, Z. distorta (Moore).


    Morphologically, Z. neodistorta sp. nov., resembles Z. distorta (Moore) but can be differentiated by the presence of a narrow costal fascia on the forewing, and the smaller androconial patch on the hindwing of the males. The distinct male genital features of neodistorta sp. nov. are: cucullus halter like and the saccular process is sickle shaped, without any projection on the inner side. Whereas, in Z. distorta Moore the cucullus is uniformly broad & tube- like and the saccular process is short and thick with a projection on the inner side. The new species also differs from Z. cucullata sp. nov. in the presence of a costal spot on the forewing (absent in Z. cucullata). Furthermore, the presence of an androconial patch on the hindwing of the male separates it from the other two species, Z. costalis (Moore) and Z. fuscistriga (Hampson).

  • Figs. 6–10.

    Zadadra neodistorta sp. nov. 6, Adult male.7, Male genitalia.8, Uncus with Tegumen. 9, Valva.10, Aedeagus.


    Figs. 11–13.

    Zadadra distorta (Moore)11, Adult male. 12, Male genitalia. 13, Aedeagus.


    Fig. 14.

    Zadadra distorta (Moore) Syntype ♂.


    An updated key to the known species of Zadadra Moore

    1 .Hindwing of male with an androconial patch 2.

    —. Hindwing of male without androconial patch 4

    2. Forewing without post medial costal spot; male genitalia with cucullus broad and flap like Z. cucullata sp. nov.

    —. Forewing with post medial costal spot; male genitalia with cucullus narrow and rod like 3

    3. Hindwing with androconial patch short; male genitalia with cucullus halter like and valvula sclerotized, sickle-shape, without any projection on inner side Z. neodistorta sp. nov.

    —. Hindwing with androconial patch long; male genitalia with cucullus uniformly thick and valvula short, thick with a projection on inner side Z. distorta (Moore)

    4. Forewing with post medial costal spot; male genitalia with uncus broad at base narrowing towards tip, distal saccular process smooth and slightly curved Z.costalis (Moore)

    —. Forewing without post medial costal spot; male genitalia with uncus swollen at tip, distal saccular process of valvae wavy and strongly angled Z. fuscistriga (Hampson)


    The authors are thankful to Dr. Alessandro Giusti, Curator - Lepidoptera, NHM, London for providing the photograph of syntype of Z. distorta Moore. We thank Dr Ian J. Kitching, Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London and Dr Lauri Kaila, Finnish Museum of Natural History, Finland for going through an earlier version of the manuscript. The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, New Delhi is duly acknowledged for providing financial assistance in the form of two major research projects on ‘Taxonomic Revision of Indian Arctiidae’.

    References Cited


    GS Arora , M Chaudhury . 1982. On the lepidopterous fauna of Arunachal Pradesh & adjoining areas of Assam in North-East India: family Arctiidae. Technical Monograph of the Zoological Survey of India 6: 1–65. Google Scholar


    K Cerny , A Pinratana . 2009. Moths of Thailand, Vol. 6, Arctiidae. Brothers of Saint Gabriel in Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand. Google Scholar


    F Daniel . 1954. Beitrage zur Kenntnis der Arctiidae ostasiens unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Ausbeuten von Dr. H. C. H. Höne aus diesem Gebiet (Lep. Het.). III Teil: Lithosiinae. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 5: 89–138. Google Scholar


    VV Dubatolov , VV Zolotuhin . 2011. Does Eilema Hübner [1819] (Lepidoptera: Lithosiinae) represent one or several genera? Euroasian Entomological Journal 10: 367–380. Google Scholar


    C Fang . 2000. Fauna Sinica Insecta, Vol. 19 (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae), Science Press, Beijing, China. Google Scholar


    GF Hampson . 1894. Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma, Moths, Vol. II. Taylor and Francis, Red Line Court, London. Google Scholar


    GF Hampson . 1900. Catalogue of the Lepidoptera Phalaenae in the British Museum. Arctiadae (Nolinae, Lithosianae) Vol. II. Trustees of the British Museum, London. Google Scholar


    JD Holloway . 2001. The Moths of Borneo: Family Arctiidae, Subfamily Lithosiinae. Malayan Nature Journal 7: 279–486. Google Scholar


    AB Klots . 1970. Lepidoptera. Pp. 115–130 In S.L. Tuxen [ed.], Taxonomist's glossary of genitalia in insects. Munksgaard, Copenhagen. Google Scholar


    F Moore . 1872. Descriptions of new Indian Lepidoptera. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1872: 555–582. Google Scholar


    F Moore . 1878. A revision of certain genera of European and Asiatic Lithosiidae, with characters of new genera and species. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1878: 3–37. Google Scholar


    GS Robinson . 1976. The preparation of slides of Lepidoptera genitalia with special reference to Microlepidoptera. Entomologist's Gazette 27: 127–132. Google Scholar


    E Strand . 1922. Arctiidae: Subfam. Lithosiinae, pp. 501–899 In H. Wagner [ed.], Lepidopterorum Catalogus. 26, Berlin. Google Scholar
    Rahul Joshi, Jagbir Singh Kirti, and Navneet Singh "Two New Species of Genus Zadadra Moore (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae) from India," Florida Entomologist 98(2), 536-540, (1 June 2015).
    Published: 1 June 2015
    clave dicotómica
    dichotomous key
    external genitalia
    genitales externos
    new species
    nuevas especies
    Back to Top