Philodoria nigrella Walsingham

Blackish Philodoria Moth (Philodoria nigrella)

This species was described in 1907; it was only known from elevations of about 610 m above sea level on the slopes of Mt. Kilauea in the Hilo District on the island of Hawai’i, Hawaiian Islands.

Antennae fuscous, white at the apex. Palpi white, the median joint streaked with fuscous externally, the terminal joint fuscous beneath. Head fuscous; face yellowish white. Thorax blackish. Forewings black, with a slight brownish gloss, a white spot at the extreme base below the middle and three short, outwardly oblique, white dorsal streaks, one near the base reaching to the fold, the second before the middle, crossing the fold, the third, shorter, at about the end of the fold; a little beyond the third dorsal is an oblique, narrow, spatulate leaden gray costal streak, which is succeeded by three white streaks in the costal cilia before the apex; at the apex is a black spot, separated beyond it by leaden gray and below it by chestnut-brown, from a black curved line around the base of the leaden gray cilia which blend with tawny fuscous about the tornus. Exp. al. 9 mm. Hindwing blackish; cilia tawny fuscous. Abdomen blackish, white beneath. Legs blackish, whitish beneath; hind tarsi spotted with whitish.” [1]

The host plant of this species remains unknown.

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The species is known exclusively from the type specimens (two males) that were collected in 1895 and was never found since, it almost for sure is completely extinct now.

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Depiction from: ‘Fauna Hawaiiensis; being the land-fauna of the Hawaiian Islands. by various authors, 1899-1913. Cambridge [Eng.]: The University Press 1913’

(public domain)

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[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 9; Microlepidoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1978
[2] Shigeki Kobayashi; Chris A. Johns; Akito Y. Kawahara: Revision of the Hawaiian endemic leaf-mining moth genus Philodoria Walsingham (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae): its conservation status, host plants and descriptions of thirteen new species. Zootaxa 4944(1): 1-715. 2021

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edited: 15.02.2024