Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | 26 September 2022 | 14(9): 21898–21899
ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print)
#8064 | Received 19 June 2022 | Final received 23 August 2022 | Finally accepted 24 August 2022
First record of the swallowtail moth Epiplema adamantina Inoue, 1998 (Lepidoptera: Uraniidae: Epipleminae) from western Himalaya, India
Lekhendra 1 & Arun Pratap Singh 2
1,2 Forest Entomology Branch, Forest Protection Division, Forest Research Institute, P.O. New Forest, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248006, India.
The genus Epiplema of Swallowtail moths was described by Herrich-Schäffer in 1855 and 22 species of this genus are so far known from southeastern and eastern Asia (India, Myanmar, China, Java, Sumatra, Sri Lanka, Borneo, and Japan) (Hampson 1895). Recently, Epiplema adamantina Inoue, 1998 was described from Nepal (Holotype: male; 08.v.1993; village Bagmati, Mt. Phulchowki; 2,732 m) and three paratypes (2 females; 25.vii.1992 & 19.v.1993; village Godavari and 1 female; 29. x.1986; village Janakpur) from eastern Nepal (Haruta 1998). The habitat around these sites comprises of ‘moist temperate forest’ mainly with tree species like Quercus amellose, Q. lanata, Q. semecarpifolia, and Rhododendron arboreum. After its description there is only one unconfirmed record of the species from Great Himalayan National Park from Himachal Pradesh state, India from a subtropical Himalayan Chir Pine forest(9/c1b) at 1,515 m (Chandra et al. 2019). However, specimen details, site and date of record are not given.
Identification and distinguishing features of E. adamantina with congeners: “Hind wing has slender tails at vein 4 and 7. The wings are red-brown above, forewing has dark brown ante and post median lines strongly angled at middle, a dark patch inside of the latter at hind margin, a sub-terminal dotted fascia between apex and the angle. Hind wings have a discal dash or dot, post median line strongly angled at vein 4, its inside shaped with dark brown and its outside margined with a slender yellowish line, there are one two small yellowish marks between the tails. Length of forewing varied from 12 mm (male) to 15 mm (female) (Image 1).
The species can be confused with E. morataria Leech, 1897 found in western China, as both are superficially similar, but upper side of E. morataria the wings are less dark, sub-terminal blackish mark from apex to angle is much slender and is spotted in cellules while the underside is much paler with stronger post-median lines and hindwings are yellowish (Haruta 1998). The species can also be confused with Epiplema arcuata Warren, 1896 that also occurs in Eastern Nepal [village Jiri (Janakpur); 1 female collected by T. Haruta on 24–27.vii.1993 (Haruta 1998); E. arcuata was also recorded by authors in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand [village Mandal; 1,740 m; 30.466 N &79.262 E; 23.xi.2021; Temp. 10°C; RH 60%; 12/C1a Ban oak forest). In comparison to E. adamantina, this species has a significantly darker striae near the apex on the forewing; ante and post medial lines are less dark; discal area of hind wing is pale expanding up to the tails; and the discal dash or dot on the hindwing is absent (Image 2).
Present record: One individual E. adamantina (Image 1; female) was recorded on a moth screen being attracted at night by a CFL lamp at Bataghat near Mussoorie (2,113 m; Temp.: 19.9 °C & Relative humidity: 84%; 30.455 N &78.776 E, Mussoorie Forest Division) in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand, India during the late monsoon season (15.ix.2020). The forest type in the area is mainly ‘12/C1a Ban oak forest ‘(Champion & Seth 1968) being dominated by tree species like Quercus leucotrichophora, along with associates Cedrus deodara, Pinus roxburghii, Rhododendron arboreum, Myrica esculenta and Cornus capitata.
This record from Mussoorie is the first confirmed record of this species from the western Himalaya outside Nepal, which is ~800 km west from village Bagmati, Mt. Phoolchauki in eastern Nepal, the nearest known site record of this species. The species prefers to fly during the monsoon season in moist temperate oak forest zone of western and central Himalaya.
Champion, H.G. & S.K. Seth (1968). A Revised Survey of the Forest Types of India. Government of India, Delhi, 404 pp.
Chandra, K., V. Kumar, N. Singh, A. Raha & A.K. Sanyal (2019). Assemblages of Lepidoptera in Indian Himalaya through Long Term Monitoring Plots. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, 457 pp.
Hampson, G.F. (1895). The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Moths, Noctuidae (cont.) to Geometridae, Vol. 3. Taylor & Francis, London, 582 pp.
Haruta, T. (ed.) (1998). Moths of Nepal, part 5. Tinea 15, (Suppl. 1). The Japan Heterocerists Society Tokyo, 311pp.
Inoue, H. (1998). Uraniidae from Nepal, pp. 81–83. In: Haruta, T. (ed.). Moths of Nepal Part 5. Tinea 15 (Supplment 1). The Japan Heterocerists Society Tokyo, 311 pp.