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Deuterocopus socotranus, Townsville, QLD, 11 February 1905, ANIC 31 072027, dorsal Deuterocopus socotranus, Townsville, QLD, 11 February 1905, ANIC 31 072027, head lateral Deuterocopus socotranus, Townsville, QLD, 11 February 1905, ANIC 31 072027, lateral Deuterocopus socotranus, Archer River, QLD, 28 July 1992, ANIC 31 072030, dorsal Deuterocopus socotranus, Archer River, QLD, 28 July 1992, ANIC 31 072030, antenna 1a. North Burnett region, QLD - Image copyright Trevor Jinks 4a. Fletcher, 1910, Plate XLV, Fig. 1, Male genitalia, Hambatonta, Ceylon 5a. Fletcher, 1910, figure 3., Deuterocopus socotranus larva

Deuterocopus socotranus Rebel, 1907


  • Deuterocopus jacksoni Walsingham (nomen nudum)
  • Deuterocopus mathewi Walsingham (nomen nudum)
  • Deuterocopus viticola Meyrick, 1911
  • Deuterocopus triannulatus Meyrick, 1913


Fletcher, 1910[1] redescribed Deuterocopus socotranus and included a translation of Rebel's original description[2]:

Deuterocopus socotranus, Rebel.

(Plate XLIV, fig. 8.)

Deuterocopus socotranus. Rebel, Denk. Math-Nat. Ak. Wiss., lxxi, part ii, 85-87 (1907).

Deuterocopus tengstroemi (nec Zeller), Meyrick, T.E.S., 1886, 8 (partim); Meyrick, J. Bomb. N.H.S., xvii, 134; Fletcher, Spol. Zeylan., vi, 16-20.

Deuterocopus mathewi, Wlsm. MSS. (ined.).

Deuterocopus jacksoni, Wlsm. MSS. (ined.).

This dingy little short-winged species, which seems to be one of the most widely- distributed members of its genus, appears to have been first collected in New Guinea by G. F. Mathew in 1884, and in the same year Lord Walsingham stated (Notes Leyden Mus., vi, 243) that he had lately received specimens from West Africa. Under these circumstances it is perhaps somewhat unfortunate that its first validly published name should have been derived from its occurrence within the circumscribed area of Sokotra.

In some examples there is a great extension of the white scaling on the forewing, giving at first sight a different facies, but this variation appears to be confined to individuals and not to coincide witli geographical distribution.

Professor Dr. Rebel, who has very kindly compared some Sinhalese examples with the original types of this species from Sokotra, writes that in all essential points they are in full agreement and that he considers the two forms as conspecific, although he adds that in socotranus the palpi appear slightly longer and the coloration a little darker (less bright red-yellow). This latter point is unimportant, but the slight difference in the length of the palpi, if constituting a constant difference between the two forms, may perhaps indicate that we are here dealing with true local races (incipient new species); at present, however, I think that we must look on these races (from South and West Africa, Sokotra, Ceylon, etc.) as only forming a single "species" in the ordinary acceptation of that word.

The following is a translation of Prof. Dr. Rebel's original description of D. socotranus:—

"♂, ♀. Of this distinct genus, whose hitherto known representatives belong to the Oriental and Papuan Regions, Prof. Simony brought back from Sokotra three specimens (♂, ♀) of a new species, and of these the least good specimen was sacrificed to the design of making a microscopic preparation of the neuration. The specimens were obtained on January 11, 1890, in the mangrove-swamps in Western Sokotra by beating the flowers of Avicennia marina.

"Since hitherto there has only been published a short account of the system of neuration by Meyrick (T.E.S., 1886, 8), and that in many respects not concordant with the aforesaid preparations, nor has a figure of the insect or a sketch of its neuration been published before, both are here given for the first time. [Dr. Rebel has evidently overlooked Zeller's figures in Bull. Soc. Mosc. — T. B. F.]

"The genus is easily distinguished by the thickset build of the abdomen and the short antennae, which in the ♂ are somewhat roughly scaled towards the tip. The face is closely scaled, the palpi are slender, their pointed terminal joint half as long as the curved middle-joint. The legs also are unusually short and stout, the tibiae with knot-like dilatations of scales, on the fore-tibia only at the apex, on the mid-tibia at 1/2 and apex, on the hind-tibia at 1/4 and also at the origin of both pairs of the very long spurs. The apices of the tarsal joints also are more moderately dilated with scales, only the terminal joints remaining bare.

"The lower fissure of the trifid forewing does not reach so far basewards as the upper one. The lengths of both clefts are in the proportions of 3:2. In the neuration of the forewing, the discal cell is not closed and veins 5 and 6 are so far wanting that they are reduced to a quit(i short termination running into the first cleft. Veins 8 and 9 are long-stalked. Vein 10 arises separate from these, vein 11 remote from 10.

"In the hindwing the third segment is only half as long as the first, the cleft between the first and second segments is to the greatest length of the hindwing as 27:43. In this wing also the cell is not closed, vein 2 also is wanting [the figure, however, clearly shows that 2 is present and that it is vein 3 which is absent. — T. B. F.], vein 3 does not reach as far as the apex of the second segment, whose main support is formed by vein 4, 5 and 6 are much reduced, vein 7 traverses the first segment to its apex, vein 8 is free.

"Meyrick (l. c.), who must have described the neuration after only slight clarification, makes veins 2 and 4 of the forewing arise from the angle of the cell (which scarcely agrees with the present species), vein 3 wanting, 5 and 6 very short, vein 11 arising near 10. In the hindwing vein 3 is wanting, according to his account.

"Unless another system of neuration be admitted for the example of Deuterocopus tengstroemi (probably from Java) examined by him, there appears to be an error on his part easily arising under the above-mentioned circumstances.

"So far as at present concerns the species from Sokotra, in any case it stands very near to both the hitherto-described species, namely tengstroemi, Z., and rubrodactylus, Pag. Perhaps upon the whole we have to admit of only one widely-distributed species which has formed local races.

"In this species also the general coloration is a bright rusty-brown, the antennae ringed with black-brown towards the base. The second and third palpal joints with broad central bands. The pectus is whitish, especially laterally. The ground-colour of the legs is also really whitish with increasing thicker rusty-brown irroration towards the ends of the joints, noticeably on the tibial dilatations. The inner side of the hind-femur as well as the ventral surface of the abdomen is pure white, the latter with brown edging to the segments in the ♀ only. The naked, very long spurs of the hind-tibiae are white with a blackish central band especially distinct on their inner side and blackish tips. Head and thorax thickly sprinkled with rusty-brown, the abdomen much lighter at the base, yellowish, in the ♂ less thickly sprinkled with rust-brown, in both sexes with light margins to the segments. The anal tuft of the ♂ seems to cover a long uncus.

"The rust-brown irroration of the forewing is in the ♀ much more uniform, in the ♂ strongly intermixed with light yellowish scales. Beyond the cleft there lies in the first segment a constantly distinct pale (yellowish) transverse bar, which terminates on the costa as pure white. Before and beyond this the first segment is more or less suffused with blackish. On the hinder-margin of the first segment the cilia are broadly suffused with blackish and they are also blackish beneath the apex. The first subsegment shows in the ♂ a distinct yellowish patch before 1/2, and beyond this the cilia on both margins are blackish. On the apex [of the first subsegment] lies a deep-black scale-tuft which is surrounded with white posteriorly. The second subsegment is darker, without markings, with broad black cilia on both margins; here also a black point occurs on the apex.

"The segments of the hindwing are rusty-brown with lighter cilia glistening-yellowish basally, the third segment with a small black cilial scale-tuft in the middle of the dorsal margin and a similar broad apical scale-tuft surrounding both margins.

"The under-side of the wings is red-brown with a white-yellow costal spot at the termination of the transverse band of the upper side and a small bright-yellow spot before the apex of the first segment. Length of forewing 4.5 mm., expanse 9.5 mm.

"Distinguished from Deuterocopus tengstroemi by the non-hairy hinder-tibial spurs and the not bright rust-yellow costal cilia of the first segment, from Deuterocopus rubrodactylus by the obvious scale-thickening at the end of tlie fore-tibia.

"As already remarked, it may be that the three described forms of Deuterocopus (tengstroemi, rubrodactylus and socotranus) are only local races of one species, but that can only be proved by comparison of sufficient material."

As regards the figure of D. socotranus given by Dr. Rebel, it is particularly to be remarked that the slight scale-tuft in the dorsal cilia of the forewing beneath the base of the first cleft has been omitted in error; this tuft is actually present in the specimens themselves.

The following is a general description of the species:—

Expanse 9-10 mm. Palpi erect, third joint about half length of second; very pale-ferruginous, apices of joints banded with darker. Antennae above blackish dotted with white, beneath pale-ferruginous. Head and thorax dark brownish-ferruginous, intermixed with darker and lighter scales; pectus white. Abdomen dark ferruginous-brown, first two segments ferruginous-ochreous variably mixed with whitish, third segment edged posteriorly by a transverse raised bar of whitish-ochreous scales, fourth, sixth and seventh segments with narrow submedian longitudinal whitish stripes; ventral surface white, fourth segment edged posteriorly with red-brown. Legs ferruginous-brown, paler or whitish towards base and on tarsi: fore-tibia with acuminate scale-tuft on apex; mid-tibia with apical scale-tuft and a pair of long spurs; hind-tibia with moderate whorl of scales at 1/3 and larger whorls at 2/3 and apex, these two whorls emitting each a pair of long, naked spurs which are banded with blackish before apex; the posterior edges of these whorls of scales are usually paler or whitish and the hind-tibia is more or less banded with whitish beyond first and second whorls; posterior tarsus with first, third and fourth joints, banded with paler or whitish.

Forewing cleft from about 3/5, first segment moderately broad, second segment again cleft from about 1/4 of its length: very dark brownish-ferruginous intermixed with paler or whitish scaling sometimes forming a patch at base of first cleft: costal area suffused with pale-ochreous, especially evident at about 1/2; first segment cut at about 1/3 by an inwardly-oblique transverse whitish line preceded by pale-ochreous, at 2/3 by a similar but more distinct white line not reaching costa, segment beyond this much suffused with pale-ochreous; both subsegments cut at about 1/2 by transverse white lines. (Note. — All the white markings on segments appear to be variable in extent of development.) Cilia on costa ochreous, blackish-ferruginous above base and middle of first segment; on apex blackish; on termen pale-yellowish; on hinder-margin of first segment pale-yellowish to 1/2, beyond that blackish, with a small black posteriorly-directed scale-tooth beneath apex preceded by a narrow ochreous wisp; on upper margin of first subsegment pale-yellowish mixed with white, beyond 2/3 blackish continued around apex of subsegment to a small posteriorly-directed scale-tooth beneath apex, on lower-margin pale-yellowish to 1/2, beyond that blackish; on upper margin of second subsegment pale yellowish mixed with white to about 1/2, beyond that blackish; on dorsum pale-yellowish, with a small blackish scale-tuft at about 3/5 (slightly beyond base of first cleft), blackish on outer 3/4 of second subsegment.

Hindwing cleft from about 2/5 and from near base, segments linear: brownish-cupreous-ferruginous. Cilia pale-yellowish, darker on outer half of wing; third segment with a small blackish scale-tooth on dorsal margin slightly within ^ and a large apical blackish-ferruginous scale-tooth on both margins.

Larva. — The larva feeds in Ceylon on the flowers of the square-stemmed jungle vine (Vitis quadrangularis) so characteristic of the dry districts of that island. The following is a brief description made on October 20, 1908, from a living larva found at Hanibantota: —

Length 7 mm., stout, stoutest at about mid-length, decreasing rapidly anally; head capable of retraction into or under prothorax. Incisions between segments distinctly marked. Colour a uniform pale-green; head yellowish-brown and prothorax dark blackish-purple. Prothoracic legs purple, other legs and prolegs pale-green; legs and prolegs rather short and stout. To the naked eye no hairs are visible except two pairs of short whitish curved hairs on the anal segment and a pair of short submedian hairs, directed forward, on each thoracic segment. Spiracles high-placed, about half-way up the side, fairly conspicuous from being outlined in a slightly lighter green tint than that composing the general colour of the larva. Movements slow and deliberate, spinning a thread as it moves along and when it dropS. Under the microscope the skin is seen to be covered with minute skin-points as if shagreened.

Pupa.— The pupa is attached to a flower, flower-stalk or stem of the food-plant, or more rarely to a leaf of the same, and is usually enclosed in a very flimsy cocoon composed of a few silken threads. It is possible however that these threads are merely fortuitous, having been spun by the larva during its search for a suitable pupation-place or whilst preparing its cremastral pad. The pupa is about 6 mm. long, stout, smooth, rounded and blunt at the capital extremity. Its usual colour is a pale apple-green, marked with dark- or purplish-red on the dorsal surface, the markings usually consisting of (i) a narrow median thoracic stripe broadening posteriorly into a transverse bar extending obliquely downwards to about the edge of the wing-covers, and (ii) a series of submedian patches on the second to fifth abdominal segments forming a more or less interrupted longitudinal stripe. Some pupae, however, which had pupated in my boxes, were wholly of a dark-grey colour. The moth emerges in the early morning.

Distribution. — As already remarked, the geographical range of this species is very wide. Localities known to me are: —

WEST AFRICA — Gambia, Bathurst, 1885-87 (Carter) [Wlsm. Coll., four].

SOUTH_EAST AFRICA — Delagoa Bay, 1884 (Druce) [Wlsm, Coll., three].

EAST AFRICA — Ibea, Ukambani, Dec.-Jan. 1889 (Jackson) [Wlsm. Coll., No. 6330, one ♂ , type of jacksoni, Wlsm. MS.].

SOKOTRA — Western Sokotra, Jan. 11, 1890 (Simony) [Vienna Mus., ♂ and ♀ types of socotranus, Rbl.].

INDIA — Ganjam, Aug. 1882 (Minchin) [Wlsm. Coll., one]; Bombay, Surat (Lefroy) [Meyrick Coll.].

CEYLON — N. W. Prov., Puttalam, Feb. 1890, March 1902 (Pole) [Wlsm. Coll., four]: E. Prov., Trincomali, July 20, 1890 [Brit. Mus., one]: S. Prov., Hambantota, abundant in Oct. and Nov. 1908, about seventy (Fletcher); Yala, larvae common Feb. 9, exc. Feb. 20, 1909, five (Fletcher): Uva Prov., Madulsima, Cocogalla Estate, 4000 feet, Oct. 1907 and Jan. 1908 (W. Vaughan) [Fletcher Coll., two].

SUMBA— below 2000 feet, 1896 (Doherty) [Wlsm. Coll., two].

TAMBORA — low country, 1896 (Doherty) [Wlsm. Coll., one].

AMBOYNA — 1892 (Doherty) [Wlsm. Coll., one].

NEW GUINEA — Port Moresby, 1884 (G. F. Mathew) [Wlsm. Coll., two specimens including No. 2287, type ♀ mathewi, Wlsm. MS.] [Meyrick Coll., one]; Humboldt Bay, April 18, 1893 (Doherty) [Wlsm. Coll., three].

QUEENSLAND — Townsville (Dodd) [Meyrick Coll.].

Meyrick's original description of Deuterocopus triannulatus reads[3]:

Deuterocopus triannulatus, n. sp.

♂, ♀. 11-12 mm. Head and thorax dark brown, thorax beneath whitish. Palpi whitish, second and terminal joints each with two ferruginous-brown bands. Antennae blackish lined and dotted with white, towards apex with three slender black bands. Abdomen fuscous, basal segment light brown sometimes suffused with whitish, posterior segments with pairs of slight whitish marginal marks, ventral surface white, with brown median band sometimes interrupted, anal tuft of ♂ short. Posterior legs brown suffused with rather dark fuscous on whorls, with indistinct whitish rings, median and apical scale-whorls of tibiae rather large, others moderate, spurs hardly roughened. Forewings with lower cleft 2/3 of upper; dark brown; an indistinct darker dot in disc before middle, sometimes followed by a minute white dot; sometimes some obscure pale suffusion towards costa before middle, and on first segment at 1/3: cilia bronzy, rosy-tinged, on costa dark fuscous towards middle of first segment, on upper margin of second and third segments with fuscous apical patches, on lower margin of all segments with dark fuscous posterior patches separated on first two by narrow whitish-tinged bars from triangular downwards-directed blackish apical scale-projections, on third reaching a similar scale-projection, on dorsum with a slender blackish scale-projection near beyond base of first cleft. Hindwings dark coppery-fuscous, towards base suffused with ferruginous ; cilia bronzy with ochreous and purplish reflections, on dorsum with a small black scale-projection before middle of third segment, and a large blackish scale-projection occupying its apex, consisting of a smaller triangular upper portion, and larger suboblong lower portion rectangularly emarginate beneath.

QUEENSLAND, Townsville, in July (Dodd); New Guinea, Port Moresby (Mathew); three specimens. Allied to viticola, but apparently truly distinct by characters of apical scale-projections in both wings.

Life Cycle

Larval host plants:

  • Vitaceae: Cayratia trifolia (L.) Domin (syn. Columella trifolia (L.) Merr.; syn. Vitis trifolia_ L.) (on flowers)[4]; Vitis L.[4]; Vitis lanata Roxburgh[4]; Vitis quadrangularis (L.) Wall.[4]; Vitis quinquangularis Rehder[4]

Gielis[5] lists Acanthaceae: Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. as a larval host. Matthews and Lott[4] mention Avicennia marina to avoid further confusion. The only basis for asserting any such association is the fact that the (adult) type specimen was collected at flowers of this plant. There is no indication of a stronger relationship. All known larval hosts of Deuterocopus species are within the Vitaceae.


  1. Fletcher, T.B., 1910, On the genus Deuterocopus Zeller (Transactions of the Entomological Society of London (1910) II: 107-141) - BHL
  2. Rebel, H., 1907, Lepidopteren aus Südarabien und von der Insel Sokotra. (Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, Mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliche Klasse 71: 31-130)
  3. Meyrick, E., 1913b, Exotic Microlepidoptera Vol. I. Part 4. Pages 97-128. (London) - BHL
  4. Matthews, D.L. & Lott, T.A., 2005, Larval Hostplants of the Pterophoridae (Lepidoptera: Pterophoroidea) (Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute Volume 76) (324 pp., American Entomological Institute, Gainesville)
  5. Gielis, C., 2003a, World Catalogue of Insects, Volume 4, Pterophoroidea & Alucitoidea (Lepidoptera) (198 pp., Apollo Books, Stenstrup)


newtopic Attach files

I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
072027-a.jpgjpg 072027-a.jpg manage 91 K 2011-12-11 - 19:32 DonaldHobern Deuterocopus socotranus, Townsville, QLD, 11 February 1905, ANIC 31 072027, dorsal
072027-b.jpgjpg 072027-b.jpg manage 99 K 2011-12-11 - 19:34 DonaldHobern Deuterocopus socotranus, Townsville, QLD, 11 February 1905, ANIC 31 072027, head lateral
072027-c.jpgjpg 072027-c.jpg manage 114 K 2011-12-11 - 19:35 DonaldHobern Deuterocopus socotranus, Townsville, QLD, 11 February 1905, ANIC 31 072027, lateral
072030-a.jpgjpg 072030-a.jpg manage 98 K 2011-12-11 - 19:37 DonaldHobern Deuterocopus socotranus, Archer River, QLD, 28 July 1992, ANIC 31 072030, dorsal
072030-b.jpgjpg 072030-b.jpg manage 61 K 2011-12-11 - 19:38 DonaldHobern Deuterocopus socotranus, Archer River, QLD, 28 July 1992, ANIC 31 072030, antenna
1a_NorthBurnett_QLD.jpgjpg 1a_NorthBurnett_QLD.jpg manage 78 K 2010-03-10 - 19:44 DonaldHobern 1a. North Burnett region, QLD - Image copyright Trevor Jinks
4a._Fletcher_1910_XLV_1_Deuterocopus_socotranus_male_genitalia.jpgjpg 4a._Fletcher_1910_XLV_1_Deuterocopus_socotranus_male_genitalia.jpg manage 15 K 2010-03-13 - 10:19 DonaldHobern 4a. Fletcher, 1910, Plate XLV, Fig. 1, Male genitalia, Hambatonta, Ceylon
5a._Fletcher_1910_Fig._3_Deuterocopus_socotranus_larva.jpgjpg 5a._Fletcher_1910_Fig._3_Deuterocopus_socotranus_larva.jpg manage 22 K 2010-03-10 - 19:06 DonaldHobern 5a. Fletcher, 1910, figure 3., Deuterocopus socotranus larva
5b._Fletcher_1910_Fig._4_Deuterocopus_socotranus_pupa.jpgjpg 5b._Fletcher_1910_Fig._4_Deuterocopus_socotranus_pupa.jpg manage 13 K 2010-03-10 - 19:07 DonaldHobern 5b. Fletcher, 1910, figure 4., Deuterocopus socotranus pupa
5c._Fletcher_1910_XLIV_8_Deuterocopus_socotranus.jpgjpg 5c._Fletcher_1910_XLIV_8_Deuterocopus_socotranus.jpg manage 15 K 2010-03-10 - 19:08 DonaldHobern 5c. Fletcher, 1910, Plate XLIV, 8, Deuterocopus socotranus