Subfamily hesperiinae




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SUPERFAMILY HESPERIOIDEA

Latreille, 1809




FAMILY HESPERIIDAE
Latreille, 1809


SUBFAMILY HESPERIINAE

Latreille, 1809



Borbo fatuellus. Photo courtesy Jeremy Dobson

Genus Astictopterus Felder & Felder, 1860

Wiener Entomologische Monatschrift 4: 401 (394-402).

Type-species: Astictopterus jama Felder & Felder, by subsequent designation (Butler, 1870. Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 7: 95 (55-58, 92-99).) [extralimital].


A predominantly Afrotropical genus of nine species. Seven species occur in the Region and there are two extralimital species. Most of the Afrotropical species occur on the eastern side of the continent, with only two species found in West Africa. The sexes are fairly similar. Larsen (2005a) expresses some reservations in regard to whether all the species are congeneric, or whether the Oriental species are congeneric. A. inornatus larvae are recorded feeding on grass (Poaceae), while A. stellata larvae are stated to feed on Asystasia (Acanthaceae). This is strong circumstantial evidence that, at least these two species are probably not congeneric.

* Astictopterus abjecta (Snellen, 1872)



Pamphila abjecta Snellen, 1872. Tidschrift voor Entomologie 15: 32 (1-112).

Astictopterus abjecta. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 24mm. Zambezi Bridge, Ikelenge, Zambia. 5.XI.79. (African Butterfly Research Institute, Nairobi).

Astictopterus abjecta. Female. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 28mm. Zambezi Bridge, Ikelenge, Zambia. 5.XI.79. (African Butterfly Research Institute, Nairobi).
Type locality: Angola: “Bananas”.

Distribution: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (Mayoumbe), Zambia.

Specific localities:

Senegal – Basse Casamance (Larsen, 2005a).

Guinea – Fouta Djalon (Larsen, 2005a); Nimba Mountains (Larsen, 2005a).

Nigeria – Shaki (Larsen, 2005a); Iseyin (Larsen, 2005a); Lagos (Larsen, 2005a); Benin (Larsen, 2005a); lower slopes of Obudu Plateau (Larsen, 2005a).

Zambia: Ikelenge (Heath et al., 2002).

Common name: Abject hopper.

Habitat: Forest. Humid Guinea savanna in West Africa, as well as severely disturbed parts of the forest zone (Larsen, 2005a).

Habits: Localized but may be common where it occurs (Larsen, 2005a). The flight is weak and bounding, just above the level of the grass, or even between the grass blades (Larsen, 2005a).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.
furvus Mabille, 1890 (as sp. of Steropes). Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (6) 9: 156 (149-150, 155-156, 167-169, 183-184). Sierra Leone: “Sierra-Leone”.
uniformis Karsch, 1893 (as sp. of Cyclopides). Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift 38: 245 (1-266). Togo: “Station Bismarckburg”.
niangarensis Holland, 1920 (as sp. of Leptalina). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 43: 256 (109-369). Democratic Republic of Congo: “Niangara”.

* Astictopterus anomoeus (Plötz, 1879)



Apaustus anomoeus Plötz, 1879. Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 40: 358 (353-364).

Type locality: Ghana: “Aburi”.

Distribution: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo.

Probably recorded in error from Nigeria by Evans, 1937 (Larsen, 2005a).



Speciic localities:

Guinea – Nimba area (Larsen, 2005a).

Sierra Leone – Loma Mountains (Larsen, 2005a).

Liberia – Monrovia (Larsen, 2005a); Ganta (Larsen, 2005a).

Ghana – Aburi (TL); Kumasi (Larsen, 2005a); Addah (Larsen, 2005a); Atewa Range (Larsen, 2005a).

Common name: Yellow hopper.

Habitat: Wetter forests, but only where the canopy is broken enough to allow for the development of grassy areas (Larsen, 2005a).

Habits: The flight pattern is slow and bounding. Both sexes avidly seek flowers (Larsen, 2005a).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

* Astictopterus bruno (Evans, 1937)



Isoteinon bruno Evans, 1937. A catalogue of the African Hesperiidae indicating the classification and nomenclature adopted in the British Museum: 79 (212 pp.).

Type locality: Tanzania: “Marungu Plateau”.

Distribution: Tanzania (south-west - Marungu Plateau and Lindi River).

Habitat:

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

* Astictopterus inornatus (Trimen, 1864)



Cyclopides inornatus Trimen, 1864. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London (3) 2: 179 (175-180).

Type locality: South Africa: “Bashee River, Kaffraria”. Holotype (male) in the Natural History Museum, London.

Distribution: South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape Province).

Specific localities:

KwaZulu-Natal – Port Shepstone (Swanepoel, 1953); Durban (Swanepoel, 1953); Pinetown (Swanepoel, 1953); Verulam (Swanepoel, 1953); St Lucia Bay (Swanepoel, 1953); Greytown (Swanepoel, 1953); Howick (Swanepoel, 1953); Balgowan (Swanepoel, 1953).

Eastern Cape Province – Bashee River (TL); Tsomo River (Swanepoel, 1953); Stutterheim (Swanepoel, 1953); Amabele (Swanepoel, 1953); Kei River (Swanepoel, 1953); Ngqeleni (Swanepoel, 1953); Port St Johns (Swanepoel, 1953).

Common name: Modest sylph; grassland fairy.

Habitat: Coastal and sub-coastal subtropical grassland. Colonies are associated with dense stands of tall “cottonwool grass” (the larval host-plant). These stands are usually in the vicinity of streams or adjacent to mist-belt (temperate) forest.

Habits: The flight is weak and not long sustained, specimens settling frequently, on grass blades or stems. Both sexes may be found feeding from flowers in shorter grass, near the stands of cottonwool grass. Males establish territories among the cottonwool grass.

Flight period: September to April. The peak emergence appears to be in January.

Early stages:
Clark, in Dickson & Kroon, 1978: 192.
Larval food:

Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeuschel (Poaceae) [Dickson & Kroon, 1978: 192; as Imperata arundinacea].

* Astictopterus punctulata (Butler, 1895)



Ceratrichia punctulata Butler, 1895. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1895: 265 (250-270).

Astictopterus punctulata. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 24mm. Mufulira, Zambia. 29 December, 1981. (Gardiner Collection).

Astictopterus punctulata. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 29mm. Abercorn, N. Rhod. Feb 1961. R. Badham. (Transvaal Museum - TM2820).

Astictopterus punctulata. Female. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 25mm. Zambezi Source, Zambia. 22.3.81. A.J. & M.W. Gardiner. (Gardiner Collection).
Type locality: Tanzania: “Fwambo”.

Distribution: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia (north).

Recorded, in error, from Nigeria by Ackery et al., 1995 (Larsen, 2005a).



Specific localities:

Zambia: Ikelenge; Mwinilunga; Chingola; Mufulira; Kitwe; Kabwe; Serenje; Kasama (Heath et al., 2002).

Habitat: Brachystegia and Uapaca woodlands (Heath et al., 2002).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

* Astictopterus stellata (Mabille, 1891)



Ceratrichia stellata Mabille, 1891. Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 35: 65 (59-88, 106-121, 168-187).

Type locality: Kenya: “Mombassa en Afrique”.

Distribution: Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe.

Common name: Spangled sylph; spangled skipper.

Habitat: Forest (Pringle et al., 1994).

Habits: Flies slowly in the shade of trees, settling frequently, on blades of grass (Pringle et al., 1994).

Flight period: Double-brooded, flying in August and again from January to April (Pringle et al., 1994).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food:

Asystasia species (Acanthaceae) [Heath et al., 2002: 10].
Astictopterus stellata stellata (Mabille, 1891)

Ceratrichia stellata Mabille, 1891. Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 35: 65 (59-88, 106-121, 168-187).

Type locality: Kenya: “Mombassa en Afrique”.

Distribution: Kenya (coast).
Astictopterus stellata amania Evans, 1947

Astictopterus stellata amania Evans, 1947. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (11) 13: 644 (641-648).

Type locality: Tanzania: “Amani, Usambara”.

Distribution: Tanzania (north-east - Usambara, Nguru, and Uluguru Mountains).
Astictopterus stellata mineni (Trimen, 1894)

Cyclopides mineni Trimen, 1894. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1894: 72 (14-82).

Astictopterus stellata mineni. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 30mm. Busi R, S. Rhodesia. 7.3.54. H. Cookson. (Transvaal Museum - TM2822).
Type locality: Zimbabwe: “Mineni Valley”.

Distribution: Tanzania (south), Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe (east).

Specific localities:

Zambia: Petauke; Luangwa Valley (Heath et al., 2002).

Mozambique – Amatongas; Dondo Forest (Pringle et al., 1994).

Zimbabwe – Musapa River Forest; Salone Forest (Pinhey).

* Astictopterus tura Evans, 1951



Astictopterus tura Evans, 1951. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (12) 4: 1271 (1268-1272).

Type locality: Tanzania: “Turiani, Tanganyika, 2500 ft. Ungaru Mts”.

Distribution: Tanzania. Known only from the type locality.

Habitat:

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

Genus Prosopalpus Holland, 1896

Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1896: 53 (2-107).

Type-species: Cobalus duplex Mabille, by original designation.


An Afrotropical genus of three species. The ‘dwarf skippers’ are tiny brown hesperiids, which are all scarce and local. The larval host plants are possibly Poaceae (Congdon & Collins, 1998).

* Prosopalpus debilis (Plötz, 1879)



Apaustus debilis Plötz, 1879. Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 40: 360 (353-364).

Prosopalpus debilis. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 21mm. Ghibe-Tolley, Ethiopia. 14/ix/1997. AJ Gardiner. (Gardiner Collection).

Prosopalpus debilis. Female. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 23mm. Ikelenge, Zambia. 24 December, 1983. A.J. Gardiner. (Gardiner Collection).
Type locality: Cameroon: “Mungo”.

Diagnosis: Differs from P. saga in that it is not as dark and lacks a hindwing brand. Differs from P. styla in that on the hindwing underside the pale discal band consists of two rows of spots (in styla the band is solid) (Congdon & Collins, 1998).

Distribution: Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria (west), Cameroon, Gabon, Ethiopia, Tanzania (north-west), Zambia (north).

Specific localities:

Senegal – Basse Casamance (Larsen, 2005a; single record).

Ghana – Ankasa (Larsen, 2005a).

Nigeria – Benin (Larsen, 2005a).

Tanzania – Kikuru Forest (relatively common but localized); Kere Hill, in Minziro Forest (very rare) (Congdon & Collins, 1998).

Zambia: Ikelenge; Mwinilunga; Solwezi; Mpika (Heath et al., 2002).

Common name: Western dwarf skipper.

Habitat: Forest of various types (Larsen, 2005a).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.
duplex Mabille, 1890 (as sp. of Cobalus). Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (6) 9: 169 (149-150, 155-156, 167-169, 183-184). Sierra Leone: “Free-Town”.

* Prosopalpus saga Evans, 1937



Prosopalpus saga Evans, 1937. A catalogue of the African Hesperiidae indicating the classification and nomenclature adopted in the British Museum: 81 (212 pp.).

Type locality: Uganda: “W. Angole”.

Diagnosis: Differs from P. styla in the following respects: upperside almost black; underside dark and almost unmarked; cilia dark brown (in styla pale and chequered); hindwing upperside of male with a black brand (Congdon & Collins, 1998).

Distribution: Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda (west), Kenya? (west), Tanzania (north-west).

Specific localities:

Guinea – Macenta (Larsen, 2005a).

Ivory Coast – Yapo (H. Warren-Gash teste Larsen, 2005a).

Ghana – Takoradi (Maessen teste Larsen, 2005a); Ankasa (Larsen, 2005a); Bia N.P. (Larsen, 2005a).

Tanzania – Kere Hill, in Minziro Forest; Kikuru Forest (rare in both) (Congdon & Collins, 1998).

Common name: Branded dwarf skipper.

Habitat: Forest.

Habits: This is a scarce skipper (Larsen, 2005a). Specimens are most likely to be seen on the edges of forest and along forest paths. Here they fly about among low vegetation in open places (Congdon & Collins, 1998). The flight is weak (Larsen, 2005a). Berger (1962) found a specimen feeding from lantana flowers.

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

* Prosopalpus styla Evans, 1937



Prosopalpus styla Evans, 1937. A catalogue of the African Hesperiidae indicating the classification and nomenclature adopted in the British Museum: 81 (212 pp.).

Prosopalpus styla. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 24mm. Zambezi rapids, Ikelenge, N.W. Province, Zambia. 26.VIII.76. A. Heath. (African Butterfly Research Institute, Nairobi).
Type locality: Sudan: “S. Sudan”.

Distribution: Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sudan (south), Uganda, Kenya (west), Tanzania, Zambia (north-west).

Specific localities:

Senegal – Cap Vert (Larsen, 2005a); Niokolo-Koba (Larsen, 2005a); Basse Casamance (Larsen, 2005a).

Burkina Faso – Bala (Larsen, 2005a).

Ghana – Mole N.P. (Larsen, 2005a); Wli Falls.

Nigeria – Jos Plateau (Larsen, 2005a).

Zambia: Chinyaji River (Ikelenge); Mwinilunga (Heath et al., 2002); Zambezi Rapids (Heath).

Common name: Widespread dwarf skipper.

Habitat: Marshy open ground in savanna and forest (Larsen, 2005a). Males are known to mud-puddle (Larsen, 2005a).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food:

Grass (Poaceae) [Congdon & Collins, 1998: 16; Tanzania; oviposition only].



Genus Ampittia Moore, 1882

In Moore, [1880-2]. The lepidoptera of Ceylon 1: 171 (190 pp.). London.

Type-species: Hesperia maro Fabricius, by original designation [extralimital].


An Old World genus of 10 species, two of which are Afrotropical and eight extralimital (Oriental).

* Ampittia capenas (Hewitson, 1868)



Cyclopides capenas Hewitson, 1868 in Hewitson, 1867-8. Descriptions of one hundred new species of Hesperidae [sic]: 43 (56 pp.). London.

Ampittia capenas capenas. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 27mm. Amatongas, P. E. A. 28.viii.1957. K.M. Pennington. (Transvaal Museum - TM2823).
Type locality: “Zambesi”.

Distribution: Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe.

Common name: Riverine ranger.

Habitat: Banks of streams and rivers (Pringle et al., 1994).

Habits: Flies quite slowly, in the vicinity of patches of tall coarse grass, resting often, on the grass stems (Pringle et al., 1994).

Flight period: August to October and February to April (Pringle et al., 1994).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.
Ampittia capenas capenas (Hewitson, 1868)

Cyclopides capenas Hewitson, 1868 in Hewitson, 1867-8. Descriptions of one hundred new species of Hesperidae [sic]: 43 (56 pp.). London.

Ampittia capenas capenas. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 27mm. Amatongas, P. E. A. 28.viii.1957. K.M. Pennington. (Transvaal Museum - TM2823).
Type locality: “Zambesi”.

Distribution: Kenya (east), Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe.

Specific localities:

Mozambique – Amatongas; Buzi River, below the Chrinda Forest (Pringle et al., 1994).

Zimbabwe – Vumba Mountains; Mount Selinda (Pringle et al., 1994).
derbice Hewitson, 1877 (as sp. of Cyclopides). Annals and Magazine of Natural History (4) 20: 327 (319-328). “Nyasa”.
Ampittia capenas blanda Evans, 1947

Ampittia capenas blanda Evans, 1947. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (11) 13: 644 (641-648).

Type locality: Zambia: “Dunrobin Mine, N. Rhodesia”.

Distribution: Democratic Republic of Congo (Shaba), Zambia (east).

Specific localities:

Zambia: Dunrobin Mine (TL); Mufulira; Miengwe; Chisamba; Luangwa Valley; Mbala (Heath et al., 2002).

* Ampittia parva Aurivillius, 1925



Ampittia parva Aurivillius, 1925 in Seitz, 1908-25. Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde, Stuttgart (2) 13 Die Afrikanischen Tagfalter: 548 (614 pp.).

Type locality: Tanzania: “Usambara: Mombo”.

Diagnosis: A tiny skipper; upperside blackish brown with three large yellow patches on forewing, the patch in the cell elongated; hindwing with a large, rounded central yellow area.

Distribution: Tanzania (north-east, including Zanzibar).

Specific localities:

Tanzania – Mombo in the Usambara Mountains (TL); Zanzibar (Kielland, 1990); Madaba in the Songea Region (Kielland, 1990); Uzungwa Range (Kielland, 1990); Masagati Forest s.w. of Ifakara (Kielland, 1990); Nguru Mountains (Kielland, 1990); Uluguru Mountains (Kielland, 1990); Kimboza Forest (Kielland, 1990); Nguu Mountains (Kielland, 1990); Kiono Forest near Sadani (Kielland, 1990); Rau Forest at Moshi (N. Cordeiro teste Kielland, 1990).

Habitat: Marshy places in forests and along rivers at elevations of up to 1 200m (Kielland, 1990).

Habits: It often congregates in particular spots, flying around weakly, and often settling on the leaves of grasses (Kielland, 1990).

Early stages: Nothing published.

Larval food: Nothing published.

Genus Kedestes Watson, 1893

Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1893: 96 (3-132).

Type species: Hesperia lepenula Wallengren, by original designation.


An Afrotropical genus of 24 species. Apparently closely related to the genus Ampittia (Kielland, 1990). The majority of species occur in Eastern and Southern Africa. Only two species are found in West Africa. Morphologically they are of diverse appearance and Larsen (2005a) thinks that the genus may be paraphyletic. The larval hosts are grasses (Poaceae) in nine of the 24 species in which they are known.

* Kedestes barberae (Trimen, 1873)



Cyclopides barberae Trimen, 1873. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1873: 120 (101-124).

Kedestes barberae barberae. Male. Left – upperside; right – underside. Wingspan: 25mm. Loteni, 6500, Natal. 1.x.1961. K.M. Pennington. (Transvaal Museum - TM2827).
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