A new subspecies of Candalides geminus Edwards & Kerr, 1978 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from the Northern Territory, Australia

WA Museum Records and Supplements | Updated 5 years ago

ABSTRACT – Candalides geminus gagadju ssp. nov. from the ‘Top End’ of the Northern Territory is described, illustrated and compared with the nominate subspecies C. geminus geminus Edwards & Kerr, 1978 and C. erinus (Fabricius, 1775). It differs from C. geminus geminus by four fixed phenotypic character states, but not in genitalic morphology nor in morphology of the immature stages. The taxon is restricted to sandstone blocks in the higher rainfall areas where it is sympatric with C. erinus, narrowly sympatric with C. delospila (Waterhouse, 1903), but allopatric with C. geminus geminus from eastern Australia. Candalides geminus gagadju breeds in heathy woodland where the larval food plants (Cassytha filiformis and C. capillaris) grow as hemi-parasitic vines. Although material of the subspecies has been known in museum collections for at least 45 years (earliest collections date to October 1972), its taxonomic identity, comparative morphology, distribution and biology have remained poorly known. During 2007–2014, I conducted detailed field investigations in north-western and northern Australia to address these substantial knowledge gaps.

Author(s) Michael F. Braby
Records 32 : Part 2
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