Monday, October 11, 2010


Caenorycta Meyrick, 1922

Xylomima Turner, 1917. Lepidopterological gleanings. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, 29: 70–106 [97]. Nomen nudum.
Caenorycta Meyrick, 1922, New Microlepidoptera of the German Entomological Institute, Entomologische Mitteilungen,11: 2, (44-47), [45-46]. Type species: Caenorycta dryoxantha Meyrick 1922, by monotypy.
Caenorycta Meyrick, 1922 [Cryptophasidae]. Fletcher, T. B., 1929, A list of generic names used for Microlepidoptera. Memoirs of the Department of Agriculture of India,  11: 1-244 [37].
Caenorycta Meyrick, 1922, junior subjective synonym of Cryptophasa Lewin 1805. Diakonoff, A., Microlepidoptera of New Guinea. Results of the third Archbold Expedition (American-Netherlands Indian Expedition 1938-1939). Part 4. Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen 2 ser. 50(1): 1-191 [109].
Caenorycta Meyrick, 1922. Diakonoff, A., 1966, Records and Descriptions of South Asiatic Microlepidoptera, Tijdschrift voor Entomologie, deel 109, afl. 3 p. 49—88, Fig. 1—44, T. 1. [55, pl. 6].
Caenorycta, Robinson, Tuck and Shaffer, 1994, A Field Guide to the Smaller Moths of South-East Asia, (1-308) [62, pl. 6:13].
Caenorycta Meyrick, 1922. Beccaloni, G. W., Scoble, M. J., Robinson, G. S. & Pitkin, B. (Editors). 2003. The Global Lepidoptera Names Index (LepIndex). World Wide Web electronic publication. [accessed 7 April 2010].

Original description, Meyrick, 1922
Caenorycta nov. gen — Head with appressed scales, sidetufts dense, raised; ocelli inferior; tongue apparently rudimentary. Antennae ¾, in ♂ subdentate, strongly ciliated, basal joint stout, subconcave beneath, without pecten. Labial palpi very long, recurved, second joint exceeding base of antennae, thickened with dense scales and slightly rough beneath, terminal joint shorter, moderate, pointed. Maxillary palpi rudimentary. Posterior tibiae clothed with hairs above. Forewings 1b furcate, 2 from 3/5, 3 from near angle, 4 and 5 connate from angle, 7 and 8 stalked, 7 to termen, 11 from middle. Hindwings over 1, trapezoidal-ovate, cilia ¼; 3 and 4 connate, 5 nearly parallel, 6 and 7 short-stalked.

Other references

Xylomima Turn., is a genus near to and derived from Compsotorna. (Turner, 1917).

Adults have been collected at light in dipterocarp forest and in mangrove forest/freshwater swamp. (C. anholochrysa, in Robinson, Tuck and Shaffer, 1994).

The genus ranges from Thailand to New Guinea. It comprises 6 named species and several that are undescribed. Only the one named species is known from SE Asia. (Robinson, Tuck and Shaffer, 1994).

Caenorycta dryoxantha Meyrick, 1922 ♂, holotype, Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut, Germany.


Caenorycta plutotera, ♂ genitalia, Diakonoff, (1966).

Caenorycta anholochrysa, ♂ genitalia, Diakonoff, (1966).

Caenorycta acrostega, ♂ genitalia, Diakonoff, (1966).

Male genitalia. Tegumen rather short, pedunculi triangular. Uncus porrected, flattened, top sclerotized, truncate, side angles acutely produced. Gnathos porrect, subquadrate. Valva gradually narrowed, slightly curved, rather slender, top rounded. Sacculus 1/2, apical hook very large, strongly bent. Aedeagus slender. (Diakonoff, 1966).

Immature stages:

Distribution: Thailand, W. Malaysia, Brunei, Sulawesi, Papua New Guinea, Queensland.

Remarks: In Meyrick's original genus description, the antennae are stated as being 'subdentate, strongly ciliated' but in the Australian species C. xylomima, placed in this genus by its male genitalia, they are strongly pectinate except at the distal end of the antenna. Other possible members of this genus have either fasciculated, ciliated antennae or bipectinate antennae.

Other species in this genus include:
Caenorycta acrostega Diakonoff 1966 [on the evidence of the genitalia more suitably placed in Xylorycta] (antennae pectinate)
Caenorycta anholochrysa Diakonoff 1966 (antennae fasciculate-ciliated)
Caenorycta dryoxantha Meyrick 1922 (antennae fasciculate-ciliated)
Caenorycta platyleucota Meyrick 1938 (antennae fasciculate-ciliated)
Caenorycta plutotera Diakonoff 1966 (antennae pectinate) [perhaps synonymous with C. xylomima]
Caenorycta thiobapta Meyrick 1930 (antennae ciliate)
Cryptophasa xylomima Turner, 1906 (antennae pectinate)

Other possible species in this genus, identified by barcoding, include:
Cryptophasa phaeochtha Meyrick, 1925 (antennae pectinate)
Cryptophasa psammochtha Meyrick 1925 (antennae fasciculate-ciliated)


Caenorycta xylomima (Turner, 1906).

- Caenorycta xylomima, Mt. Bellenden Kerr, ANIC (AMO).

Cryptophasa xylomima Turner, 1906, New Australian Lepidoptera, with synonymic and other notes. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia  30: 118–142. [140]. Holotype ANIC ♂, Mulgrave River, Qld.
Cryptophasa xylomima Turn. Common, 1990: Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press. 227-230 [230].
Cryptophasa xylomima, Zborowski and Edwards, 2007, A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO, 1-214 [77].
Cryptophasa xylomima Turner, 1906. Common, in Nielsen, E.S., Edwards, E.D. & Rangsi, T.V. 1996. Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Monogr. Aust. Lepid. 4: i–xiv, 1–529 & CD–ROM [87].
Cryptophasa xylomima Turner, 1906. Edwards, E. D. (2003), Xyloryctinae. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. [accessed 19 June 2010].

Original description, Turner 1906
Cryptophasa xylomima, n. sp.
(Xylomimos, imitating a stick.)
Male, female, 44-50 mm. Head pale ochreous. Palpi pale ochreous; some fuscous irroration on outer surface of second joint towards base. Antennae pale-ochreous; pectinations in male 2. Thorax whitish, with a few dark-fuscous scales; tegulae anteriorly pale-ochreous, posteriorly dark-fuscous, apices ochreous-brown. Abdomen pale ochreous; dorsum of third segment, bright ochreous. Legs pale-ochreous; middle and posterior tarsi fuscous. Forewings elongate-oblong, costa gently arched towards base, thence straight, apex rounded, termen nearly straight, not oblique; whitish, costal third suffused with ochreous-grey, with sparse general irroration of blackish scales; a transverse discal blackish mark before 2/3; a terminal series of dark-fuscous dots; cilia whitish. Hindwings with termen gently rounded; pale-ochreous; cilia pale-ochreous.
Type in Coll., Turner.
N.Q., Mulgrave River, near Cairns; one specimen. Kuranda, in December; two specimens received from Mr. F. P. Dodd.

Other references:

Caenorycta xylomima, Pl. 6.11: Common, 1990

C. xylomima Turn (Pl. 6.11) is a tropical rainforest species occurring from Cape York to Paluma, Queensland. (Common, 1990).

P. 77, Zborowski and Edwards, 2007

Cryptophasa xylomima is a large common moth, found in the rainforests of northern Queensland from Cape York south to near Townsville. Nothing is known of its biology. The resting adult has the appearance of a broken piece of rotting branch. (Zborowski and Edwards, 2007).

Caenorycta xylomima, ♂ head, K165, Kuranda, collected by David Rentz, 16-30 November, 2009.

Caenorycta xylomima, ♂ antenna. K-0785, Kuranda, 1-15 November 2012, collected by D. Rentz. N.b. In this species pectination does not extend all the way to the end of the antenna.


Caenorycta xylomima wing venation (frenulum missing from hindwing)

Caenorycta xylomima, ♂ foreleg, showing epiphysis. K-0785, Kuranda, 1-15 November 2012, collected by D. Rentz.

Male genitalia: 
Uncus porrected, flattened, top sclerotized, truncate, side angles acutely produced. Gnathos fused laterally to uncus, porrect, subquadrate. Tegumen rather short, articuated with vinculum. Valva tapering, slightly curved, apex upturned, narrow. Costa of valva sinuate. Clasper developing from inner margin of sacculus, a thumb-like pedicel surmounted by a strongly sclerotised, tapering, inturned hook. Lower saccular margin straight. Apex of sacculus a small, inwardly curved, weakly sclerotised round-ended structure that overlaps the base of the clasper. There is a small sinus between the clasper and the apex of the sacculus. The anellus is moderately short, a tube of two lobes open ventrally. A densely folded and convoluted membrane surrounds the anellus, attached to the vincular margin. Saccus v-shaped; juxta pointed, concave, sided upturned. Aedeagus moderate, slightly curved towards distal end, tapering slightly.

Caenorycta xylomima, ♂ genitalia. K150, Kuranda, 1-15 November, 2009, collected by David Rentz. Photomicrograph taken at ANIC, Canberra.

Caenorycta xylomima, ♂, aedeagus. K150, Kuranda, 1-15 November, 2009, collected by David Rentz. Photomicrograph taken at ANIC, Canberra.

Caenorycta xylomima, ♂, uncus and gnathos. K150, Kuranda, 1-15 November, 2009, collected by David Rentz. Photomicrograph taken at ANIC, Canberra.

Caenorycta xylomima, ♂, clasper and tip of sacculus. K150, Kuranda, 1-15 November, 2009, collected by David Rentz. Photomicrograph taken at ANIC, Canberra.

Caenorycta xylomima, ♂,  densely folded and ciliate integument surrounding the annulus. An unusual feature not present in other genera.

Female genitalia: 
Abdominal segments 8 to 10 not very extensible. Apophyses short, apophyses posteriores 1.7 x length of apophyses anteriores. Papillae anales large, rounded, setiferous. Ostium bursae small, funnel-shaped, placed mid-segment 9. Ductus bursae not coiled. Corpus bursae large, inflated ovoid. Signum a very small sclerotised plate, placed centrally.

Caenorycta xylomima, ♀ genitalia, diagrammatic.

Food plants:
Flight period: September, November, December, January.
Distribution: Queensland, Papua New Guinea. (Edwards, 2003).

Remarks: Currently placed in Cryptophasa, but the evidence of the male genitalia points to Caenorycta being a more suitable genus. Although I have moved C. xylomima to Caenorycta, this is only for the purposes of this document; without publication in a recognised scientific journal its official status remains unchanged.