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Holotype ♀ (Fig. 9), NE Socotra Island, Wadi Difarroha, North side, 19 January 2010. leg. A. Saldaitis (deposited in MWM/ZSM); (slide No PI 2011/1) Paratypes: 3 ♀ (Fig. 10), S Socotra Island, Wadi Difarroha, South side, 15 January 2010. leg. A. Saldaitis; (coll. ASV; MWM/ZSM); (slide No BJ 1523).
The new species differs from the related species Meharia acuta Wiltshire, 1982 (Figs 8, 12) by forewing pattern, DNA and distribution. In Meharia acuta, the basal spot at the costal wing margin is missing. Meharia hackeri has a straight basal fascia at the costal wing margin for ¼ the length of forewing and a narrow white fascia, with a wide interruption antemedially and a narrow interruption tornally, running along the entire inner margin. Meharia acuta has no such fascia, but has a wide subterminal band. DNA barcodes clearly separate Meharia hackeri from Meharia acuta. Three identical sequences of Meharia hackeri were compared to those of a single Meharia acuta specimen resulting in a significant 7.48% variation.
Meharia acuta is distributed in the Arabic peninsula, Meharia hackeri is endemic to Socotra Island.
Female: Forewing costal margin length of holotype 10 mm, wingspan 21 mm; forewing length of paratypes 11 mm, wingspan 22 mm; antennae slightly longer than half the length of forewing; bipectinate, color white, black at base; head and tegular yellowish-white; labial palpi yellowish brown, white at base; ground colour of forewings yellowish-brown with white longitudinal fascia forming wing pattern, basal fascia in the costal area straight, running to ¼ the length of forewing, curved fascia extending medially from inner margin to ⅔ the length of forewing, its extension ends at terminal wing margin, medially the fascia and its interrupted portion in terminal area bordered by dark brown scales with black inserts; narrow white fascia, widely interrupted antemedially and narrowly interrupted tornally, runs along the entire inner margin, cilia yellowish-white, ventral forewing brown; hindwing greyish-yellow, cilia light brown, ventral hindwing brown.
Male genitalia: unknown.
Female genitalia (Figs 13, 14): Papilla analis triangular, covered with short, thin, very long setae; apophysis posterioris about the same length as papilla analis; apophysis anterioris very short, broad, with V-shaped sclerotisation apically; ostium concave; antrum weakly sclerotised basally with a loop forming very narrow ductus bursae; corpus bursae not sclerotised, shaped like a small sac.
Bionomics and distribution
Known only from the central part of Socotra Island. Meharia hackeri is likely endemic to Socotra Island. All specimens were collected in mid-January; Meharia hackeri females were attracted to light and appear to have a very local distribution as the species was discovered only in Difarroha Valley (Fig. 31). The new species was collected in the central part of the country in an oasis-type valley dominated by various tree and shrub species such as: Jatropha unicostata, Lycium socotranum, Gnidia socotrana, Buxus hildebrandtii, Croton socotranus, Punica protopunica, Ficus vasta, Euphorbia socotrana, Jathropha unicostata, Mitolepis intricata, Aloe perryi, Adenium obesum (Miller and Cope 1996). It flies with several other Socotra Archipelago endemic moths such as Meharia yakovlevi Saldaitis & Ivinskis, 2010, (Cossidae), Pelosia sokotrensis (Hampson, 1900), (Arctiidae),Cerocala socotrensis Hampson, 1899, Agrotis brachypecten Hampson, 1899, Plecoptera butkevicii Hacker & Saldaitis, 2010, Acantholipes canofusca Hacker & Saldaitis, 2010, Stenosticta wiltshirei Hacker, Saldaitis & Ivinskis, 2010 (Noctuidae).
The new species name is dedicated to Hermann Hacker, a prominent German lepidopterist, who has contributed much to the investigation of macro-moths of the Arabian peninsula and Africa.
- Borth, R; Ivinskis, P; Saldaitis, A; Yakovlev, R; 2011: Cossidae of the Socotra Archipelago (Yemen) ZooKeys, 122: 45-69. doi
- Miller A, Cope , Cope T (1996) Flora of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra 1, Edinburgh, 1–556.