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Batrachedra psithyra facts for kids

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Batrachedra psithyra
Scientific classification
B. psithyra
Binomial name
Batrachedra psithyra
Meyrick, 1889
  • Batrachedra psathyra (Meyrick, 1889)

Batrachedra psithyra is a species of moth in the family Batrachedridae. It is endemic to New Zealand.


B. psithyra was described in 1889 by Edward Meyrick using material he collected in Hamilton. George Hudson discussed and illustrated this species in his 1928 publication The Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand under the name Batrachedra psathyra. The lectotype specimen is held by the Natural History Museum, London.


Meyrick described the species as follows:

♂︎. 7-10mm. Head, thorax, and abdomen pearly white. Palpi white, second joint with a blackish sub-apical ring, scales slightly projecting, terminal joint with a blackish basal ring. Antennae white, indistinctly ringed with pale fuscous. Legs white, indistinctly banded with fuscous. Forewings elongate, very narrow, long-pointed ; veins 6 and 7 stalked ; white, more or less sprinkled with fuscous ; a dark fuscous elongate dot in disc before middle, a second very obliquely before it on fold, and a third in disc beyond 23 ; a sharply-marked black apical dot : cilia whitish, with a black line opposite apex only. Hindwings with veins 2, 3, and 5 absent ; whitish ; cilia whitish.


This species is endemic to New Zealand. Specimens have been collected in Kaeo, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Queenstown and Invercargill. It has also been found in Fiordland, and on Somes Island.

Biology and behaviour

The adult moths of this species is on the wing from November to January. It flies freely at sunset. Hudson stated it was common in the upper parts of the Wellington Reservoir Reserve, an area now known as Zealandia. At rest, this species raises the forepart of its body and when about to move has a habit of waving alternate antennae.

Habitat and host species

The species prefers rough overgrown habitat of grasslands or fern glades near forest. This species has also been found in gumland heath habitat. The larvae of this species feed on fern sori and these hosts include the species Histiopteris incisa.

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