LAOTHOE PHILEREMA (Djakonov, 1923)

GB: Pamir Poplar Hawkmoth, RU: Turangovyi Brazhnik

Amorpha populi philerema Djakonov, 1923, Ann. Mus. zool. Acad. Sci. Russ., Petrograd 24: 104--115, pl. 4.

Type locality: Termez, near Bukhara [Amu-Dar'ya River, southern Uzbekistan].

(Taxonomic note. Gehlen (1932b) stated that this species is allied to or is even a subspecies of Laothoe amurensis (Staudinger), basing his conclusions on the lack of a rust-red hindwing patch in both species; however, examination of the male genitalia shows them to be very different from those of Laothoe amurensis and that there is a closer relationship between Laothoe philerema and Laothoe populi. D'Abrera (1986) does not illustrate this species.)


BIOGEOGRAPHICAL AFFILIATION

Holarctic; western Palaearctic region. Pleistocene refuge: Monocentric -- Turkestan refuge.


ADULT DESCRIPTION AND VARIATION

Male Laothoe philerema, Tigrovaja Balka Reserve, Tajikistan. Male Laothoe philerema, Tigrovaja Balka Reserve, Tajikistan.

Wingspan: 80--120mm. Resembles a very pale, poorly marked Laothoe populi populi, but with the rust-red hindwing patch of that species vestigial or absent. The male antennae are unusually long, being half the length of the forewing, which itself bears a very distinct antemedial band. In the male genitalia, the two apical processes of the sacculus are even more reduced than in Laothoe populi populeti, although similar in outline; the aedeagus is more slender, less elbowed and with fewer and smaller cornuti at the edge of the vesica.


ADULT BIOLOGY

Very little is known except that it is an inhabitant of river valleys and lake margins in the Hindu Kush and Pamirs. Around Kabul, Afghanistan, it occurs at between 1800 and 2500m altitude (Danner, Eitschberger & Surholt, 1998).


FLIGHT-TIME

Bivoltine, or possibly trivoltine. Adults have been captured in late April and late June to August.


EARLY STAGES

OVUM: As Laothoe populi populi, but 2.42mm in diameter.

LARVA: Undescribed. Full-fed 65--75mm.

Hostplants. Populus spp. of the subgenus Turanga (Derzhavets, 1984). Danner, Eitschberger & Surholt (1998) state that P. pruinosa is the only host.

PUPA: Undescribed. Presumably the overwintering stage.


PARASITOIDS

None recorded.


DISTRIBUTION

Known only from eastern Turkmenistan (one specimen in BM(NH) coll.), southern Uzbekistan (Djakonov, 1923), Tajikistan (Derzhavets, 1984) and eastern Afghanistan (Ebert, 1969; Daniel, 1971).

Extra-limital range. Unknown, but it may occur in north-western China, northern Pakistan (Hindu Kush) and most of the rest of the Tian Shan range.




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