RETHERA BRANDTI EUTELES Jordan, 1937

GB: Lesser Madder Hawkmoth

Rethera brandti euteles Jordan, 1937, Novit. zool. 40: 325.

Type locality: C'urum [between Shiraz and Bushehr], Iran.

(Taxonomic note. Kernbach (1959) doubted the validity of this subspecies on the strength of two specimens from southern Iran, which were superficially similar to subsp. brandti O. Bang-Haas, 1937. Examination of an extensive series in the collection of E. P. Wiltshire (deposited at the Natural History Museum, London), as well as recent captures, show that his doubts may be justified. Rethera brandti euteles may only be a dry zone form.)


BIOGEOGRAPHICAL AFFILIATION

Holarctic; western Palaearctic region. Pleistocene refuge: Monocentric -- probably eastern part of the Syrian refuge.


ADULT DESCRIPTION AND VARIATION

Male Rethera brandti euteles, C'urum (Shiraz-Bushehr road), Iran. Photo: © Robert Young, Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory, NHMUK.

Wingspan: 40--45mm. Generally paler and greyer than subsp. brandti and usually lacking any pink coloration in most individuals; however, some specimens are similar to subsp. brandti in coloration. As in that subspecies, there is little variation.


Male Rethera brandti euteles, Jahrom, Fars Province, Iran, 1100m, 17.iv.2014. Photo: © Jean Haxaire.

ADULT BIOLOGY

May merge with subsp. brandti in central Iran. Found in hilly steppe and desert-edge vegetation in dense but local populations at between 1000 and 2500m altitude.


Typical habitat of Rethera brandti euteles, Jahrom, Fars Province, Iran, 1100m, 17.iv.2014. Photo: © Jean Haxaire.

FLIGHT-TIME

Univoltine/Bivoltine; depending on altitude, late March to mid-May and, in some places, late July to early August. In 2002, individuals were collected in Iran on 23 April (30 Km N. Bandar-e Abbas).

In 2005 and 2008, individuals, which may be this species or Rethera amseli Daniel, 1958, were collected in western Pakistan (Waziristan) between 28 July and 21 August (T. Melichar, pers. comm. 2013).


EARLY STAGES

Unknown.

Hostplants. Unknown, but probably species of Jaubertia/Plocama/Gaillonia under desertic conditions, and Galium or Rubia in more verdant areas.


PARASITOIDS

Unknown.


DISTRIBUTION

From south-east Turkey and north-east Iraq (Wiltshire, 1957) to southern Iran along the Zagros Mountains (Brandt, 1938; Ghassemi, Alemansoor & Alehossein, 2009). May be more widespread than indicated due to the remoteness of its habitat.

Individuals collected in western Pakistan (North Suleiman/Kesai Mountains, South Waziristan, near Tanai Village, 1500-2500m, 28.vii-12.viii.2005 & 17-21.viii.2008 (leg. V. Gurko, coll. Sphingidae museum of Czech Rep.)) may or may not be this species (Rafi et al., 2014). The specimens resemble Rethera amseli but are in poor condition.

Extra-limital range. None.


Global distribution of Rethera brandti. Map: © Tony Pittaway.

OTHER SUBSPECIES

Northern and north-central Iran as Rethera brandti brandti.


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