RHODOPRASINA COROLLA Cadiou & Kitching, 1990

Male Rhodoprasina corolla (upperside), Xinyi, Datian Ding, Yunwu Shan, Guangdong, China, 1600m, i.2007. HOLOTYPE of Rhodoprasina minoris. Photo: © Ronald Brechlin. Male Rhodoprasina corolla (underside), Xinyi, Datian Ding, Yunwu Shan, Guangdong, China, 1600m, i.2007. HOLOTYPE of Rhodoprasina minoris. Photo: © Ronald Brechlin. Male Rhodoprasina corolla, Songluohe, Daba Shan, Hubei, China. HOLOTYPE of Rhodoprasina mateji. Photo: © Ronald Brechlin. Male Rhodoprasina corolla, Sa Pa, Mt. Fan Si Pan, Vietnam. Photo: © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London (NHMUK). Male Rhodoprasina corolla (faded), Yaojiaping, Liuku/Lushui, Yunnan, China. Photo: © Tony Pittaway, leg. Southwest Forestry College, Kunming.


Rhodoprasina corolla Cadiou & Kitching, 1990. Lambillionea 90(4): 5. Type locality: Thailand, Chiang Mai, Doi Inthanon National Park, radar station, 2550m.

Synonym. Rhodoprasina winbrechlini Brechlin, 1996. in Kitching & Brechlin, 1996, Nachr. entomol. Ver. Apollo (N.F.) 17(1): 59. Type locality: Vietnam (north), Lao Cai Province, Mt. Fan-si-pan (north side), Sa Pa, 22°17'N, 103°44'E, 1600m.

Synonym. Rhodoprasina mateji Brechlin & Melichar, 2006. Nachr. entomol. Ver. Apollo (N.F.) 27(3): 153. Type locality: China, Hubei, Daba Shan, Songluohe, 31°37'N, 110°33'E, 1300-1800m.

Synonym. Rhodoprasina minoris Brechlin, 2007, Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo (N.F.), 28(1/2): 1. Type locality: China, Guangdong, [Yunwu Shan,] Datian Ding Shan, Xinyi, 1600m, 22°30'N 111°20'E.


Wingspan: 70-78mm; length of forewing 35-39mm. A rather small species for the genus. Forewing relatively short and broad, with termen strongly crenulate and tip falcate/hooked. Forewing upperside usually matt green, with or without a bluish tint, although this may fade to olive brown with age. Forewing discal dot may be large and solid black. Head, thorax and abdomen naturally dark matt green; cilia dark. Males with characteristically long antennae, which extend beyond the forewing discal spot. Ground colour of hindwing upperside reddish, more so over the basal third or half; cilia buff white. Undersides of both wings pale olive green; forewing broadly red in basal half, with rather obscure, brown median fascia (Brechlin, 2007).

There is also a brown form, where all green pigmentation is replaced by reddish-brown. At some times of the year this form can be common.

Male Rhodoprasina corolla (green form), Liuku/Lushui, Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan, China, 14.iii.2023. Photo: © He JiBai. Male Rhodoprasina corolla (brown form), Simian Mountain National Scenic Resort, Chongqing, China, 22.ii.2019. Photo: © Chao Zhang.


This species flies at altitude during the cooler months (January-April) in the isolated warm temperate mountains of Hubei, Chongqing, southwestern Guangdong and southern Yunnan. The later flight-time in Yunnan (early April) may be due to the higher altitude. However, it has also been observed in August in Chongqing. The holotype was found at 1300-1800m altitude, but this species has been found up to 2520m altitude in the south of its range.

In northern Vietnam this species flies in early March in primary woodland at 1600m altitude at quite low temperatures (12-4°C). Unlike Rhodoprasina corrigenda, Rhodoprasina corolla appears to be mainly a cool season species, the adults flying when night-time temperatures fall below 10°C (Kitching & Brechlin, 1996).


China: i (Guangdong, Datian Ding); ii (Chongqing, Simian Mountain National Scenic Resort); iii (Yunnan, Mojiang; Lishui); iii-iv (Chongqing); iv (Hubei; Yunnan); viii (Chongqing).


OVUM: Not recorded.


Full-grown larva of Rhodoprasina corolla on Lithocarpus dealbatus, Yingjing County, Ya'an, Sichuan, China, 2023. Photo: © Guo ShiWei.

PUPA: Not recorded.

Larval hostplants. Wild hosts were not recorded for China, but reared in captivity on Lithocarpus dealbatus (Hook. f. & Thomson ex Miq.) (Xu ZhenBang, pers. comm. 2024). The related Rhodoprasina floralis (Butler) from northern India has been recorded from Acer campbelli (Aceraceae) (Fellowes-Manson, 1906).




China: Hubei (Songluohe, Daba Shan, 1300-1800m); Sichuan (Yingjing County, Ya'an area); Chongqing (30km NE Wulong District; Simian Mountain National Scenic Resort); Yunnan (Liuku/Lushui, Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture; Liuku/Lushui, Yaojiaping, 2520m; Mojiang, Dajian Shan, 2500m); Guangdong (Yunwu Shan, Datian Ding, Xinyi, 1600m).


So far, only known from Hubei, Chongqing, Yunnan and Guangdong, China, from northern Vietnam (Sa Pa, Lao Cai Province), and from northern Thailand (Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai).

Regional distribution of Rhodoprasina corolla. Map: © Tony Pittaway.


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© A. R. Pittaway & I. J. Kitching (Natural History Museum, London)