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1 December 2013 The Genus Matapa (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae) from China with Description of a New Species
Xiao-Ling Fan, Hideyuki Chiba, Min Wang
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Our review of the skipper genus Matapa Moore (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae) in China revealed that there are 6 species in the country. A new species, M. pseudodruna, sp. nov. from Nanling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province, is described and illustrated. M. druna (Moore), M. purpurascens Elwes & Edwards and M. cresta Evans are recorded in the country for the first time. We propose that Metapa pseudosasivarna Lee should be a new synonym of M. sasivarna (Moore). The key for the separation of the Matapa species by de Jong is modified to reflect our result. The type specimens of the new species are deposited in the Insect Collection of the South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou (SCAU).

The skipper genus Matapa (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae), described by Moore in 1881 with Ismene aria Moore, 1866 as the type species, is a small group of the family Hesperiidae. The members of the genus share the following characters: the eyes are red, wings are dark brown above and below without spots in both sexes, the hindwing cell at vein M3 is acutely produced, the males of all but M. deprivata have a stigma on the upperside of the forewing in spaces Cu1 and Cu2. The genus is comprised of 9 species, which occur mainly in Oriental region (de Jong 1983).

Prior to the present study, 3 species, M. aria (Moore, 1866), M. sasivarna (Moore, 1866) and M. pseudosasivarna Lee, 1962, had been recorded from China, and the distribution was restricted to the south provinces (de Jong, 1983; Bridges, 1994). In his latest revision of the genus, de Jong (1983) was not able to examine M. pseudosasivarna and treated it as a distinct species. In studying skippers from China, we recognized 6 species including a new species, and considered that M. pseudosasivarna Lee is a synonym of M. sasivarna. Three species, M. druna (Moore, 1866), M. purpurascens Elwes & Edwards, 1897, and M. cresta Evans, 1949, are recorded in China for the first time.

Specimens examined are mainly in the collection of the South China Agricultural University (SCAU), Guangzhou, except the holotype of M. pseudossivarna Lee, which is deposited in the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IZCAS), Beijing, and M. druna from Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar in the private collection of H. Chiba. For research methods, see Fan et al. (2010). New records are indicated by asterisk (*).

Taxonomic Account

Matapa aria (Moore, 1866) (Figs. 1–4)

  • Ismene aria Moore, 1866: 784. (Type locality: Bengal).

  • Specimens Examined

    CHINA: Guangdong: 2♂, Dinghushan, 1992- IV. M. Wang; 1♂, Yingde, 1999-VII, Min Wang;1♀, Guangzhou, 2004-IX-14, X. L. Fan; Hainan: 1♂, Jianfengling, 2008-IX-16, D. Guo; THAILAND: 1♂, Pattaya, 2003-I-19, M. Wang.

  • Matapa sasivarna (Moore, 1866) (Figs. 5–8)

  • Ismene sasivarna Moore, 1866: 784. (Type locality: Bengal).

  • Metapa [sic] pseudosasivarna Lee, 1962: 142. (Type locality: Yunnan) (syn. nov.)

  • [Matapa cresta: Gu & Chen, 1998: 326.] misidentification.

  • Specimens Examined

    CHINA: Hainan: 1♂, 1♀, Yinggeling, 2005- V-18, M. Wang & L. S. Chen; 1♂, Bawangling, 1989-III-23, M. B. Gu (Gu & Chen, 1998); 1♀, Bawangling, 1989-V-20, M. B. Gu; Yunnan: 1♂, Xiaomengyang, 1957-IV-4, L. C. Zang, (Metapa pseudosasivarna Lee, 1962: holotype)

  • Remarks

    Metapa pseudosasivarna was described from a single male from Yunnan Province, China (Lee, 1962). Based on the original description, this species differs from M. sasivarna in longer and narrower forewings (length 20 mm), linear and shorter male stigma (about 2 mm, extending obliquely from vein 2 to vein 3) and genitalia (the formations of the gnathos and uncus). We examined the holotype of M. pseudosasivarna (Figs. 9–11). Although the specimen of the adult and its male genitalia (Fig. 22) are not in good condition, the following characters can be observable: male stigma linear, straight, grey and conspicuous in space CuA1, and inconspicuous in space CuA2; hindwing fringes of orange yellow; valva with inner lamella folded and smooth, ventro-distal process irregular rectangular and dorsal part densely endowed with small spines. Obviously, the characters of pseudosasivarna are within the range of sasivarna.

  • Matapa druna (Moore, 1866) (Figs. 12–13)

  • Ismene druna Moore, 1866: 784. (Type locality: Bengal).

  • Specimens Examined

    CHINA*: Guangdong: 1♂, Dadongshan, Lian County, 1992-V-17; Thailand: 2♂, Ranong, 2001- VI; Myanmar: 1♂, Kachin, 1996-IX-10; Malaysia: 1♂, Sabah, 1979-I-26.

  • Remarks

    The species is well described by de Jong (1983), and known from Sikkim to North Vietnam, Borneo and Bali. The specimen illustrated in this paper is from Guangdong, China, and we considered that it is Matapa druna (Moore, 1866), and that it differs only slightly from the specimens examined by de Jong, i.e., central process of the tegument not reaching to the tip of the uncus, fold of inner lamella of valve with inconspicuous serration on the dorsal part.

  • Matapa pseudodruna sp. nov. (Figs. 14–17)

  • Description

    Male. Forewing length 21 mm, antenna length 12 mm. Antennae dark brown with the apiculus pointed and hooked, red brown ventrally. Palpi second segment erect, densely covered with yellow brown scales ventrally; third segment short and small. Wings upperside dark brown; forewing with termen slightly convex; male stigma grey, conspicuous, relatively broad and long, slightly incurved; wings underside ferruginous with grey brown between the vein Cu2 and dorsum of forewing.

    Male Genitalia (Fig. 23). Tegumen with central projection narrow and more or less twisted, reaching to base of uncus; uncus broad, 1.5 times as wide as long, distally uneven, apically slightly indented, laterally with auriform extensions; gnathos elbow-shaped with small spines distally; saccus short and narrow; valva with inner lamella extremely expanded and folded, transtilla foliated, strongly sclerotized with spines, ventro-distal process with flattened top, wavy and serrate dorsally; aedeagus with suprazonal sheath equal to subzonal sheath, suprazonal sheath with lateral small spines on both sides; juxta more or less nose-like, upper margin V-shaped.

    Female. Forewing length 23 mm, antenna length 12 mm. Similar to male, but forewing upperside ferruginous from veins C to Sc, end of abdomen thick with densely packed hair-like scales.

    Female Genitalia (Fig. 24). Anterior lamella rectangular, upper margin shallowly V-shaped; posterior lamella irregular quadrangular, upper margin arched; ductus bursa short, sclerotized; bursa copulatrix membranous.

  • Specimens Examined

    HOLOTYPE ♂, China: Guangdong, Nanling National Nature Reserve, Ruyuan, 2012-VII-3, M. Wang. Paratypes: 1♂, Nanling National Nature Reserve, Ruyuan, Guangdong, 2012-VII-16, M. B. Gu; 1♀, Nanling National Nature Reserve, Ruyuan, Guangdong, 2012-VI-6, M. Wang; 1♂, Wuzhishan town, Ruyuan, Guangdong, 2011-IV- 28, H. M. Xu. All the type specimens are deposited in SCAU.

  • Distribution

    China (Guangdong)

  • Etymology

    The scientific name, pseudodruna is derived from druna, because the new species strikingly resembles M. druna (Moore, 1866) in appearance.

  • Remarks

    Externally the male of the new species is similar to that of Matapa druna (Moore, 1866), but can be separated from the latter by the following differences: antennae dark brown above and below (below yellow brown in druna); forewing termen slightly convex (straight in druna); male genitalia with dorsal process on tegumen twist [straight in druna (Fig. 25)], transtilla developed, armed with spines (spines only on edge in druna), suprazonal sheath of aedeagus with lateral small spines prominent on both sides (only on the right side in druna). Female is even more similar to M. aria and M. druna, but can be distinguished by the following characters: anterior lamella upper margin shallowly V-shaped [deeply U-shaped in druna (refers to de Jong 1983, Fig. 42), centrally concave shallowly and straight in aria (Fig. 26)]; posterior lamella with upper margin arched (almost straight in druna, reverse V-shaped in aria). However, externally as well as in the genitalia, the new species belongs to the aria group of the genus. Their distributions are sympatric, and both the new species and true druna occur in the same province, and the distance from Nanling, Ruyuan county (the type locality of the new species) to Dadongshan, Lian county (where durna was collected) is about 45 km (Fig. 27).

  • Figs. 1–21.

    Adults of genus Matapa species: 1–4. M. aria (Guangdong), male (1–2), female (3–4); 5–8. M. sasivarna (Hainan), male (5–6), female (7–8); 9–11. M. pseudosasivarna (male, Holotype); 12–13. M. druna, male (Guangdong); 14–17. M. pseudodruna sp. nov. (Guangdong), male, Holotype (14–15), female, Paratype (16–17); 18–19. M. purpurascens, male (Yunnan); 20–21. M. cresta, female (Hainan). 1–10, Odd number, upperside; even number, underside; 12–21, reverse; scale bar, 10 mm.


    Figs. 22–26:

    Genitalia of genus Matapa species: 22. M. pseudosasivarna, male genitalia; 23–24. M. pseudodruna sp. nov., 23. Male genitalia (A. ring, lateral view; B. tegumen, dorsal view; C. juxta; D. valva, inner view; E–F. aedeagus); 24. Female genitalia; 25. M. druna, male genitalia; 26. M. aria, female genitalia.


    Matapa purpurascens Elwes & Edwards, 1897 (Figs. 18–19)

  • Matapa purpurascens Elwes & Edwards, 1897: 209. (Type locality: Khasi Hills).

  • Specimen Examined

    CHINA*: Yunnan: 1♀, Malipo County, V-2008. Matapa cresta Evans, 1949 (Figs. 20–21) Matapa cresta Evans, 1949: 331 (Type locality: Sikkim)

  • Specimen Examined

    CHINA*: Hainan: 1♀, Jianfengling, 2008-IX- 15.

  • Fig. 27.

    Distribution map of the genus Matapa species in China. INFOLINK


    In order to assign the new species M. pseudodruna sp. nov., the key given by de Jong (1983) is modified (change 6 to 8 and 5 to 7) as follows:

    3. Male without stigma. Upper side with strong purple gloss deprivata

    —. Male with stigma 4

    4. Male stigma grey, conspicuous 5

    —. Male stigma black, inconspicuous 7

    5. Thorax and wing bases with bluish green metallic sheen, hindwing underside fuliginous with black veins; female without densely packed hairlike scales sasivarna

    —. Hindwing underside ferruginous winout black veins; female with densely packed hairlike Scales 6

    6. Forewing with termen straight, stigma relatively broad. Male genitalia tegumen with narrow and straight central projection druna

    —. Forewing with termen slightly convex, stigma slightly narrower than druna. Male genitalia tegumen with narrow and twisted central projection pseudodruna sp. nov.


    We wish to express our appreciation to Dr. Liu- Sheng Chen (Shihezi University, Xinjiang, China), Mr. Dong Guo (SCAU), Mr. Hai-Ming Xu (SCAU) and Mao- Bin Gu (Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry) for collecting the specimens. Many thanks to Prof. Da-Yong Xue (Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy Sciences, Beijing, China) for the permission to examine the holotype of M. pseudosasivarna. This research was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (no.31172136).

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    [1] Supplementary material for this article in Florida Entomologist 96(4) (2013) is online at

    Xiao-Ling Fan, Hideyuki Chiba, and Min Wang "The Genus Matapa (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae) from China with Description of a New Species," Florida Entomologist 96(4), 1257-1262, (1 December 2013).
    Published: 1 December 2013
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