African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI

Nairobi, Kenya

African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI

Nairobi, Kenya

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Cock M.J.W.,C o CABI Europe UK | Congdon T.C.E.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI
Zootaxa | Year: 2017

Partial life histories from Kenya or Tanzania are presented for Metisella midas midas (Butler), M. medea medea Evans, M. orientalis orientalis Aurivillius, M. quadrisignatus nanda Evans, M. congdoni De Jong & Kielland and M. willemi Wallengren. The ovum of Metisella formosus linda Evans is also illustrated from Zambia. All feed on species of grasses (Poaceae). The convergence of the biology of the grass-feeding skippers, particularly Heteropterinae and Hesperiinae, Baorini is discussed. © Copyright 2017 Magnolia Press.


PubMed | Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Insect Committee of Nature Kenya, University of Lübeck, Kenyatta University and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings. Biological sciences | Year: 2016

Sexually antagonistic selection can drive both the evolution of sex chromosomes and speciation itself. The tropical butterfly the African Queen, Danaus chrysippus, shows two such sexually antagonistic phenotypes, the first being sex-linked colour pattern, the second, susceptibility to a male-killing, maternally inherited mollicute, Spiroplasma ixodeti, which causes approximately 100% mortality in male eggs and first instar larvae. Importantly, this mortality is not affected by the infection status of the male parent and the horizontal transmission of Spiroplasma is unknown. In East Africa, male-killing of the Queen is prevalent in a narrow hybrid zone centred on Nairobi. This hybrid zone separates otherwise allopatric subspecies with different colour patterns. Here we show that a neo-W chromosome, a fusion between the W (female) chromosome and an autosome that controls both colour pattern and male-killing, links the two phenotypes thereby driving speciation across the hybrid zone. Studies of the population genetics of the neo-W around Nairobi show that the interaction between colour pattern and male-killer susceptibility restricts gene flow between two subspecies of D. chrysippus Our results demonstrate how a complex interplay between sex, colour pattern, male-killing, and a neo-W chromosome, has set up a genetic sink that keeps the two subspecies apart. The association between the neo-W and male-killing thus provides a smoking gun for an ongoing speciation process.


Cock M.J.W.,CABI Europe Switzerland | Colin T.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI | Congdon E.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI
Zootaxa | Year: 2011

Partial life histories for 13 Afro-tropical Tagiadini (Hesperiidae: Pyrginae) are described and illustrated: Eagris sabadius astoria Holland, E. s. andracne (Boisduval), E. lucetia (Hewitson), E. decastigma purpura Evans, Tagiades flesus(Fabricius), Caprona pillaana Wallengren, Netrobalane canopus (Trimen), Abantis arctomarginata Lathy, A. bamptoni Collins & Larsen, A. zambesiaca (Westwood), A. paradisea (Butler), A. meru Evans and A. venosa Trimen. Generalisations are made for the tribe in Africa. Three African groups are recognised based on early stages. The Tagiadesgroup includes Tagiades and Eagris, and is characterised by the hair-like covering of the eggs, the absence of noticeable hairs on the caterpillar, the chordate head of the caterpillar, possibly the red colouring of young caterpillars, the presence of white waxy patches on the pupae, and the small frontal projection on the pupa. The Abantis group includes Caprona, Netrobalane and Abantis, and we assume Leucochitonea, and is characterised by the scale covering of the eggs, the rounded caterpillar head covered with branching and sub-branching hairs; the stalked stellate hairs covering the body, the pale hairless pupae with black markings, and the strong upturned bifurcate frontal projection of the pupae. The two remaining African genera, Procampta and Calleagris, appear to form a third group, characterised by no anal wool and no covering to the eggs. The Abantis group is considered to merit at least tribal status. Although all African genera include Malvaceae (including former families Bombacaceae, Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae) amongst their food plants, the range of families is diverse: Anacardiaceae, ?Cannabaceae, Erythroxylaceae, ?Lauraceae, Malvaceae, Rhamnaceae, ?Rosaceae, Sapindaceae and Violaceae (Eagris spp.), Dioscoreaceae, Malvaceae, ?Rutaceae (Tagiades flesus), Malvaceae (Caprona pillaana and Netrobalane canopus), and Annonaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Malvaceae, Phyllanthaceae, and Sapindaceae (Abantis spp.). © 2011 Magnolia Press.


Safian S.,University of West Hungary | Safian S.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI | Collins S.C.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI | Libert M.,rue Henry Barbet
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

Two Geritola (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) species, closely related to the Central African G. nitidica, have been recognised as new to science. G. wardi sp. n. was captured in small series in Mabira, an eastern outlier forest in Uganda, while G. pacifica sp. n. was discovered in Liberia, in classic Upper-Guinean hyper-wet rainforests. Both of them are described in comparison to their allopatric relative G. nitidica, including male genitalia. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.


Cock M.J.W.,C o CABI | Congdon T.C.E.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

Partial life histories for two Afrotropical Aeromachini and seven Afrotropical Baorini (Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae) are described and illustrated: Ampittia capenas (Hewitson), A. kilombero Larsen & Congdon, Zenonia zeno (Trimen), Pelopidas mathias mathias (Fabricius), P. thrax (Hübner), Borbo borbonica borbonica (Boisduval), B. fatuellus fatuellus (Hopffer), B. lugens (Hopffer) and Gegenes niso brevicornis (Plötz). Distinctive features of the pupa of Ampittia spp. (Aeromachini) are noted. Amongst Baorini, the pupae of Pelopidas spp., Borbo spp., Gegenes spp. and Zenonia spp. are all similar, being elongate, green, with a frontal spike, while the pupae of Parnara spp. are brown, rounded, and have no frontal spike. We hypothesise that the pupae of the first four genera reflect a common need for camouflage in an open or partially open shelter made from a single leaf of grass, while the pupa of Parnara spp. are formed in a closed shelter using several leaves as needed. This may also explain the similarity of the camouflaged pupae to those of many other genera in other tribes, which also feed on grasses, palms etc., and pupate in partially or completely open situations. Copyright © 2012 . Magnolia Press.


Larsen T.B.,Jacobys alle 2 | Congdon T.C.E.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI
Zootaxa | Year: 2011

Triskelionia is defined and described as a new genus for the Afrotropical skipper known as Sarangesa tricerata (Mabille, 1891) (Hesperiidae, Pyrginae, Celaenorrhinini). Its subspecies S. tricerata compacta Evans, 1937 is raised to species rank. The host plant is Dalbergia armata (Fabaceae) and it is the only known member of the African Celaenorrhinini that does not have Acanthaceae as host-plant and the pupa is the only one known without a free proboscis sheath. Copyright © 2011 - Magnolia Press.


The genus Ampittia Moore, 1882 is accepted as a valid genus occurring in both Africa and Asia on the basis of a number of unusual shared characters, a somewhat surprising result since we had expected to describe a new genus. The species A. kilombero sp. nov. from Tanzania is described as the third African member of the genus. Andronymus fontainei sp. nov. is described from the DRC as a probable endemic of the Albertine Rift. Chondrolepis ducarmei sp. nov. is a submontane species that is certainly endemic to the Albertine Rift. Chondrolepis uluguru sp. nov. is a submontane species from the Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania; it is yet another endemic of the Eastern Arc Mountains that are one of the most urgent conservation concerns in Tanzania. Copyright © 2012 · Magnolia Press.


Cock M.J.W.,C o CABI Europe UK | Congdon T.C.E.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI | Collins S.C.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Partial life histories for 12 Hesperiinae incertae sedis that feed on palms (Arecaceae) are described and illustrated. The genera dealt with are: Perrotia (part), Ploetzia, Zophopetes, Gretna (part), Pteroteinon, Leona, and Caenides (part) (all from Evans' Ploetzia genera group). Although Gamia spp. have been reported to feed on palms, these records are considered to be in error, as caterpillars of this genus feed on Dracaena spp. (Asparagaceae). The life histories of the species documented are fairly uniform, in that caterpillars of most species have rounded brown heads, wider basally, with or without limited black markings, smooth bodies and make simple shelters by rolling leaves. Variation in caterpillar markings and male genitalia of Zophopetes dysmephila (Trimen) and caterpillar and adult markings of Gretna carmen Evans merit further study. In G. carmen, G. waga (Plötz) and G. balenge (Holland), the caterpillars' head and body are covered with hair-like setae, and develop an extensive covering of white waxy powder, which in G. balenge also covers the long setae. Furthermore, the pupa of G. balenge is unusual in having a pair of large, elaborate processes frontally on the head; when disturbed, the pupa vibrates violently and rattles noisily against the sides of the shelter. Ploetzia amygdalis (Mabille) and Pteroteinon laufella (Hewitson) have gregarious caterpillars, whereas the remaining species are solitary. After eclosion, the first instar caterpillars of Gretna spp. moult to the second instar without feeding. The implications of a palm-feeding life-style are discussed, and economic damage and plant quarantine risks to coconut, oil palm and ornamental palms pointed out. The known life histories suggest that all Afrotropical palm-feeding Hesperiidae will belong in the same tribe when the incertae sedis section is further elucidated, although the affinities of Gretna deserve further consideration. © 2014 Magnolia Press All rights reserved.


Cock M.J.W.,C o CABI Europe UK | Congdon T.C.E.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Partial Life histories for 17 Hesperiinae incertae sedis that feed on grasses or bamboos (Poaceae) are described and illus-trated. The genera dealt with are: Astictopterus (from Evans' (1937) Astictopterus group), Prosopalpus, Kedestes (from Evans' (1937) Ampittia group), Ceratrichia, Pardaleodes, Ankola (From Evans' (1937) Ceratrichia and Acleros groups), Perrotia (part), Chondrolepis, and Monza (part) (all from Evans' Ploetzia genera group). The Poaceae-feeders comprise a relatively small proportion of the Afrotropical Hesperiinae fauna, particularly the mainland Afrotropical fauna. The cat-erpillars shown here are fairly homogeneous, with the head wider nearer the base, and lacking obvious setae on the body. Wax glands have been noted over most of the ventral surface A1-A8 in the final instar of Ceratrichia, Pardaleodes and Monza, but are absent in Chondrolepis, and either absent or not documented for other genera. The short double frontal projection of Tsitana uitenhaga is unusual, but pupae of the congeneric species have not been documented. The pupae of Kedestes spp. generally have extensive black or dark areas. The pupae of Pardaleodes and Ankola are very flimsy and collapse after emergence. All known pupae of Chondrolepis spp. have a short, blunt downturned frontal projection, not seen for any other Afrotropical genera, although Semalea spp. may have a short blunt projection. The remaining pupae are all generally similar and undistinguished. These are not substantial differences, but suggest that pupal characters may be useful in grouping some of the genera of Afrotropical Hesperiinae incertae sedis. © 2014 Magnolia Press.


Cock M.J.W.,C o CABI Europe UK | Congdon T.C.E.,African Butterfly Research Institute ABRI
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

Partial life histories of 24 Hesperiinae incertae sedis that feed on Dicotyledons are described and illustrated. The genera dealt with are: Acada, Acleros, Andronymus, Fresna, Gorgyra, Melphinyet, Meza, Paronymus, Parosmodes, Platylesches, and Teniorhinus. The food plants of Gorgyra (mainly Connaraceae), Melphinyet (Euphorbiaceae) and Platylesches (Chrysobalanaceae) stand out as clearly distinct from those of the other six genera, which share one or two food plant fam-ilies with each other. Thus four genera include Fabaceae in their food plants, two include Sapindaceae, two include Com-bretaceae, and Andronymus includes all three. Ova are only reported for five genera, but they do point to some significant differences: Gorgyra, Parosmodes and Platylesches are different from each other, and different from Acleros and Andro-nymus. The features of the caterpillars do not indicate clear patterns. The pupal shelters point to Parosmodes and Mel-phinyet showing some affinity and certainly differ from all others. Acleros and Andronymus have similar pupal shelters, and in common with Meza (dicotyledon-feeding species) and Fresna, the pupal chamber is not closed and the pupa rests on the leaf upper surface. The pupae of Gorgyra differ from all others. The pupae of Acleros and Andronymus have their colouring in common, probably reflecting their very similar pupal shelters. Similarly the pupae and shelters of Meza (di-cotyledon-feeding species) and Fresna seem analogous. The other pupae, hidden in their shelters are less differentiated, although the completely wax-free shelter of Acada is superficially different. We conclude that the likeliest scenario is that in the Afrotropical Region members of the Hesperiinae incertae sedis have made the switch from monocotyledons to di-cotyledons several times, and then radiated. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press.

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