Xanthorhoe bulbulata

Xanthorhoe bulbulata is a species of moth in the family Geometridae. It is endemic to New Zealand. It is classified as critically endangered by the Department of Conservation.

Xanthorhoe bulbulata
Xanthorhoe bulbulata female.jpg
Xanthorhoe bulbulata male.jpg

Nationally Critical (NZ TCS)[1]
Scientific classification
X. bulbulata
Binomial name
Xanthorhoe bulbulata
(Guenée, 1868)[2]
  • Cidaria bulbulata Guenée, 1868
  • Larentia bulbulata (Guenée,1868)


X. bulbulata was first described by Achille Guenée in 1868.[3][4] In 1883 Edward Meyrick placed the species within the genus Larentia.[5] In 1898 George Vernon Hudson assigned the species to the genus Xanthorhoe.[6]

Original descriptionEdit

Guenée described the species as follows:

Superior wings wood-brown, varied with pale and dark ; the fringe concolorons, preceded by small geminated black dots ; there are four white lines, the two first parallel and somewhat angulated, the third forming a band, divided by an interrupted white thread and followed by another very slender brownish line, the fourth simple, continuous and slightly shaky, no sub-apical line : inferior wings dark ochreous-yellow without any line, and simply with black terminal markings : under-side of all the wings ochreous-yellow without markings, excepting that on the inferior there is a little cellular dot, and a series of very small and distant black dots. Abdomen grey with several black atoms.[3]

Distribution and habitatEdit

This species is endemic to New Zealand.[7] Historically this moth was distributed throughout much of the South Island with records obtained from as far north as Awapiri in the Awatere valley down to Invercargill.[8][9] The moths could be found in "open, grassy places" from sea level to elevations of 660-930m.[9] Records suggest that the moth was once "common" between September and March.[10]

Species declineEdit

Despite having been common in New Zealand up to the 1930s,[11][10] since 1 January 1940 there have been only two recorded collections of X. bulbulata. These were a male found flying during the day in Queenstown in 1979 and a female caught in a light trap between February and March 1991 at the Eastern entrance to the Kawarau Gorge.[12] Intensive sampling for this moth covering 285 sites between 1995 and 2000 returned no specimens.[10]

It is thought that the documented decline in this species is the result of ecological changes to habitats following European settlement.[10]

Conservation statusEdit

This species has the "Nationally Critical" conservation status under the New Zealand Threat Classification System.[1]


  1. ^ a b Hoare, R.J.B.; Dugdale, J.S.; Edwards, E.D.; Gibbs, G.W.; Patrick, B.H.; Hitchmough, R.A.; Rolfe, J.R. (2015). "Conservation status of New Zealand butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera)" (PDF). New Zealand Threat Classification Series. 20: 1–13.
  2. ^ "Xanthorhoe bulbulata (Guenee, 1868)". www.nzor.org.nz. Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b Guenée, Achille (1868). "New species, &c., of heterocerous Lepidoptera from Canterbury, New Zealand collected by Mr R.W. Fereday". The Entomologist's Monthly Magazine. 5: 94. ISSN 0013-8908 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
  4. ^ Dugdale, J. S. (1988). "Lepidoptera – annotated catalogue, and keys to family-group taxa" (PDF). Fauna of New Zealand. 14: 190. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  5. ^ Meyrick, Edward (1884). "A Monograph of the New Zealand Geometrina". Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute. 16: 49–113 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
  6. ^ Hudson, G. V. (1898). New Zealand moths and butterflies (macro-lepidoptera). London: Newman & Co. p. 68. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.7912.
  7. ^ Gordon, Dennis P., ed. (2010). New Zealand inventory of biodiversity. 2. p. 460. ISBN 978-1-877257-93-3. OCLC 973607714. OL 25288394M. Wikidata Q45922947.
  8. ^ Hudson, G. V. (1898). New Zealand moths and butterflies (macro-lepidoptera). London: Newman & Co. p. 144. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.7912.
  9. ^ a b Hudson, G. V. (1928). The butterflies and moths of New Zealand. Wellington: Ferguson & Osborn. p. 111.
  10. ^ a b c d Brian., Patrick (2000). Conservation status of two rare New Zealand geometrid moths (PDF). New Zealand. Department of Conservation. Wellington, N.Z.: Dept. of Conservation. ISBN 0478219466. OCLC 54078998.
  11. ^ Philpott, A (1901). "Catalogue of Southland Lepidoptera". Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute. 33: 167–185.
  12. ^ Patrick, B. H. (1994). Valley floor Lepidoptera of Central Otago. Dunedin: Department of Conservation. p. 54.