Zoological Illustrations/VolI-Pl33

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Zoological Illustrations Volume I Plate 33.jpg

TAMYRIS Zeleucus.

Generic Character.

Antennæ arcuatæ, clava terminali, crassata, lineari, obtusa, in fœminis graciliore attenuata. Palpi in fronte convexe-compressi, supra linguam obvenientes, articulo ultimo minutissimo, crassato obtuso, approximate, proclivi. Alæ breves, sedentes horizontaliter divaricatæ.
Antennæ arcuated; the club terminal, thick, linear, obtuse; more slender and attenuated in the female. Palpi compressed convexly on the front of the head, meeting above the tongue; the last joint very minute, thick, obtuse, approximating and bent forward. Wings short, when at rest horizontally divaricated.

Specific Character, etc.

T. Alis chalybeis concoloribus, margine albo; capite apiceque corporis sanguineis.
Wings uniform blueish-black, with a slender white margin. Head and top of the body bright red.
Hesp. Zeleucus. Fab. Ent. Syst. 3. pt. 1. p. 346. no. 317.
Obs. Donovan's Indian Insects, where that author has figured it by mistake as a native of India.

This insect is the most common (although hitherto unfigured) of a striking natural group belonging to the Hesperidæ; it has therefore been selected as the best example for the genus I have now formed them into. I have not seen more than twelve or fourteen species, and these were all from different parts of South America, to which I have no doubt the genus is exclusively confined. The club of their antennæ is very thick, obtuse, and without any terminal hook. The bright red at the end of the abdomen (improperly called by Fabricius the tail) is most conspicuous in the female, which is also larger and having the wings more obtuse, of which the upper and under surfaces are both alike.

The insects of this family fly with amazing rapidity (as is shown by the thickness of their thorax, and the sharpness in the make of their wings), generally frequenting openings of thick woods and alighting on leaves where the sun strikes: I seldom saw them on flowers. Their wings when at rest are half expanded in a horizontal direction. Their metamorphosis is unknown.

This individual species is scarce in the northern parts of Brazil, but common in the southern provinces.