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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Tineidae
Genus: Bascantis
Meyrick, 1914[1]
Species: B. sirenica
Binomial name
Bascantis sirenica
Meyrick, 1914[2]

Bascantis is a genus of moths belonging to the family Tineidae. It contains only one species, Bascantis sirenica, that is endemic to New Zealand. This species is classified as "Data Deficient" by the Department of Conservation.


This species was described by Edward Meyrick in 1914 using a specimen collected by George Hudson at Kaeo in January.[3][4] Hudson discussed and illustrated this species both in his 1928 book The Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand as well as his 1950 publication Fragments of New Zealand entomology.[5][6] The holotype specimen is held at the Natural History Museum, London.[3]


Meyrick described the species as follows:

♀︎. 12 mm. Head and thorax deep purple, face whitish. Palpi dark fuscous. Antennae violet - fuscous. Abdomen dark bluish - grey. Forewings elongate, rather narrow, posteriorly slightly dilated, costa anteriorly slightly, towards apex strongly arched, apex obtuse, termen obliquely rounded ; deep purple ; a semioval ochreous-white spot on middle of costa, reaching ​13 across wing ; dorsum obscurely marked with several small blue- metallic spots and minute whitish dots ; a transverse-linear blackish mark in disc at ​34 ; a narrow bright-purple transverse fascia shot with metallic-blue and edged anteriorly with indistinct white dots from beyond ​34 of costa to tornus, and another before apex : cilia dark grey, with blackish median line. Hindwings dark bronzy-fuscous, lighter anteriorly ; cilia dark grey. [4]


This species is endemic to New Zealand.[7][2] Along with the type locality of Kaeo, this species has also been collected in Waitakere Ranges,[5] Days Bay,[5] and Wainuiomata.[6] It was last seen in 1950.[8]

Biology and behaviour[edit]

Zorion guttigerum

The adult moth is on the wing in January.[5] It is a day flying moth.[8] It has been hypothesised that this moth mimics the appearance of the beetle Zorion guttigerum.[5]

Host species and habitat[edit]

This species has been collected by sweeping in dense forest.[6]

Conservation status[edit]

This moth is classified under the New Zealand Threat Classification system as being Data Deficient.[9]


  1. ^ "BASCANTIS - Butterflies and Moths of the World". Natural History Museum, London. Retrieved 30 May 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Bascantis sirenica Meyrick, 1914". Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd. Retrieved 7 February 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Dugdale, J. S. (1988). "Lepidoptera - annotated catalogue, and keys to family-group taxa" (PDF). Fauna of New Zealand. 14: 155. Retrieved 9 February 2018. 
  4. ^ a b Meyrick, E. (1914). "Descriptions of New Zealand Lepidoptera". Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute. 46: 101–118 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Hudson, G. V. (1928). The Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand. Wellington: Ferguson & Osborn Ltd. p. 341. OCLC 25449322. 
  6. ^ a b c Hudson, George Vernon (1950). Fragments of New Zealand entomology : a popular account of all the New Zealand cicadas : the natural history of the New Zealand glow-worm : a second supplement to The butterflies and moths of New Zealand, and notes on many other native insects. Wellington, N.Z.: Ferguson & Osborn. pp. 112–113. OCLC 154155584. 
  7. ^ Gordon, Dennis P., ed. (2010). New Zealand inventory of biodiversity. Volume two. Kingdom animalia : chaetognatha, ecdysozoa, ichnofossils. Vol. 2. Christchurch, N.Z.: Canterbury University Press. p. 464. ISBN 9781877257933. OCLC 973607714. 
  8. ^ a b "NZTCS Lepidoptera spreadsheet". 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2018. 
  9. ^ Hoare, R.J.B.; Dugdale, J.S.; Edwards, E.D.; Gibbs, G.W.; Patrick, B.H.; Hitchmough, R.A.; Rolfe, J.R. (2017). Conservation status of New Zealand butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), 2015 (PDF). Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Department of Conservation. p. 5. ISBN 9781988514383. 

External links[edit]