Macropiratidae Meyrick, 1932

This post is to make the text available for Edward Meyrick’s original description of the moth family Macropiratidae and its monotypic genus Macropiratis (now synonymised with Agdistopis Hampson, 1917). This family and genus, along with two species descriptions (Macropiratis halieutica n. sp. and Macropiratis heteromantis n. sp.) appear on pages 248-249 of the fourth volume of Meyrick’s Exotic Microlepidoptera, which unfortunately remains unavailable online.

The text reads as follows:



Face oblique or vertical, scales projecting roughly at lower edge; ocelli posterior, distinct; tongue absent. Antennae under ½, ♂ flat-dentate, ciliated, scape short. Labial palpi straight, porrected, with appressed scales, differing specifically. Maxillary palpi imperceptible. Posterior tibiae very long, slender, smooth outer middle spurs ¾ of inner. Abdomen very long and slender. Forewings 2 from ⅔-¾, 3 from near angle, 4 and 5 stalked, 6 from near 9, 7 and 8 out of 9, 10 apparently absent, 11 nearly approximated to 9. Hindwings 1¼, cubital pecten strong and well-developed; 2 from ¾, 3 and 4 short-stalked from angle, 5 obsolete, apparently represented by an imperfect medial fold, 6 and 7 stalked from angle, 8 apparently absent, absorbed throughout in 7.

Type halieutica Meyr. This singular genus presents an exceptional combination of characters which excludes it from all established families of Pyralidina, and I am therefore obliged to form a new family for it. The insects have the aspect of an entire-winged Pterophorid, but do not possess the cubital series of spinules on the lower surface of hindwings invariably characteristic of that family, and are otherwise anomalous; the apparent absence of maxillary palpi is however a point of resemblance, and there is probably a real relationship.

Meyrick, Edward (1932). Exotic Microlepidoptera 4: 248

Macropiratis halieutica, n. sp.

♂. 29 mm. Head light fuscous, face oblique. Palpi fuscous, very long (4), cylindrical, somewhat thickened and slightly roughened above towards base, terminal joint short, obtuse. Antennal ciliations short. Thorax light fuscous mixed whitish. Forewings very elongate, very narrow at base, gradually dilated, costa moderately arched near apex, termen slightly rounded, oblique; 2 from ¾; fuscous; costal half whitish-ochreous from base to about ⅘, and neuration sharply marked by white lines along veins 2-8; some dark reddish-brown suffusion beyond this pale area, and on its lower edge in middle of disc; an oblique white streak from apex curved donwards towards tornus but becoming obsolete between veins 4 and 5; a white terminal line preceded by some darker suffusion: cilia brownish becoming whitish towards tops, and with a white bar at apex. Hindwings grey; cilia light grey.

FIJI, Lautoka, November (H. Phillips); 1 ex. (Brit. Mus.).

Meyrick, Edward (1932). Exotic Microlepidoptera 4: 249

Macropiratis heteromantis, n.sp.

♂. 30 mm. Differs from halieutica only as follows: face vertical; palpi moderate (1½), scales tolerably pointed, terminal joint concealed; antennal ciliations over 1; forewings 2 from ⅔, costal half light brownish-ochreous, dorsal half and terminal area dark fuscous, whitish neural lines and oblique white apical streak as in halieutica; hindwings rather dark grey.

CEYLON, Kalutara, July (F. Mackwood); 1 ex. The singular differences, especially in the shape of head and development of palpi, between these two superficially very similar insects are apparently natural, but further material for investigation is very desirable.

Meyrick, Edward (1932). Exotic Microlepidoptera 4: 249