Delias mayrhoferi  Bang-Haas 1939 red.png

Subspecies and range of Delias mayrhoferi :

No subspecies

mayrhoferi - New Britain, PNG

         synonym shunichii Morita 1996




Notes on Delias mayrhoferi :

An unusual species which appears to be similar to D. aruna of Group 19, but was placed here as part of Group 13, linked to D. eximia by Morita based on morphological features ( forewing upperside white with black margin, forewing underside black with white subapical band, hindwing underside with red sub-basal spot and red discal markings). As more specimens are found, it is to be hoped that a study of genitalia will be made to help establish the true position of this species.

It is extremely rare in collection !

If you need a specimen of Delias mayrhoferi, please contact me :

Delias shunichii or Delias mayrhoferi ?

The story of this species is fascinating ! In 1996, Morita described it as Delias shunichii and it has long been the official name of this species. In 2009, a German team of researchers proved that this species was described 60 years before by Bang-Haas ! But it was in 1939 and a German researcher, so the world has forgotten this discovery for nearly 60 years ! See this interesting article : "Haüser C.L., Steiner A., Bartsch D., Holstein J., 2009 : On the identity of an enigmatic Delias from New Britain, Papua New Guinea : Delias mayrhoferi Bang-Haas 1939 and Delias shunichii Morita 1996 syn. n."

Description of Delias mayrhoferi :

Description by kind permission of Robert Gotts (Australian Entomologist,2003, 30(1):1-4)- Robert I. C. Gotts and Scott G. Ginn 

Male. Forewing length 32.5mm. Head and thorax dorsally black; abdomen dorsally grey. Head, thorax and anterior portion of abdomen ventrally orange-yellow; posterior of abdomen white. Forewing upperside white tinged with grey distally; apex and costa black; outer margin to tornus broadly black but not entering discal cell. Forewing underside ground colour black, covering all but a narrow white strip along the inner margin (below vein 1A+2A); basal anterior lobe of costa edged with yellow; subapical band of 5 white spots. Hindwing upperside white with broad black margin extending into subterminal area. Hindwing underside black with large red sub-basal spot occupying most of cell Sc+R1, yellow scaling present basally: broad red median band entering outer third of cell and extending slightly beyond, not reaching costa or inner margin."

"Female. Forewing length 33mm, antenna 15mm. Head dorsally black, ventrally pale yellow; antenna black; labial palpus pale yellow; thorax clothed with pale yellow hairs; legs black, femora with yellow hairs; abdomen pale yellow. Forewing upperside ground colour white; basal one-third of white areas suffused with clear pale yellow; black margins broader than in male; black area very broad along costa almost completely filling discal cell, leaving just a narrow band of yellow with black dusting above cubitus; black margins on both wings grade to grey along inner edges; veins black; submedian area yellow, extending to origin of vein CuA2; distad of CuA2 white. Forewing underside ground colour black; broad submarginal band of six white spots extending from costa to vein CuA2, much broader than in male and separated by black veins; small white disco-cellular spot present; posterior half of wing white extending from inner margin to cubitus, filling proximal third of cell CuA1 and most of cells CuA2 and 1A+2A; basal third of white area suffused with pale yellow scales; black border of outer margin ends at tornus and extends along veins. Hindwing with termen more convex than in male; upperside ground colour white; black margins broader than in male; white area suffused with yellow in basal half of cell Sc+R1, and extending from vein Rs to 1A+2A, remaining white distally.. Hindwing underside ground colour black; red sub-basal spot almost entirely occupies cell Sc+R1; yellow scaling prominent in basal area, diffusing with black ground colour, and extending to proximal region of costa, sub-basal red spot and discal cell; red median band much broader than in male, with red areas more extensive distally; red median band commencing with vestigial spot in distal portion of cell Sc+R1, then continuous from vein Rs to 3A and including distal third of discal cell; median band distally convex."