An addition to the known range of Marumba irata Joicey & Kaye, 1917 (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) in northeastern India

Alka Vaidya 1 & Harmenn Huidrom 2 & Irungbam Jatishwor Singh 3


1 J- 145, Lokmanya Nagar, Kataria Marg, Mahim, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400016, India

2 Yaiskul Hiruhanba Leikai, Imphal West, Manipur 795001, India

3 313, Khundrakpam Mayai Leikai, Imphal East, Manipur 795114, India

1, 2, 3 (corresponding author)



doi: | ZooBank:


Editor: Anonymity requested. Date of publication: 26 September 2015 (online & print)


Manuscript details: Ms # o4200 | Received 25 December 2014 | Final received 03 September 2015 | Finally accepted 04 September 2015


Citation: Vaidya, A., H. Huidrom & I.J. Singh (2015). An addition to the known range of Marumba irata Joicey & Kaye, 1917 (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) in northeastern India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(11): 7831–7832;


Copyright: © Vaidya et al. 2015. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Funding: None.


Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements The authors are thankful to Dr. Ulf Eitschberger, McGuire Centre for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity, Florida, USA and Dr. Ian J. Kitching, Natural History Museum, London, UK for the confirmation of species and valuable suggestions provided during the preparation of the manuscript. The authors are also thankful to the unknown reviewers who had reviewed and suggested changes to the manuscript.




The genus Marumba Moore, 1882 occurs in the Oriental and Palearctic regions; nine species of Marumba have been reported in the Indian sub-region: gaschkewitschii (Bremer & Grey, 1853), dyras (Walker, 1856), indicus (Walker, 1856), sperchius (Menetries, 1857), cristata (Butler, 1875), spectabilis (Butler, 1875), nympha (Rothschild & Jordan, 1903), poliotis Hampson, 1907, harutai Eitschberger & Ihle, 2012 (Bell & Scott 1937; Kitching et al. 2014). The forewing of the genus features three transverse fasciae at basal to discal mark and three distal to it and the outer two double back subtornally to form a loop containing a dark central spot on the dorsum. The forewing apex and the angle of the tornus are weakly falcate and have an irregular wing margin. Two dark brown patches are usually present at the hindwing tornal area associated with a slightly looped fascia (Holloway 1987).

Marumba irata was, until recently, considered to be a subspecies of Marumba gaschkewitschii. This species complex was recently revised by Eitschberger (2012), who reinstated it to species status based only on the lectotype in the Natural History Museum, London (NHML) and its original labels. The origin of that specimen is not fully known but was said to be from “Tibet” at about 1000m elevation (Eitschberger 2012). The early stages and biology of the species are completely unknown. The species has been reported from Myanmar, China and at higher altitudes of northern Vietnam (Pittaway & Kitching 2000–2015).

Marumba irata have forewing with ground-colour violet pink. The forewing basal area dark brown with a bunch of four transverse lines across the center of the cell, the outer two of which are greatly curved and parallel. Forewing discoidal spot small and black. Outside the cell is a group of three transverse lines very close together, followed by a very wavy parallel line at a short distance and ends near tornus in a large chocolate-coloured spot; below this still nearer to tornus is a squarish similarly coloured spot (Eitschberger 2012). Marumba irata can be easily distinguished by hindwing pink, brownish towards outer margin while Marumba gaschkewitschii have hindwing red shaded with brown distally (Bell & Scott 1937; Eitschberger 2012).






In the present paper, we report encountering Marumba irata at different locations of northeastern India. The species was encountered by the first author when collecting data on moths at Khonoma, Kohima District of Nagaland (India) (25038’39.9”N & 9401’19.06”E, 1950m) (Fig. 1) when, on the night of 21 May 2012, a single specimen of Marumba irata appeared on the light screen, which was a 1.8m by 1.5m white cloth illuminated by a 160W mercury vapour bulb. The moth appeared at 20:00hr and settled on the cloth with the left hindwing exposed (Image 1a).

Later, on the night of 19 July 2014, a second specimen was photographed by second author at Mao, Senapati District of Manipur State (India) (25030’25.57”N & 94008’00.47”E, 1798m) (Fig. 1) on a concrete wall where a fluorescent bulb was kept switched on overnight. The moth settled on the wall with the hindwings mostly covered by the forewings, but with the abdomen exposed, this being bent upwards in the manner characteristic of the genus (Image 1b).

The present records from the two states of northeastern India represent a major extension of the known range of the species and are the westernmost known distributional records. Both localities lie in the outer Himalayan ranges below 2000m, altitudes comparable with those at which the species is found in northern Vietnam (1500–2400 m; specimens in the NHML; I.J. Kitching, pers. comm. 14 November 2014), but contrasting with the higher altitudes, above 2500m, at which the species has been reported in Xizang/Tibet: Bomi, 2750m; Nyingchi, Namjagbarwa region, 3050m; Zayü, 3000m (Pittaway & Kitching 2000–2015). Further detailed studies are advisable to understand fully the extent of this species in other parts of the northern Indian region.




Bell, T.R.D & F.B. Scott (1937). Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Moths Vol. V. Sphingidae. Taylor and Francis, London.

Eitschberger, U. (2012). Revision des Marumba gaschkewitschii (Bremer & Grey, 1852) - Artkomplexes (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae). Neue Entomologische Nachrichten 68: 1–293.

Holloway, J.D. (1987). The Moths of Borneo (Part 3); Lasiocampidae, Eupterotidae, Bombycidae, Brahmaeidae, Saturniidae, Sphingidae. Southdene Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 163 figs. +20pls+199pp.

Kitching, I.J., R. Kendrick & P. Smetacek (2014). A list of hawkmoth species (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, including their common names []. Downloaded on 18 September 2014.

Pittaway, A.R. & I.J. Kitching (2000-2015). Sphingidae of the eastern Palaearctic. [Site accessed: 11 June 2015]