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The genera Kontikia
are very similar and are considered the same by some researchers. But there may well be need for a further re-arrangement at the generic level to accommodate some differences between species. Several species of both genera have been inadvertently distributed around the World by hitching a ride in soil associated with plants. Their eggs, and even juveniles are small, black and are not seen amongst the soil particles. Several, placed once in Parakontikia
are of Australian origin and have been taken elsewhere: Kontikia atrata
: Australia; NZ Kontikia ventrolineata
: Australia; NZ; South Africa; Hawaii & California, USA; UK (in hothouses)Kontikia
species indet.: California, USA, 3 specimens only from San Diego!
The two species, K. atrata
and K. ventrolineata
in NZ are widespread in the North Island and may still be spreading through the warmer parts of the South Island. Both are abundant in garden centres and similar commercial places, also in urban and in horticultural land. They are easily distinguished: Kontikia atrata
is darker, has no pale line in centre of upper surface and a single median greyish stripe in the centre of the paler ventral surface. It will readily break into small pieces when picked up. Kontikia ventrolineata
has a narrow pale dorsal line with an even finer dark line in the middle of the dorsum and two, submedian grey stripes on the ventral surface. It is not known to break up even with moderately rough handling.
Text updated: 5/09/2013