HOLOTYPE ♀ Abyssinia [Ethiopia]: Scioa [Shewa Province] [MSNG]. Rothschild & Jordan also incorrectly stated that the holotype was in Oberthur's collection.
Oberthür (1883) (STI 19432) described Smerinthus bianchii from a single female from “Scio, Abyssinia” (now Shewa province, Ethiopia), commenting that this species and Smerinthus abyssinicus (currently placed in synonymy with Pseudoclanis postica) could represent a single species: “Potrebbe darsi che la specie fosse variabile e che gli S. bianchii e abyssinicus fossero i due sessi di una sola” [“It could be that the species is variable and that S. bianchii and abyssinicus are the two sexes of one”]. In their Revision, Rothschild & Jordan (1903) (STI 19807) synonymized Smerinthus bianchii with Pseudoclanis postica abyssinicus but without any explanation. Almost a century later, in a lengthy Note (#481), Kitching & Cadiou (2000: 159) (STI 18788) compared the males of Pseudoclanis bianchii and Pseudoclanis abyssinicus and described several features of the wing pattern that served to distinguish the two species. In Pseudoclanis bianchii, on the forewing upperside, the three antemedial lines are more transverse, meeting the posterior edge at an angle of just less than 90°, the postmedial line is even and almost straight; and just beyond the submarginal line, there is a row of small, black dots on the veins. On the hindwing upperside, the postmedial line is nearly straight, a pattern repeated on the underside. On the undersides of both the fore- and hindwings, there is a row of small, black dots on the veins just distal to the submarginal band, as on the forewing upperside. There are also additional small, black marks anterior to the basal black spot on the forewing upperside. In contrast, on the fore upperside of Pseudoclanis [postica] abyssinicus, the three transverse, antemedial lines are straight and quite oblique, meeting the posterior edge of the wing at an angle of about 45°; the postmedial line is dentate and S-shaped; and the submarginal line is weak and barely perceptible. On the hindwing upperside, the postmedial line is absent, while on the underside, it is poorly defined and dentate. Kitching & Cadiou (2000) did not study the holotypes of Pseudoclanis bianchii and Pseudoclanis abyssinicus directly, but by means of the line drawings in the original descriptions, in which the salient pattern features could be discerned (particularly the shapes on the antemedial and postmedial lines). They found that they agreed with those of the moths that they interpreted respectively as the males of the two taxa. Based on these and other consistent differences, and given that the two taxa were sympatric, Kitching & Cadiou (2000) reinstated Pseudoclanis bianchii as a valid species.