Armatophallus , Bidzilya, Oleksiy V., 2015

Bidzilya, Oleksiy V., 2015, Armatophallus gen. n., a new genus of gelechiid moths (Lepidoptera, Gelechiidae) from the Afrotropical and Oriental regions, Zootaxa 3981 (3), pp. 413-429: 414-415

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gen. n.

Armatophallus  gen. n.

Type-species: Gelechia exoenota Meyrick, 1918 

Description. Head: Smooth-scaled, yellow to light brown; labial palpus strongly up-curved, protruding far over head, segment 2 off-white to grey, usually with brown scales at base and before apex, slender, only slightly broader and approximately as long as segment 3, underside without modified scales, segment 3 slender, acute; ocelli absent; antenna in male slightly thicker than antenna in female, nearly 2 / 3 length of forewing, scape brown, shaft brown with narrow whitish rings at the base of all segments. Thorax: Brown, often mottled with ochre or black, tegulae usually darker, black; forewing elongate-ovate, wingspan 12.5–20.1 mm, brown or light brown; 3 black dots in cell, 2-3 black diffuse spots at base; costal margin usually distinctly mottled with black, big spots at 2 / 3 of costal margin, light brown or whitish diffuse spots at both margins at 2 / 3 – 3 / 4 length; hindwing trapezoidal, broad, tornus (anal angle) broadly rounded, terminal excavation indistinct, apex short, weakly pointed. Abdomen: Segment VIII in male merged in basal half, sternum VIII broader than long, rounded or sub-rectangular, anterior margin with medial emargination, tergum VIII narrow, distinctly broader than long, posterior margin broadly rounded; female segment VII trapezoidal, about twice length of other abdominal segments; sternum II of both sexes with pair of venulae, medially with group of sensory setae (sensilla trichodea), apodemes well developed. Male genitalia with uncus a short rounded flap covered with long strong setae, sometimes ( A. kuehnei  ) uncus deeply divided into two lobes ( Fig. 22View FIGURES 20 – 22); paired rounded flaps (socii) arise from the base of uncus are developed in A. exoenota  ( Figs. 17–19View FIGURES 17 – 19); gnathos strong, long, evenly curved hook with pointed tip; tegumen weakly prolonged, trapezoidal, with deep, broad anterior emargination, lateral folds narrow, well developed; valva digitate, ventral margin usually with triangular tooth at about middle, distal portion moderately broad, densely covered with hairs, apex rounded, slightly exceeding the top of uncus; sacculus with broadly rounded base that is merged with valva, distal portion usually narrow extending to ½– 3 / 4 length of valva; posterior margin of vinculum divided by deep anteromedial emargination into big lobes covered with fine microtrichia and terminated into one or two ( A. hackeri  , A. indicus  ) projections ( Figs. 24, 25View FIGURES 23 – 25), except in A. kuehnei  ( Fig. 22View FIGURES 20 – 22); saccus short, broadly rounded with xshaped sclerotized support; phallus basally bulbous, distal portion narrow, straight or weakly curved, apex with 1– 3 lateral tooth-shaped processes and with 1–3 horn-shaped arms; ductus ejaculatorius with very long, coiled, strongly sclerotized lamina. Female genitalia with papilla analis sub-ovate, covered with setae; apophyses posteriores straight, long and narrow; segment VIII sub-rectangular, sternum VIII evenly sclerotized, densely covered antero-medially with microtrichia, anterior margin usually strongly sclerotized with two sclerites curved inwards and connected medially near ostium ( Figs. 26–28View FIGURES 26 – 28), narrow postero-medial sclerite developed in some species ( A. exoenota  , A. crudescens  , A. kuehnei  ); antrum broad, rounded, usually with sclerotized plate inside ( Figs. 26–31View FIGURES 26 – 28View FIGURES 29 – 30View FIGURES 31 – 32); apophyses anteriores broad at base, distal portion about as long or longer than segment VIII; ductus bursae moderately broad, distal portion usually with minute spikes, with abrupt transition to globular corpus bursae ( A. exoenota  , A. crudescens  , A. kuehnei  ), signum at bottom of corpus bursae, strongly sclerotized prolonged plate with densely serrated edges and medial ridge; in some cases ( A. hackeri  , A. indicus  ) corpus bursae without signum ( Figs. 31, 32View FIGURES 31 – 32), very narrow, gradually merges into the ductus bursae.

Distribution. South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, The Gambia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, India.

Biology. The early stages and hostplants are unknown.

Etymology. The generic name is derived from the Latin armatus meaning armed or warrior, and refers to the arms on the apex of the phallus.

Remarks. The new genus is recognizable by the following combination of characters: the phallus bearing apical arms, the posterior margin of the vinculum with well developed projections, the x-shaped support system of the saccus, the uncus densely covered with strong setae, a very long gnathos, and well developed lateral folds of the tegumen in the male genitalia. The female genitalia are characterized by sternum VIII covered with microtrichia, usually widened antrum, and the anterior margin of the sternite VIII with tendency to strong sclerotization. The presence of the long apical arms on the phallus seems to be unique within Gelechiidae  and can be considered as autapomorphy of Armatophallus  . The well developed socii are rather rare in Gelechiidae  , but this character is known only in one species of the genus ( A. exoenota  ) and therefore cannot be considered an autapomorphy for the genus. The difference in the width of the antenna between male and female is an additional feature that may be used to define Armatophallus  species, but its importance for the classification remains unclear. It should be noted that sexual dimorphism in the width of the antenna is common in Aphanostola Meyrick, 1931  , Leuronoma Meyrick, 1918  , and related unrevised genera of the subfamily Anomologinae.

Most of the diagnostic characters of Armatophallus  are found scattered across the subfamily Gelechiinae  : the x-shaped support system of the saccus, the uncus densely covered with strong setae and the well developed lateral folds of the tegumen are shared with Schizovalva Janse, 1951  , Parapsectis Meyrick, 1911, and Athrips Billberg, 1820  . The microtrichia in sternum VIII in the female genitalia are widely distributed in the tribe Gnorimoschemini  ( Huemer & Karsholt 2010) but occur also in Gelechia Hübner  , [1825], Mirificarma Gozmány, 1955  , and Filatima Busck, 1939  . The narrow serrated signum of most Armatophallus  species is common in Neofriseria Sattler, 1960  , and Chionodes Hübner  , [1825]. The evenly sclerotized sternum VIII with strongly sclerotized anterior margin in combination with a widened antrum indicates affinity of the new genus to Neofriseria  . Most genera of Gelechiinae  have sternum and tergum VIII separate (not fused), and that is considered as a synapomorphy of the subfamily ( Huemer & Sattler 1995, Karsholt et al. 2013). Armatophallus  , along with Athrips  and Parapsectris  , are characterized by the sternum and tergum VIII also separated laterally but fused in the basal portion ( Bidzilya 2005). This character indicates rather isolated position of these genera within Gelechiinae  , but their assignment to this subfamily seems justified.

Armatophallus  is rather homogeneous externally. All species have a similar wing pattern that consists of black dots at the base of the forewing, black spots at 2 / 3 of the costa, and a usually mottled black costal margin. Sexual dimorphism in the width of the antenna is observed in those Armatophallus  species that are known in both sexes. The male genitalia of all species are quite similar to each other too, except for A. exoenota  that has socii and A. kuehnei  that has a medially divided uncus and reduced projections of the posterior margin of the vinculum. A. hackeri  and A. indicius  can be separated from the rest of Armatophallus  species by a very long gnathos and the presence of lateral projection on the posterior margin of the vinculum. Contrary to the male genitalia, the female genitalia are more variable. They clearly divide into two groups. The first group comprises three species ( A. exoenota  , A. crudescens  , A. kuehnei  ) with a corpus bursae that is clearly differentiated from the ductus bursae in combination with a well developed signum. Two species ( A. hackeri  , A. indicus  ) with a ductus bursae that gradually merges into the very narrow corpus bursae in combination with reduced signum form the second group.