Evergestis caesialis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1840)

Alipanah, Helen, Khodadad, Masoumeh, Rajaei, Hossein & Haseli, Mohammad, 2018, Taxonomic study of the genus Evergestis Hübner, 1825 (Lepidoptera: Crambidae: Glaphyriinae) in Iran with description of a new species, Zootaxa 4420 (1), pp. 1-33: 8-10

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Evergestis caesialis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1840)


Evergestis caesialis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1840) 

Material examined. HMIMAbout HMIM: Iran, Fārs Prov.: 1 ♂, Estahbān, Koregarmedun , 1750 m, 21.x.1997, Moghaddam, N. Nazari, Barāri leg.  ; SMNKAbout SMNK: 1 ♂, Iran, Elburz, Lar valley , e 8000 ft, E P  . Wiltshire, 5.–13.vii.1939 (ex coll. H. G. Amsel), 1 ♂ 1 ♀, Z-Afghanistan, Koh-i-Baba, S-Seite Panjao , 2650 m, 20.–22.vii.1966, H. G. Amsel leg. (ex. coll. H. G. Amsel) (GS: HA-2037, HA-2038). 

Distribution. Italy, SE Europe, Morocco, Syria, Iran (Shahkuh, Binalud Mt., Soltanabad, Tehran, Shiraz, Komehr, Elburz Mt., Nesa, Lar valley, Kandovan Rd., Alvand), Afghanistan ( Zerny 1914, 1939; Amsel 1953, 1961, 1970; Goater 2005).

Remarks. As our knowledge goes, four subspecies are known for this species that all, except the nominative, have been described from Iran ( Zerny 1939; Amsel 1953, 1961; Nuss et al. 2003–2017). Evergestis caesialis mellealis  was collected from Kandovan Rd. in Alborz Prov., in the north of Iran ( Zerny 1939) and both E. caesialis shirazalis  and E. caesialis comealis  from Komehr in Fars Prov., in the south of Iran ( Amsel 1953, 1961). In 1961, E. caesialis shirazalis  was raised to the species level, E. shirazalis  , by Kuznetsov (1958). There was no specimen of E. caesialis mellealis  to be examined in the current study but since those Iranian specimens loaned from SMNKAbout SMNK had been identified as E. caesialis  and collected in the same locality of E. caesialis mellealis  (see material examined), these specimens were considered to be E. caesialis mellealis  . Having said this, the single male Iranian specimen in HMIMAbout HMIM collected from Fars (see material examined), which was expected to be E. shirazalis  based on the collecting locality, is quite similar to the loaned specimen from SMNKAbout SMNK. Therefore, it seems that E. caesialis mellealis  can be raised to the species level; however this needs the specimens from the type series of the nominative subspecies, which were not available to study.

As later discussed below, owing to the considerable variation between the examined E. caesialis  (possibly E. caesialis mellealis  ) with E. caesialis comealis  specimens of Amsel's collection (including the type specimen of the latter subspecies) and those E. caesialis comealis  specimens preserved in HMIM, E. caesialis comealis  is here raised to the species level.

Diagnosis. As already mentioned above, according to Amsel (1951) E. caesialis  is similar to E. affinis  externally. The differences of these two species have here been explained and figured ( Figs 1A–D View Figure , 2A–J View Figure ). The male and female genitalia of the loaned specimens (from Afghanistan and Lar valley) of Amsel's collection were compared with those explained and illustrated by Kuznetsov (1958) and Goater (2005), revealing that E. caesialis  was mistakenly explained and illustrated by Goater (2005).

A close resemblance of E. caesialis  to E. shirazalis  was stated by Kuznetsov (1958). As noted by him, these two species can easily be distinguished from each other in the shape and width of uncus, length of gnathos in relation to uncus, teeth on the ventral surface of gnathos and bending angle of distal end of phallus to its proximal end ( Kuznetsov 1958). Examining of the type specimen of E. shirazalis  showed that the latter character was not informative (see Figs 2E–I View Figure , 7B, E, H View Figure ). Moreover, Kuznetsov (1958) stated that in E. caesialis  cornuti included of two irregular groups of small spines; while in the examined material only one group of small spines was observed, even before preparing permanent slides ( Figs 2E, I View Figure ). The female genitalia of E. caesialis  and E. shirazalis  are also similar to each other ( Figs 5A, C, D, F, G, I View Figure ). The main defferences are in the length of antrum and shape of sclerotized structures of signa. In E. caesialis  anrum is longer than that of E. shirazalis  ( Figs 5A, C, D, F View Figure ). Sclerotized plates of signa in both species are almost triangular; however in E. caesialis  each plate has a truncated tip comparing to relatively pointed tip in E. shirazalis  . The size of plates in E. caesialis  , as stated by Kuznetsov (1958), is also larger than E. shirazalis  (Figs G, I).


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