Magneuptychia andrei Zacca, Casagrande & Mielke

Zacca, Thamara, Huertas, Blanca & Benmesbah, Mohamed, 2017, Description of a new species of Euptychiina (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Satyrinae) from South America, Zootaxa 4231 (3), pp. 442-450: 443-448

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Magneuptychia andrei Zacca, Casagrande & Mielke

sp. n.

Magneuptychia andrei Zacca, Casagrande & Mielke  , sp. n.

( Figs 1–16View FIGURES 1 – 4View FIGURES 5 – 13View FIGURE 14)

Euptychia ocypete  ; Kaye, 1940: 223.— Barcant, 1970: 159, pl. 13, fig. 7 (male). Euptychia  ? terrestris  ; D’Abrera, 1988: 763 (male).

Cissia oxypete  [sic]; Singer & Ehrlich, 1993: 251.

Magneuptychia ocypete  ; Cock, 2014: 12, 24.

Description. Head: brown, frons with mixed white and light brown scales; eyes chocolate brown, hairy; post-genal area mixed with white and light brown scales; labial palpi curved upwards, dorsally with short mixed black and white scales, laterally with short white scales, ventrally with elongated mixed black and white scales at the first and second segments, mixed black and white short scales at the third segment; antennae brown with apex lighter, laterally with white scales on each side of the base of the flagellomeres. Thorax: dorsally and ventrally covered by greyish-brown elongated scales; coxae and femur covered by mixed greyish-brown scales, the other segments light brown.

Wings ( Figs 1–4View FIGURES 1 – 4): FW: males: 18–20 mm (10 specimens measured; HT = 20 mm), females: 17–20 mm (10 specimens measured; AT = 19 mm). DFW and DHW: ground colour brown with greyish-lilac sheen; elements of the VFW and VHW visible due to wing transparency; fringes brown. VFW: ground colour lighter than the DFW; reddish brown submedian and median parallels bands from R to 2A; submarginal region with a faded dark brown band from costal margin to 2A; one subapical black rounded ocellus in M1-M2, bipupilated and circled by a narrow yellowish ring; two other faded silvery ocelli in M2-M3 and M3-CuA1, occasionally very weakly defined; submarginal line crenulated from costal margin to 2A; marginal line slightly crenulated from costal margin to 2A. VHW: ground colour lighter than the DHW; reddish brown submedian and median parallels bands from costal margin to anal margin, where these bands fuse; submarginal region with a faded dark brown band from costal margin to CuA2-2A with a series of five rounded ocelli, each surrounded by a narrow yellowish ring, in Rs-M1 (ocellus 1), M1-M2 (2), M2-M3 (3), M3-CuA1 (4), CuA1-CuA2 (5); ocellus 1 is smaller than the others (about half the diameter of its neighbour), ocelli 2 and 5 are large and almost the same size, and ocelli 3 and 4 are medium sized and silvery.

Abdomen: dorsally brown, ventrally lighter.

Male genitalia ( Figs 5–11View FIGURES 5 – 13) (HT dissected): tegumen dorsally slightly rounded; gnathos 2/3 the length of the uncus, in lateral view angled upwards then curved posteriorly down to near horizontal tapering towards tip; uncus laterally sinuous, curved upwards and apex curved downwards, dorsally and ventrally widened at the median region; appendices angulares reduced; anterior projection of saccus short; fultura superior absent; fultura inferior in U-shape; valva with elongated bristles along ventral region, costa developed, dorsal projection slightly developed, apex pointed; aedeagus straight, anterior region digitiform, posterior region with serrated lateral margin, cornuti present.

Female genitalia ( Figs 12–13View FIGURES 5 – 13) (2 specimens dissected): tergum VIII sclerotized, not fused with the lateral expansions of the lamella antevaginalis, spiracle developed; papilla analis developed, oblong, almost two times higher than width with small bristles in the distal region, apophysis posterior absent; lamella antevaginalis strongly sclerotized and squared; lamella postvaginalis absent; ductus bursae membranous, almost the same length as the corpus bursae, a pair of signa located latero-ventrally.

Variation. Females may have a yellowish patch in the VFW submarginal band. Intraspecific variation includes the VHW ocelli 3 and 4 that may be faded in some individuals, even in fresh specimens.

Distribution and behaviour. This species is known from Venezuela, French Guiana, Trinidad and Tobago, and northern Brazil ( Fig. 14View FIGURE 14). It is also to be expected in Guyana and Suriname. The holotype and the allotype were collected by two of the authors in the late 1980s during a scientific project to catalogue the fauna of Ilha de Maracá, Roraima, Brazil ( Mielke & Casagrande 1992, 1998). These specimens were captured in the rainy season (August) by using bait traps with mashed banana mixed with sugar cane juice placed in the canopies of trees inside the forested area. In French Guiana, M. andrei  is known from four specimens captured recently due to previous geographical inaccessibility, all from two of the highest mountains of the country, on the extreme southern border with Brazil and Suriname. In the Mitaraka mountains (extreme south-west), M. andrei  has been collected on two occasions in the dry season (September 2006) by P. Champenois (3 specimens), and in the rainy season (March 2015, 1 specimen) on “Borne 1” ( Fig. 15), an inselberg above 600 m. Three more specimens were identified in the collection of S. Fernández from Mount Saint Marcel in the extreme south-east of French Guiana, captured in the dry season (October), also above 600 m. Despite a whole month of field work during the scientific expedition organised in the Mitaraka mountains in February and March 2015 with special attention paid to Euptychiina  , MB only encountered this species once, on the summit of Borne 1 at 3 pm. The butterfly, a female, was resting in the shade of pristine forest close to the trail leading to the summit. The flight and behaviour was typical of other Euptychiina  species like Papilio ocypete Fabricius, 1776  and C. myncea (Cramer, 1780)  : weak, close to the ground, flying for a few meters and then resting with wings closed before being disturbed and flying again. In Trinidad, Barcant (1970) considered this species (misidentified as M. ocypete  ) to be “semi-rare”, a term he applied “to certain species which by reason of their somewhat scarce numerical occurrence bring a measure of expectancy and excitement to the lepidopterist on each occasion he comes across them (p. 158)”. The low number of specimens of M. andrei  found by us reinforce Barcant’s statement.

Immature stages and hostplant. Unknown.

Etymology. This species is dedicated to the first author’s husband, André César L. da Silva, in gratitude for his support and daily encouragement in her academic researches.

Holotype. Male ( Figs 1–2View FIGURES 1 – 4) with the following labels (separated by transverse bars): / Holotypus / Ilha de Maracá, Alto Alegre, RR [Roraima, Brazil], 24-31.VIII.1987, Mielke & Casagrande leg./ DZ 29.312/ gen. prep. Zacca / Holotypus Magneuptychia andrei Zacca, Casagrande & Mielke  , det. 2016/ DZUPAbout DZUP. 

Allotype. Female ( Figs 3–4View FIGURES 1 – 4) with the following labels (separated by transverse bars): / Allotypus / Ilha de Maracá, Alto Alegre, RR [Roraima, Brazil], 24-31.VIII.1987, Mielke & Casagrande leg./ DZ 33.017/ Allotypus Magneuptychia andrei Zacca, Casagrande & Mielke  , det. 2016/ DZUPAbout DZUP. 

Paratypes. (13 males and 23 females; * = dissected specimens). GUYANA, Essequibo : Two Hat Mt, E. Kanukus, S. Slope, 800’, 1 male, 17.IX –2.X.2000, 3°2.3’N 59°7.3’W, S. Fratello et al leg., USNMAbout USNM ENTAbout ENT 0 0 233274, DNAAbout DNA voucher LEP—18658 ( USNMAbout USNM)GoogleMaps  ; Region 9, Kanuka Mts., Nappi Mt. 1500’-2700’, 3°18.8’N 59°33.9’W, 1 male, 21.II –10.III.1999, S. Fratello, R. Hanner, S. Hendricks, R. Williams leg., USNMAbout USNM ENTAbout ENT 0 0 322010, DNAAbout DNA voucher LEP—18659 ( USNMAbout USNM)GoogleMaps  . VENEZUELA, Amazonas: Pintado— 20 km S of Puerto Ayacucho , NW Amazonas, SW Venezuela, 150 m, 1 female  , 17.IV. [20]14, A. Neild leg. (AN). Anzoátegui: Bergantín—Buenos Aires road, SW Sa. de Turimiquire, NE Anzoátegui state, 600-850 m, 1 female  , 6-7 & 9.X.2002, A. Neild leg. (AN). Carabobo: Puerto Cabello, San Esteban , 1 female  , 6.VII.1877, Hahnel de Sagan leg., Ex Oberthür Coll. Brits. Mus. 1927-3, BMNH(E) 1420987 (NHMUK), 1 male, 1 female, no data, ex-coll. Staudinger, Godman-Salvin Coll. 1904-1, BMNH(E) 1420925, BMNH(E) 1420893 (NHMUK); Valencia, 1 female, no data, Goering leg., Godman-Salvin Coll. 1904-1, BMNH (E) 1420956 ( NHMUKAbout NHMUK)  . FRENCH GUIANA, Saint-Laurent du Maroni: Massif du Mitaraka, Borne 1, 2°13’N 54°-26’30”W, 1 male, 2 females, J.- P. Champenois leg, Association Alabama Mission Borne 1, ex. Coll. Hermier, 20.IX.2006, n° 22658 (MB)  , 22.IX.2006, n°22659 (MB) and 23.IX.2006, n° 22655 (MB), Borne 1; 1 female  , 18.III.2015, 2.2090191 -54.43945, Filet—15h00, La Planète Revisitée—MNHN/ PNI Guyane 2015—APA-973-1, M. Benmesbah leg. (to be deposited at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris)  . TRINIDAD, no specific locality: 2 males, no data, Ex Grosse Smith 1910, Joicey Bequest Brits. Mus. 1934- 120, BMNH (E) 1420800, BMNH (E) 1420831 ( NHMUKAbout NHMUK)  ; 1 female, XII.1911, Miss Marg. Fountaine, Ex Oberthür Coll. Brits. Mus. 1927-3, BMNH(E) 1420894 (NHMUK). Port of Spain: no specific locality, 1 male, no data, Ex Oberthür Coll. Brits. Mus. 1927-3, BMNH (E) 1420862 ( NHMUKAbout NHMUK)  ; St. Ann’s , 1 male and 1 female, I-III.1932, A. Hall leg., Brit. Mus. 1936-736, BMNH (E) 1420769, BMNH (E) 1420863 ( NHMUKAbout NHMUK)  . BRAZIL, no specific locality: 1 male, Ex Coll. Smith, 1844-5, Joicey Bequest Brits. Mus. 1934-120, BMNH (E) 1420738 ( NHMUKAbout NHMUK)  . Roraima: Alto Alegre , Ilha de Maracá, 2 females  , 23.XI.1979, Gifford leg., DZ 29.308*, DZ 29.310* (DZUP), 1 female, 23-28.II.1988, Mielke & Casagrande leg., DZ 30.016 (DZUP). Amazonas: no specific locality, [Rio] Tapajós , 2 males, 1 female, no data, H. W. Bates leg., Godman-Salvin Coll. 1904-1, BMNH (E) 1420799, BMNH (E) 1420861, BMNH (E) 1420801 ( NHMUKAbout NHMUK)  . Pará: no specific locality, L. Amazon, H. W. Bates leg., 1 female, no data, Godman-Salvin Coll. 1904-1, BMNH (E) 1420832 ( NHMUKAbout NHMUK)  ; Óbidos , 4 females, M. de Mathan 1907, Ex Oberthür Coll. Brits. Mus. 1927-3, BMNH (E) 1420924, BMNH (E) 1420955, BMNH (E) 1420986, BMNH (E) 1420677 ( NHMUKAbout NHMUK)  ; Santarém , 2 males, 4 females, no data, H. H. Smith leg., Godman-Salvin Coll. 

1904-1, BMNH(E) 1420923, BMNH(E) 1420676, BMNH(E) 1420707, BMNH(E) 1420739, BMNH(E) 1420708, BMNH(E) 1420770 (NHMUK). Amapá: Macapá , 1 female, 16.XII.1978, Raw leg., DZ 33.015 ( DZUPAbout DZUP)  .

Diagnosis and discussion. This species is distinguished from M. libye  (see illustration in Costa et al. 2016) by its smaller size and VHW with five rounded ocelli (six elongated ocelli in M. libye  ). Male genitalia of M. andrei  has an elongated uncus, gnathos narrower at the base, saccus short, valva subtriangular with apex straight, aedeagus slender and longer than the valva. Female genitalia is also characterised by the presence of a developed lamella antevaginalis in M. andrei  (absent in M. libye  ) and the 8th tergite which is wider than its length in lateral view (in M. libye  it is longer than its width). Although morphological differences between M. andrei  and M. libye  are too much evident, proposing a new genus to M. andrei  might be considered a rash decision, prior that a comprehensive taxonomic revision of all those species excluded from Magneuptychia  , by Costa et al. (2016), have be done.

The first record for M. andrei  was provided by Kaye (1940) in a list of species from Trinidad. However, Kaye did not realise that this species was undescribed, having confused it with Euptychia ocypete  (= Magneuptychia ocypete  ). In fact, M. andrei  and M. ocypete  ( Fig. 17View FIGURES 16 – 19) resemble each other in their wing element pattern, but the greyish-lilac dorsal sheen on the wings of M. andrei  distinguishes the two, in addition to morphological characters of the male and female genitalia ( Figs 5–13View FIGURES 5 – 13), and its smaller average size. The same misidentification was made by Barcant (1970), and by Cock (2014), also for Trinidad records.

Another species that can be confused with M. andrei  and M. ocypete  is M. fugitiva Lamas, [1997]  ( Fig. 18View FIGURES 16 – 19). The two latter species belong to a complex of cryptic species with great similarities in wing phenotype, these will be treated in detail in an upcoming paper (Benmesbah et al., in prep.). Again, the greyish-lilac sheen on the dorsal wings of M. andrei  is the most evident character to distinguish it from M. ocypete  and M. fugitiva  . In addition, the marginal line is not widened at the HW tornus in M. fugitiva  (widened in M. andrei  ( Fig. 16View FIGURES 16 – 19) and M. ocypete  ( Fig. 17View FIGURES 16 – 19)), and the VHW ocellus in M3-CuA1 is larger, occupying the full width of this cell.

Magneuptychia andrei  was also cited and illustrated in D’Abrera (1988) as “ Euptychia  ? terrestris  ”, including a female from Óbidos, Pará, Brazil and a male from an undetermined locality in Trinidad, both of which are noted in the type data. Again, the wing pattern elements of M. andrei  and Cissia terrestris (Butler, 1867)  ( Fig. 19View FIGURES 16 – 19) can cause superficial confusion. However, a careful look at the VHW makes easy their identification: M. andrei  has a rounded silvery ocellus in M3-CuA1 ( Fig. 16View FIGURES 16 – 19), while C. terrestris  ( Fig. 19View FIGURES 16 – 19) has an elongated silvery patch in this space. Furthermore, male and female genitalia of both species are distinctive.

There are several species of Euptychiina  that show great convergence in their wing phenotypes (including undescribed species), and in-depth taxonomic, morphological and molecular studies are fundamental to establish the identity of the taxa and provide some clues as to their relationships and understanding of their evolutionary history. Species of Magneuptychia  and Cissia Doubleday, 1848  , both considered polyphyletic genera ( Murray & Prowell 2005; Peña et al. 2006, 2010; Wahlberg et al. 2009) are good examples of taxa with these external similarities. It is very probable that several new species of Euptychiina  have yet to be “discovered” among the many historic specimens deposited in collections, such as is the case with M. andrei  , of which the oldest specimen is from the 19th century, captured by the famous naturalist Henry Walter Bates during his expeditions in the Amazon basin ( Bates, 1863). This description of M. andrei  stands as a good example of the continued importance of museum collections as “safe keepers” for historical diversity, and we hope it will encourage authorities and institutions to maintain the provision of financial resources to further the study of the undescribed diversity in historic collections, rather than focusing such grants solely on the living fauna in the world’s remaining forests.


Universidade Federal do Parana, Colecao de Entomologia Pe. Jesus Santiago Moure


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Ministry of Natural Resources


Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport


Natural History Museum, London














Magneuptychia andrei Zacca, Casagrande & Mielke

Zacca, Thamara, Huertas, Blanca & Benmesbah, Mohamed 2017


Magneuptychia ocypete

Cock 2014: 12


Cissia oxypete

Singer 1993: 251


Euptychia ocypete

Barcant 1970: 159
Kaye 1940: 223