Exelastis montischristi (Walsingham, 1897),

Matthews, Deborah L., Miller, Jacqueline Y., Simon, Mark J. & Goss, Gary J., 2019, Additions to the plume moth fauna of The Bahamas (Lepidoptera: Pterophoridae) with description of four new species, Insecta Mundi 708 (708), pp. 1-35: 11

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Exelastis montischristi (Walsingham, 1897)


Exelastis montischristi (Walsingham, 1897) 

Fig. 12View Figures 10–17, 47View Figure 43–48

Diagnosis. Forewing cleft extending just beyond one-third from apex to wing base; ground color pale olive buff to light grayish brown, fringes with small fuscous scale tufts present. Hindwing drab, noticeably darker than forewing ( Fig. 12View Figures 10–17). Third lobe anal fringe with mixed pale buff spatulate scales along entire length and some fuscous spatulate scales along basal third. Valvae of male genitalia symmetrical, rounded; sacculus terminating in recurved spine ( Bahamas specimen not available, see illustration in Gielis (2006)). Female genitalia characterized by oblong corpus bursae with symmetrical paired bladelike signa ( Fig. 47View Figure 43–48).

Pinned material examined. BAHAMAS: Cat Island: SE of Old Bight Settlement, 2 mi. from Queen’s Hwy. on road to Port Howe , 24.220000°, −75.355500°, 25.vi.2014, DLM, JYM, GJG, MJS (1 ♀, slide DM 2113)  ; Grand Bahama Island: Freeport, area SE of Britannia Blvd. & Sunset Hwy. , 26.513233°, −78.679429°, 25.x.2014, on Rhynchosia  , DLM, JYM, (1 PC, pinned)  ; South Andros Island : W of The Bluff Settlement, 24.106939°, −77.557659°, 29.iii.2014, DLM, JYM, MJS, RMR (1 ♀)  .

Preserved material examined. BAHAMAS: Grand Bahama Island: Freeport, area SE of Britannia Blvd. & Sunset Hwy. , 26.513233°, −78.679429°, 25.x.2014, DLM, JYM, on leaves of Rhynchosia minima  (3 L)  ; New Providence Island: W Bay St. & Indigo Dr., Orange Hill Inn, 25.065479°, −77.457172°, 8–9.iv.2014, DLM, JYM, on leaves of R. minima  (1 L, 2 PC)  .

Life history. Larvae feed on the leaves and shoots of Rhynchosia minima  (L.) DC. This vine trails along the ground and climbs fences and other vegetation.

Distribution. Ecuador: Galapagos Islands; West Indies: Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Jamaica, Grenada, Haiti, Virgin Islands; United States: Gulf Coastal plain from Florida to Texas. In The Bahamas the species has been collected on Cat, Grand Bahama, and New Providence islands.