Michaelophorus salensis Matthews,

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: 6-7

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Michaelophorus salensis Matthews

new species

Michaelophorus salensis Matthews  , new species

Fig. 7View Figures 2–9, 48View Figure 43–48

Diagnosis. Distinguished from other Bahamas species by the dark, carob brown forewings which distinctly contrast the white and buff metathorax. The abdomen also with distinctive white, opposing parentheses-shaped lines on the second and third segments ( Fig. 7View Figures 2–9). Termen of second forewing lobe appearing bilobed ( Fig. 7View Figures 2–9) as opposed to trilobed in Stenoptilodes Zimmerman  , Lantanophaga Zimmerman  , and Postplatyptilia Gielis. Distinguished  from congeners in the Neotropical and Nearctic Regions by having the combination of a distinct termen on the forewing second lobe, the forewing ground color dark, a white metathorax, and the female genitalia ( Fig. 48View Figure 43–48) with a comparatively long ductus bursae, and small lobes of the lamina antevaginalis compared to M. indentatus (Meyrick)  and M. dentiger (Meyrick)  (see comments below).

Description (female). Based on the holotype (female) and two paratypes (female). Head. Labial palpi slender, erect, length 1.5× eye diameter. Third (distal) segment nearly as long as middle segment. First segment white admixed with some fuscous or carob brown scales. Second and third segments mottled fuscous or carob brown, mostly white mesally. Front with distal half fuscous, area between antennae drab, some white or pale drab scales laterad on distal margin at antenna base. Vertex mottled with fuscoustipped gray scales. Occipital fringe comprised of drab elongate spatulate scales with pale gray dentate tips. Antenna with scape and pedicel fuscous; flagellum fuscous, dotted with white. Thorax. Mesoscutum and tegulae clothed in drab, fuscous-tipped scales, those on tegulae broadly spatulate. Metascutum white, admixed with some light buff scales. Foreleg coxa and femur mottled tawny, fuscous, and white; tibia and tarsomeres fuscous-black with white longitudinal stripes except for distal three tarsomeres all fuscous-black. Midleg coxa mottled white and cream buff, femur mottled fuscous and white, tibia and spurs fuscous with white stripes. Tarsomeres as on foreleg. Hindleg coxa and femur mottled fuscous and white, tibia obliquely banded white and fuscous with spur tufts mostly fuscous, spurs white and fuscous striped, long, proximal pair about one-half tibia length. First through fourth tarsomere banded white and fuscous, fifth all fuscous. Forewing. Length, x= 5.42 mm ± 0.38 mm (n = 3), holotype 5.5 mm. Cleft origin at 0.6× wing length from base, lobe apices acute, both with distinct termen. Ground color appearing carob brown, comprised of gray, fuscous tipped scales. Costa dotted with scattered white scales. Discal cell with obscure small dark spots comprised of solid fuscous scales, one at middle and a pair at distal angles near cleft base. First lobe with thin obscure pale drab transverse line across distal quarter of lobe and a thin white dash along costa at basal third. Lobe fringes drab gray with fuscous spatulate scales forming tuft along termen and scattered with a few white scales in cleft. Second lobe with obscure pale drab oblique line across distal fourth. Cleft fringes as on first lobe, termen with double fuscous scale tuft bisected by minute patch of white scales. Forewing anal margin with two small fuscous scale teeth basad of cleft base. Linear fringe scales pale drab, drab gray to fuscous just basad of tornus. Forewing venter mostly drab gray with transverse white lines of lobes and costal dash bolder than on dorsum. Fringes and spatulate scales as on dorsum. Hindwing. Dorsum appearing cinnamon-drab, comprised of fuscous tipped drab scales as on forewing except spaces with more gray apparent. Fringes uniformly drab except third lobe with fuscous triangular scale tooth at apex subtended on each margin with 4–6 scattered broadly spatulate fuscous scales, those on anal margin enlarged and distinctly triangular. Hindwing venter similar to dorsum, third lobe with some white overscaling. Venous scales black-fuscous. Abdomen. Dorsum of A1 with tawny, fuscous tipped scales centrally, anterior and lateral margins with some white scales. Segments A2–A3 dorsally solid fuscous or chocolate interrupted by paired white opposing parentheses-shaped lines, giving the impression of an X on each segment; laterally mottled drab and fuscous with a small white patch on posterior margin. Segments A4–A7 dorsally with even transverse rows of fuscous tipped drab scales except for a rectangular patch on anterior parts of A4 and A5. Segment A8 elongate and tapered, fuscous with drab sublateral stripes converging posterad. Abdomen venter pale drab with diffuse paired white patches on posterior margins subventrally and single mesal patches forming interrupted longitudinal bands; A7 drab ventrally, white laterally; A8 drab gray.

Female genitalia. Papillae anales moderately setose, weakly sclerotized at base; setae lengths up to 1× length of papillae anales. Apophyses posteriores length about 2.5× that of papillae anales. Apophyses anteriores small pointed triangular projections sublaterally on anterior margin of tergite VIII which is lightly sclerotized and wraps around to venter so that apophyses arise from venter in flattened prepara- tions. Ostium and antrum small, antrum bowl-shaped. Antrum and distal part of ductus bursae partly encased by elongate sclerotized sleeve which is subtended posteriorly by paired elongate sternal sclerites. Ductus bursae long and narrow, extending to near anterior margin of segment A7, about 1.3× length of corpus bursae. Corpus bursae spatulate, with paired small dentate signa. Ductus seminalis filamentous, inception near base of posterior tapered part of corpus bursae.

Types. HOLOTYPE. ♀, with the following labels: ‘BAHAMAS: Great Inagua │ 7.4 mi. N of airport │ 21.082516°, −73.641644° │ 24–25.vii.2014 │ M.J. Simon & G. Goss’ [white printed]; ‘ HOLOTYPE ♀ │ Michaelophorus  salensis  │ D. Matthews’ [red printed]; ‘ PTERO1370 Pterophoridae  Database’ [white printed with barcode]. The holotype is deposited at MGCL.  PARATYPES 2 ♀, BAHAMAS: Crooked Island: 0.5 mi. E of Ferry at Church Grove Settlement, 22.758933°, −74.242501°, 8.vi.2013, MJS, GJG, at light (1 ♀);  Great Inagua: 7.4 mi. N of airport, 21.082516°, −73.641644°, 24–25.vii.2014, MJS, GJG (1 ♀, slide DM 2117)  .

Life history. Unknown. A related species, M. indentatus  , has been recorded from Strelitzia Ait.  ( Strelitziaceae  ) and Delonix Raf.  ( Fabaceae  ) ( Matthews and Lott 2005).

Distribution. Known from Great Inagua and Crooked Islands.

Etymology. The specific epithet is derived from the Latin sāl (salt) and the root -ēnsis (of or from) and refers to the type locality of Great Inagua where production of sea salt is the main industry.

Comments. The genus Michaelophorus Gielis  includes seven other species and can be divided into three groups based on external morphology. One group ( M. hogesi Gielis  , M. shafferi Gielis  , and M. bahiaensis Gielis  is characterized by the lack of a distinct termen on the forewing second lobe, the forewing cleft reaching about 0.5× wing length from base, and a pale brown ground color. The second group ( M. dentiger  , M. indentatus  , M. margaritae Gielis  , and M. salensis  , new species) is characterized by a distinct forewing second lobe termen with two scale tufts in the fringes giving a bilobed appearance, the dark brown forewing ground color, and the contrasting white metathorax. The third group includes only the type species, M. nubilus (Felder and Rogenhofer)  , which also has a distinct forewing termen and dark forewing ground color but has a similarly dark brown metathorax and abdomen dorsum, scale tufts of the forewing second lobe termen trilobed, and a uniquely shallow cleft between the first and second lobe of the hindwing ( Matthews and Miller 2010). Based on the above characters, as well as female genitalia and markings of the second and third abdominal segments, the new species most closely resembles M. indentatus  .