Coleophora mirleftensis Tabell

Tabell, Jukka, Mutanen, Marko & Sihvonen, Pasi, 2018, Descriptions of five morphologically and genetically confirmed new species of the Coleophora poecilella Walsingham, 1907 species group (Lepidoptera, Coleophoridae) from the Palearctic Region, Zootaxa 4429 (2), pp. 331-347: 332-334

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Coleophora mirleftensis Tabell

sp. nov.

Coleophora mirleftensis Tabell  , sp. nov.

Barcode Index Number: BOLD:ACT4659

Figs. 1, 7 View Figure , 9 View Figure , 10–13 View Figure , Table 1

Type material. Holotype ♂: Morocco, Mirleft 5 km SSW, N29.53821 W10.05780, 20 m, 28.IV.2013, J. Tabell leg., coll. MZH.GoogleMaps  Paratypes: 6 ♂, 4 ♀: 2 ♂ (GP 5063 J. Tabell, DNA sample 21834 Lepid Phyl; DNA sample 21835 Lepid Phyl) same collecting data as in holotype; 4 ♂, 4 ♀ (GP 5467 J. Tabell, DNA sample 24598 Lepid Phyl) Morocco, Mirleft 5 km SW, N29.541 W10.065, 5 m, e[x].l[arva]. 2015, Salsola  sp. 12.IV.2015, J. Tabell leg. Paratypes in coll. TAB.

Diagnosis. Based on similarities in male genitalia C. mirleftensis  sp. nov. is close to C. trichopterella Baldizzone, 1985  and C. charynensis Tabell  , sp. nov. Diagnostic features are the apex of sacculus with only one protuberance in C. mirleftensis  (two protuberances in C. trichopterella  and C. charynensis  ), the outer margin of valvula (rounded in C. mirleftensis  , triangular in C. trichopterella  , largely folded in C. charynensis  ) and the length of cornuti (shortest in C. mirleftensis  , longest in C. trichopterella  ). In the female genitalia of C. mirleftensis  , the long median lamina in the ductus bursae is characteristic.

Molecular diagnosis. Three specimens of C. mirleftensis  were sequenced, resulting in 657 bp, 608 bp, and 604 bp DNA barcode fragments. The barcodes were compared to those of C. charynensis  (n = 2) and C. trichopterella  (n = 1), as well as to those of 16 additional taxa of the C. poecilella  species group. The resultant sequences revealed 7.05–11.91 % divergences among barcoded species (Table 1). The divergence between C. mirleftensis  and C. charynensis  (n = 2) and C. trichopterella  (n = 1) was 7.05 % and 8.26 %, respectively (Table 1). The barcodes of C. mirleftensis  display no intraspecific variation, the seeming variation in the neighbor-joining tree ( Fig. 9 View Figure ) resulting from the different lengths of the sequences alone.

Description. Wingspan 12–13 mm. Head dark fuscous. Antenna long, light fuscous. Scape dark fuscous. Labial palpus ascending, pale brown mixed with white, not tufted, third segment darker, second segment 1.5 x longer than third segment. Thorax and tegula fuscous. Forewing creamy white, almost entirely covered with fuscous scales, irrorated with dark brown scales, near the base a large dark brown subcostal fleck; off-white colour visible along costa and dorsum. Costal fringe dark fuscous, dorsal fringe paler. Hindwing pale grey, fringe pale fuscous. Hindtibia thickened by hair-like pale fuscous scales. Abdomen fuscous, slightly lustrous.

Abdominal structures. Tergal latero-posterior bar long, slightly shorter than latero-anterior one. Transverse bar broad, curved, proximal edge weakly sclerotized, indistinct, distal edge thick, medially strongly constricted. Tergal sclerite about 7x longer than wide, weakly sclerotized, covered with 40 conical spines (on T3).

Male genitalia. Gnathos knob transversely oval. Tegumen broad, constricted medially, pedunculus broad. Transtilla narrow, long, bent downwards. Cucullus conical, rather short. Valvula large, outer margin convex, thickened. Sacculus extended nearly to tip of cucullus; ventral margin curved, lateral margin slightly sinuous, ended in short finger-shaped protuberance; dorsal margin concave. Phallotheca a slightly arched tube. Vesica membranous with one large and two to three smaller cornuti grouped together.

Female genitalia. Papillae anales oval, covered with long bristles. Anterior apophyses thick, 1.5x longer than sterigma, posterior apophyses 1.5x longer than anterior ones. Sterigma transversely rectangular, membranous, covered with bristles, sclerotized only in two short lateral club-shaped patches. T8 weakly sclerotized, subrectangular, medial excavation oval. Ostium bursae and colliculum membranous. Posterior section of ductus bursae slightly curved, transparent, with a medial narrow long sclerotized strip gradually tapering; section around ductus seminalis tightly coiled; anterior section slightly expanded, with two coils and numerous minute spinules. Corpus bursae oval. Signum leaf-like, spine curved with short lateral ridges.

Biology. The larva feeds on the leaves of Salsola  sp. ( Amaranthaceae  ) in the spring. The composite leaf case, 12 mm in length, is constructed of a few hollowed pieces of the host plant. The case is straight or gently curved, yellowish brown, longitudinally wrinkled, trivalved, mouth opening at 45–60°. All larval cases were found on plants growing on sea-shore cliffs.

Distribution. So far only known from south-western Morocco. The type specimens have been collected at light or reared from larvae. The distance between the two collecting localities is 500 m.

Derivation of name. The specific name refers to the collecting locality.

Notes. The resting position of the adult is unusual because the antennae are directed backwards. A few specimens of the type series are small-sized due to withering of the host plant during the rearing process.