Sattleria graiaeella , Huemer, Peter & Hebert, Paul D. N., 2011

Huemer, Peter & Hebert, Paul D. N., 2011, Cryptic diversity and phylogeography of high alpine Sattleria — a case study combining DNA barcodes and morphology (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), Zootaxa 2981, pp. 1-22: 15-16

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Sattleria graiaeella

sp. nov.

Sattleria graiaeella  sp. nov.

( Figs 6View FIGURES 1 – 8, 17View FIGURES 17 – 20, 32–33View FIGURES 32 – 35)

Type material. Holotype 3, ‘Valle d´Aosta Champrocher Dondena sent. Mt. Rascias 2650 m ca. 21.VII. 2006 G. Baldizzone leg.’ ‘G JN 20934 3 Sattleria  triglavica’ ‘ BC TLMFAbout TLMF Lep 1083 ’ ( TLMFAbout TLMF).

Paratypes. Italy: 1 3, same data, but Dondena—Chila Desot, 2370-2450 m, 20.7. 2006 ( RCGB); 1 3, same data, but Dondena—Miserin, 2300-2450 m, 19.7. 2006 ( RCGB); 1 3, Prov. Aosta, Cogne, Lago di Loje, 2400 m, 8.7. 1961, leg. Klimesch ( ZSMAbout ZSM); 4 3, Prov. Aosta, PN Gran Paradiso, Lago Serrú, 2275, 6.8. 1992, leg. Delmastro, gen. slides GEL 1135, GEL 1136 ( TLMFAbout TLMF).

Excluded from the type-series: Material published by Pitkin and Sattler (1991) (see Remarks).

Description. Adult ( Fig. 6View FIGURES 1 – 8). Head whitish cream, labial palpus whitish cream mottled with mid-brown; antenna blackish brown; thorax mid-brown, mottled with some whitish scales anteriorly, abdomen mid-brown. Wingspan 3 16.5–18.5 mm; forewing ground colour light cream-brown, intensively mottled whitish cream, mid-brown along costa; black markings well developed: broad black stripe through fold, angulated dash in middle of forewing at end of cell and few black scales near base of forewing, termen with dark brown line; fringes concolorous with ground colour, weakly defined fringe line present; hindwing light grey with concolorous fringes. Female unknown.

Male genitalia ( Figs 17View FIGURES 17 – 20, 32– 33View FIGURES 32 – 35). Uncus with evenly rounded apex; gnathos hook strong, culcitula large; tegumen anteriorly widened, broadly and deeply emarginated anterior margin; pedunculi long, slender; valva long, slender, extending almost to apex of uncus, weakly curved; sacculus shorter than valva, medially broadened with slightly concave outer margin, abruptly tapered to short apical part; vinculum deeply emarginated with pair of processes; primary process long and needle-shaped, about level with apex of sacculus; secondary process arising from basal half of primary process, extremely broad based, outer edge broadly concave and serrated; saccus about length of primary vincular process, slender sub-rectangular with cut-off apex; anellus with pair of small, rounded, centrally perforated sclerites; phallus slender, nearly straight, with distinct medial projection, coecum scarcely inflated, apex with short and straight sclerotized arm.

Female genitalia. Not examined. It is likely that the female of the so-called south-western form of S. basistrigella  from Savoie figured by Pitkin and Sattler (1991) in fact belongs to S. graiaeella  sp. nov. (see Remarks).

Diagnosis. Sattleria graiaeella  sp. nov. is externally similar to S. basistrigella  and S. triglavica  differing in the slightly smaller wingspan (16.5–18.5 mm versus 19.0-20.0 mm). However, the male genitalia of the new species are characterized by a distinct medial process of the phallus ( Fig. 17View FIGURES 17 – 20) absent in the related species ( Figs 19–20View FIGURES 17 – 20). The secondary process of the vinculum is large and almost evenly convex with serrated edge and thus distinct from both afore-mentioned taxa ( Figs 32–35View FIGURES 32 – 35). The furthermore similar S. dzieduszyckii  is distinguished by the evenly tapered sacculus and the different shape of the secondary vincular process ( Fig. 18View FIGURES 17 – 20). No measure of intraspecific variation was possible as only a single individual was analyzed, but interspecific divergence was 2.98 % to the nearest neighbour ( S. breviramus  ). The minimal sequence distance to the allegedly conspecific S. basistrigella  is 3.27 %.

Bionomics. Host-plants and early stages are unknown. The adults have been collected from the end of June to mid-August. Habitats are alpine scree and rock formations primarily on limestone but also on siliceous soil with sparse vegetation at elevations ranging from about 2200 m to 2800 m.

Distribution. Only known from a small section of the western Alps, ranging from the Alpi Graie (Prov. Aosta, Italy) to Savoie ( France).

Etymology. The species is named after the Roman province Alpes Graiae, the distribution area of the species.

Remarks. S. graiaeella  sp. nov. was hitherto considered as a geographical form of S. basistrigella  representing this species in the south-western Alps ( Pitkin and Sattler 1991). The male genitalia figured by these authors leave no doubt about their conspecificity with the new species. We have not been able to examine this material which is therefore not included in the type-series. Particularly the females originating from a different locality than the males should be re-examined.


Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum


Bavarian State Collection of Zoology