Patania silicalis ( Guenée, 1854 ),

Bernard Landry, 2016, Taxonomic revision of the Spilomelinae (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae s. l.) of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, Revue suisse de Zoologie 123 (2), pp. 315-399: 365

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.155309

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scientific name

Patania silicalis ( Guenée, 1854 )

comb. n.

Patania silicalis ( Guenée, 1854)  , comb. n.

Figs 43View Figs 41 - 48, 119View Figs 119 - 121, 165View Figs 163 - 167

Botys silicalis Guenée, 1854: 349  .

Sylepta silicalis (Guenée)  : Schaus, 1923: 29.

Pleuroptya silicalis (Guenée)  : Roque-Albelo & Landry, 2015.

Material examined

Lectotype: ♂ from French Guyana, Cayenne ( BMNH).  Other specimens: 27 ♂, 26 ♀, 53 of undetermined sex from the Galápagos Islands: – Fernandina: SW side, crater rim, GPS: 1341 m elev[ation]., S 00° 21.910’, W 91°34.034’. – Isabela: 3 km N S[an]to Tómas, Agr[iculture]. Zone; 11 km N Puerto Villamil; Sierra Negra, pampa zone, 1000 m; Alcedo, NE slope, GPS: 292 m elev.; S 00° 23.829’, W 91° 01.957’; V[olcan]. Darwin, 300 m elev.; ± 15 km N P[uer]to Villamil; Alcedo, lado NE, 400 m, camp pega-pega; NE slope Alcedo, Los Guayabillos camp, GPS: 869 m elev., S 00° 24.976’, W 91° 04.617’; V. Darwin, 1000 m elev.; Alcedo, lado NE, 1100 m, cumbre, caseta. – Marchena  : [no precise locality]. – Pinta: Plaja Ibbeston [sic]; 200 m elev.; 400 m elev. – Rábida: Tourist  trail. – San Cristóbal: Chatham [no precise locality]; 4 km SE P[uer] to Baquarizo [sic]. – Santa Cruz: [no precise locality]; Indefatigable [no precise locality]; Charles Darwin Research Station; CDRS, arid zone; Finca Vilema, 2 km W Bella Vista; Horneman Farm, 200 m; Horneman Farm, 220 m; Tortuga Re[serve]. W S[an]ta Rosa; Los Gemelos; Media Luna, pampa zone. – Santiago: James [no precise locality]; Bahía Espumilla  ; Cerro Inn; 200 m elev.; Aguacate [camp], 520 m elev.; Central [camp], 700 m elev.; Jaboncillo [camp], ± 850 m elev. Deposited in AMNH, CAS, CDRS, CNC, MHNG, ROM.

Diagnosis: This species can be separated from the other Galápagos Spilomelinae by its pale buff, lustrous and concolourous wings with very faint markings ( Fig. 43View Figs 41 - 48) and a wingspan of 19-27 mm. It is most similar to more poorly marked specimens of Psara chathamalis (Schaus)  ( Fig. 48View Figs 41 - 48), but the stigma at the end of the forewing cell is a thin lunule in P. silicalis  whereas it is thicker, quadrangular, and often pale centred in P. chathamalis  . Also, in the latter, there is usually a smaller rounded spot anteriorly in the cell, absent in P. silicalis  . Some more uniformly coloured and poorly marked specimens of Asciodes quietalis (Walker)  ( Fig. 6View Figs 1 - 8) may appear similar to P. silicalis  , but on the forewing. quietalis always shows two spots in the cell and the submedian and postmedian lines are strongly zigzagged, and in the hindwing the margin at the termen is darker than the base of the wing. The generally darker and smaller Herpetogramma phaeopteralis (Guenée)  (wingspan 18-22.5 mm) ( Figs 20, 21View Figs 17 - 24) is also faintly marked, but the ground colour of the wings is greyish brown.

Biology: Robinson et al. (2014) report the larval host plants as three species in the Urticaceae  as well as one species each in the Araliaceae  , Cecropiaceae  , and Nyctaginaceae  . Heppner (2003) adds two species in the Convolvulaceae  and one in the Phytolaccaceae  . In the Galápagos specimens have been collected from sea level to the summit of Fernandina at 1341 m in elevation in a diverse range of habitats, from anthropized to pristine, and from January until May.

Distribution: Based on specimens in the BMNH and MHNG this widespread Western Hemisphere native is present in Jamaica, Mexico (Tabasco, Veracruz), Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, French Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. Patterson et al. (2015) report it as widely distributed in the eastern USA, from Florida to Maine in the north. It is widespread in the Galápagos archipelago as attest the seven islands of occurrence recorded above.

Remarks: The species was described from ‘Deux ♂, une ♀ ’ from Brazil and Cayenne, French Guiana. I have compared one of my dissected Galápagos specimens to the male lectotype from French Guyana in the BMNH. The genitalia of the lectotype appear bigger, but they are crushed on the slide. My Galápagos specimen is nearly identical in genitalia to another specimen, from Jamaica (slide BM 6445), identified by I.W.B. Nye as this species. This species has been recorded before under genus Pleuroptya Meyrick, 1890  (e.g. Munroe, 1995). Kirti & Gill (2007: 265) synonymized Pleuroptya  with Patania Moore  , but these authors did not take the Western Hemisphere species into consideration and thus did not formalize the combination of P. silicalis  with Patania  (J. Hayden & R. Mally, pers. comm.).


United Kingdom, London, The Natural History Museum [formerly British Museum (Natural History)]


Invertebrate Collection


American Museum of Natural History


California Academy of Sciences


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Royal Ontario Museum














Patania silicalis ( Guenée, 1854 )

Bernard Landry 2016

Sylepta silicalis (Guenée)

Schaus W. 1923: 29

Botys silicalis Guenée, 1854 : 349

Guenee M. A. 1854: 349