Diaphania galapagensis B. Landry & M.. Solis, sp. n.,

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: 329-333

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http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.155309

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scientific name

Diaphania galapagensis B. Landry & M.. Solis, sp. n.

sp. n.

Diaphania galapagensis B. Landry & M.. Solis, sp. n. 

Figs 14View Figs 9 - 16, 83View Figs 81 - 91, 99View Figs 98 - 100, 145View Figs 143 - 147

Stemorrhages  (sp. near lustralis Guenée, 1854) [a synonym of the similar D. glauculalis (Guenée)  ]: Parkin et al., 1972: 105. ‒ Linsley, 1977: 37.

Margaronia limitalis Dognin  : Perry & de Vries, 2003: 146. Diaphania glauculalis (Guenée)  : Causton et al., 2006: 140. ‒

Roque-Albelo & Landry, 2015.

Material examined

Holotype: ♂, ‘ Galapagos: I. Santa Cruz | Station Darwin (lumière) | 1964 /.1965 | J. & N. Leleup’; ‘ MHNG | ENTO ♂ | 00009034 ’; ‘ HOLOTYPE | Diaphania  | galapagensis  | B. Landry &. Solis’. Deposited in MHNG  .

Paratypes: 22 ♂, 13 ♀ from the Galápagos Islands. – Floreana: 1 ♂, BlackBeach, 10 m, littoral-arid F[light] I[ntercept]T[rap], 21–28.iii.1989 (Peck & Sinclair, 89- 139). – Isabela: 2 ♂ (one dissected, CNC PYR 348), 1 ♀, Puerto Villamil, 2.iii.1989 (B. Landry); 1 ♀, 11 km N Puerto Villamil, 9.iii.1989, M[ercury]V[apour]L[ight] (B. Landry); 1 ♂, idem except 13.iii.1989; 1 ♂, NE slope Alcedo, near pega-pega camp, GPS: elev[ation]. 483 m, S 00° 24.029’, W 91° 02.895’, 31.iii.2004, u[ltra]v[iolet]l[ight] (B. Landry, P. Schmitz); 1 ♂, n[ea]r Tagus Cove, 100 m elev., 21.v.1992, MVL (B. Landry). – Santa Cruz: 1 ♂, 1 ♀, same data as holotype; 1 ♂, same data as holotype except ‘ I.1965 ’; 1 ♀, E[stacion].C[ientifica].C[harles].D[arwin]., 4.iii.1992, MVL (B. Landry); 1 ♂, 1 ♀, Finca Vilema, 2 km W Bella Vista, 1.iv.1992, MVL (B. Landry); 1 ♂, transition zone, house of L. Roque, elev. 137 m, GPS: 00° 42.595’, W 90° 19.196’, 9.iv.2004, white light (B. Landry); 5 ♂, 3 ♀ (one dissected, slide MHNG-ENTO-8932), same data as holotype except ‘ X-1964 ’; 3 ♂ (one dissected, slide MHNG-ENTO-8934), 1 ♀, same data as holotype except ‘X/ XI- 1964 ’; 2 ♂, same data as holotype except ‘Basse altitude XI.1964 ’. – Santiago: 1 ♂, Cerro Inn, 28.iii.1992, MVL (B. Landry); 1 ♀, 200 m elev., 5.iv.1992, MVL (B. Landry); 2 ♀ (one dissected, slide MHNG-ENTO-8676), Jaboncillo [camp], ± 850 m elev., 8.iv.1992, MVL (B. Landry). – Unidentified  island: 1 ♂, 1 ♀, with ‘42’ associated with note saying: ‘ Margaronia limitalis Dognin  , Santa Cruz, Floreana, Isabela, Food: Vallesia  sp. ( Apocynaceae  )’. Deposited in CDRS, CNC, MHNG, and USNM.

Diagnosis: This species is most similar in the morphology of the genitalia to D. glauculalis ( Guenée, 1854)  , and differs primarily in the male by the sclerotization in segment VIII where the u-shaped sclerotization of the sternite tapers in apically and is less broad than the base and the tergite sclerotization is almost the same width or only slightly expanded posteriorly. In the female, the corpus bursae is broad or bulbous-shaped after the ductus and the two round signa are adjoining with short extensions, longer than the base. It differs externally from D. glauculalis  whose wings have a conspicuous green shade, forewing length and wingspan slightly larger (> 16 mm and> 35 mm respectively), and males without modified segments on the antennae and without a fold along the forewing costa ventrally. In the Galápagos this species ( Fig. 14View Figs 9 - 16) is only externally similar to Palpita flegia (Cramer)  , but it is smaller with a wingspan 24.0-32.0 mm versus 50 mm in P. flegia  ( Fig. 40View Figs 33 - 40). Also, the forewing costa of D. costata  is brown whereas that of P. flegia  is blue.

Etymology: The new name refers to the area of occurrence of this species.

Description: Male (n=20) ( Fig. 14View Figs 9 - 16). Head with frons flat, appressedly scaled, with frontoclypeal margin very slightly rounded, white with dark blackish brown at ventrolateral corners and paler brown at posterior eye margin, with erect (white) scales on vertex and occiput; antenna filiform except for widening scape, modified pedicel laterally expanded and recurved, crescent shaped, with concavity set with tight rows of tiny, flat, brown scales or buds protected by short and recurved white scales on median margin, first flagellomere elongate, about as long as following four flagellomeres, set with compact bunch of short, thin scales appressed and directed toward base of flagellomere, vestiture of subsequent flagellomeres white with short scales in two rows on each flagellomere, with ciliation short; maxillary palpus mostly chestnut brown with some yellowish brown, white at apex and medially, with longer apical scales directed anteriorly; labial palpus laterally bicolored, white ventrally and chocolate brown dorsally, with white medially on first two palpomeres and yellowish brown and chocolate brown on third; haustellum mostly white with cream at base. Thorax dorsally white with chocolate brown laterally at base between eye and forewing costal band, with basal row of wide scales at collar white to pale yellowish brown. Foreleg white except for yellowish brown at apex of femur and on tibia around epiphysis, and cream sometimes on femur. Midleg white except for yellowish brown at tip of femur and base of tibia dorsally and cream sometimes on femur and tibia. Hindleg white, sometimes with pale cream on femur. Forewing length: 13.0-15.0 mm (holotype: 14.0 mm) (wingspan: 26.5-32.0 mm; holotype: 29.0 mm); vestiture white, iridescent, with chocolate brown band along costa, sometimes with single row of yellowish scales along dorsal edge, narrowing until apex, also with six dark brown dots between veins along terminal margin, fringe white, with second row of scales slightly greyish brown at their bases; costa underneath with elongate fold until 4/7 wing length and harbouring hair-like to thin scales. Hindwing white, with thin greyish brown line terminally from apex until cubital sector. Abdomen white dorsally and ventrally, with apical bunch of thin dark greyish brown scales with their tips paler, white to pale greyish brown, surrounding genitalia. Segment VIII with sclerotization pattern as shown ( Fig. 83View Figs 81 - 91): sternite with u-shaped sclerotization same width in its length; tergite with posterior sclerotization broad, lobelike. Intersegmental membrane VIII-IX with broad extensions with thick lateral margins sporting large bunch of flimsy setae ‘protected’ laterally by 5-10 very wide scales slightly curving inwardly.

Male genitalia (n=2) ( Fig. 99View Figs 98 - 100). Uncus ‘neck’ widening basally; posteriorly uncus ‘head’ slightly longer, directed ventrally at right angle, widening to 3- 4X girth of ‘neck’, flattened at base, with short, dense bunch of fine setae dorsally on lateral margin, distal half with lateral margins extended dorsally and set with short, thick setae along edges, more thickly concentrated and slightly longer in apical depression, ventral edges with medium-length to short setae thicker and denser apically. Subscaphium narrow, not extending much beyond uncus. Tegumen with median teguminal ridges slightly diverging toward apex; basal margin deeply and narrowly incised, almost to half of length. Parategumenal sclerites about 1/3 surface area of valva. Gnathos thin, broadly crescent shaped, connected medially. Transtilla a pair of lateral triangles joining medially. Valva round, lightly setose, with fibula short and pointed medioventrally. Juxta narrow with slightly widened extremities and thickened median line along most of length. Vinculum with arms short, of medium width, narrowly rectangular; saccus narrowly bulbous in lateral view, forming Gaussian curve in ventral view, directed upward. Phallus narrow, only sclerotized along ventral margin, slightly down curved subapically, as long as valva, without coecum penis; vesica with single elongate, pointed cornutus slightly down curved subapically, just short of 2/5 length of phallus shaft.

Female (n=11): Antenna and forewing costa without modifications. Forewing length: 12.0-14.0 mm (wingspan: 24.0-30.0 mm). Abdomen all white.

Female genitalia (n=2) ( Fig. 145View Figs 143 - 147). Papillae anales narrow, slightly bulging dorsally; basal sclerotized band widened ventrad of base of apophyses; posterior apophyses strong, slightly sinuous, slightly shorter than width of papillae anales, slightly enlarged subbasally. Segment VIII with tergum short, parallel-margined to and ventrad of bases of apophyses, with ventral margin slightly diagonal, almost straight, with few setae of moderate length mostly toward apical margin; sternal plates drop shaped with narrow ends directed laterally, connected medially; anterior apophyses strong, sinuous, about 1.7X length of posterior apophyses, with distinct rounded dorsal enlargement at 1/4. Membrane around ostium bursae without modifications. Ductus bursae long and of medium girth, with long colliculum about 1/5 length of whole ductus bursae and ending in tonguelike extension, with distal half heavily spined; inception of ductus seminalis right after colliculum. Corpus bursae same width throughout length, expanding anteriorly, about 15% longer than ductus bursae, with pair of round, widely separated signa shortly extended in middle, almost flat.

Biology: Perry & de Vries (2003), under the name Margaronia limitalis Dognin  (a different, similar species), report the food plant in the Galápagos as Vallesia glabra (Cav.) Link  ( Apocynaceae  ). Specimens were collected from the arid or littoral zone, on the grounds of the CDRS, to about 850 m in elevation on Santiago, in various types of habitats and in January, March until May, October, and November.

Distribution: Galápagos endemic for which we have examined specimens collected on Floreana, Isabela, Santa Cruz, and Santiago. Perry & de Vries (2003) also mention it from Floreana.

Remarks: This species belongs to a complex group of 16 ‘white/greenish/brownish’ Diaphania  species that includes misplaced species in Munroe (1995), new species, and species from other genera (e.g. Palpita  , Hoterodes  ). They have in common a short phallus and a short ductus bursae (manuscript in prep., MAS).

BL initially identified a Galápagos specimen of this species as D. glauculalis  by comparing it with specimens in the BMNH, including the female holotype, although the latter is without an abdomen. The species was described from a single female, without indication of collecting locality, although Guenée (1854: 306) mentioned that he believed it to be ‘américaine’, i.e. from the Americas. However, the description of D. glauculalis  , which records the wingspan as 37 mm and the wings as whitish green, supported the conclusion that the smaller Galápagos specimens are not this species.

Diaphania costata (Fabricius)  is externally similar to D. galapagensis  and unknown to occur in the Galapagos Islands. The type was studied because the species was only known from the original description and it seemed similar. The lectotype of Phalaena costata Fabricius, 1775  ( Figs 73, 74View Figs 73 - 80), deposited in ZMUC is here designated: ♀, ‘P: costata’; ‘Mus. Seh. & T. L.’; ‘ LECTOTYPE | Phalaena  | costata Fabricius  | Des. B. Landry, 2015 ’. The wings of this specimen are unspread but the forewing length is 13.0 mm. This species belongs to another group of species, exemplified by D. costata (Fabricius, 1775)  , that have a long phallus and a long ductus bursae ( Fig. 182View Figs 178 - 183) (manuscript in prep., MAS).

There is no specimen of Phalaena costata  in Fabricius’ personal collection in the ZMUC, but there is one in the collection of Sehested & Tønder-Lund (O. Karsholt, pers. comm.), also in the ZMUC. Ole Karsholt (pers. comm.) also wrote ‘It is not clear from the original description if Fabricius based the description [of costata  ] on a specimen from the Sehested & Tønder-Lund collection, and it can also have ended up there later on.’ Thus, this specimen ‘should be considered as a potential syntype.’ and is here designated lectotype upon O. Karsholt’s recommendation as it agrees with the current concept of D. costata  . Ove Ramel Sehested and Niels Tønder Lund lived in Copenhagen and were pupils and friends of Fabricius ( Baixeras & Karsholt, 2011). According to Tuxen (1959) cited in Baixeras & Karsholt (2011), ‘about one third of all Fabrician insect descriptions are based on material in the Sehested-Tønder Lund collection.’

Perry & de Vries (2003) briefly described the mature larva and the Galápagos host plant reported, Vallesia glabra (Cav.) Link  ( Apocynaceae  ), occurs in the Galápagos in two forms. Variety glabra  , a tropical American taxon is indigenous to the Galápagos, occurring on Española, Floreana, Isabela, San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, and Santiago, while variety pubescens (Andersson) Wiggins  is endemic and found on exactly the same islands (Jaramillo Díaz & Guézou, 2015).


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Invertebrate Collection


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen