Asciodes quietalis (Walker, 1859),

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: 319-320

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.155309

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scientific name

Asciodes quietalis (Walker, 1859)

stat. rev.

Asciodes quietalis (Walker, 1859)  , stat. rev.

Figs 4-6View Figs 1 - 8, 94View Figs 92 - 94, 140View Figs 138 - 142

Scoparia quietalis Walker, 1859: 825  .

Sylepta gordialis ( Guenée, 1854)  (misidentification): Schaus, 1923: 29.

Asciodes gordialis Guenée, 1854  (misidentifications): Linsley & Usinger, 1966: 162. ‒ Peck et al., 1998: 227. ‒ Perry & de Vries, 2003: 146.

Asciodes quietalis (Walker)  : Causton et al., 2006: 140. ‒ Roque-Albelo & Landry, 2015.

Material examined

Type specimens: ♂ lectotype, 2 ♀ paralectotypes (see Remarks below) ( BMNH).

Other specimens: 31 ♂, 68 ♀, 198 of undetermined sex from the Galápagos Islands: – Baltra: South Seymour [no specific locality]. – Fernandina: W side, 1100’ [feet]; SW side, crater rim, GPS: 1341 m elev[ation]., S 00° 21.910’, W 91° 34.034’. – Floreana: close to Loberia, GPS: elev. 6 m, S 01° 17.002’, W 90° 29.460’. – Isabela: Albermarle [no precise locality]; Albermarle, Cobea [?] Settlement; Punta Albermarle, SW old US radar site; Tagus Cove; Cartago Bay; ± 15 km N P[uer]to Villamil; Alcedo, lado NE, low arid zone bosq[ue]. palo santo; Alcedo, NE slope, GPS: 292 m elev.; S 00° 23.829’, W 91° 01.957’; V[olcan]. Darwin, 300 m elev.; 1 km W Puerto Villamil; 2 km W Puerto Villamil; 8.5 km W Pto Villamil; 11 km N Puerto Villamil; Albermarle, San[to] Tomas, 1200 f[ee]t.; 3 km N Sto Tómas, Agr[iculture]. Zone; Sierra Negra, 1000 m alt[itude]. – Marchena  : [no specific locality]. – Pinta: plaja Ibbeston [sic]; arid zone; ± 50 m elev.; 200 m elev.; 372 m elev., N 00° 34.476’, W 90° 45.102’; 400 m elev. – Pinzón: 280 m elev., S 00° 36.216’, W 90° 40.033’. – Plaza Sur: 18 m elev., S 00° 34.980’, W 90° 09.990’. – Rábida: tourist  trail. – San Cristóbal: Chatham [no precise locality]; near Loberia, sea level, GPS: S 00° 55.277’, W 89° 36.909’; Pto Baquarizo [sic]; 2 km SW Pto Baquarizo; 4 km SE Pto Baquarizo; 1 km S El Progreso; vic[inity]. El Junco, crater lake, ca. 700 m; pampa zone. – Santa Cruz: on ship; [no precise locality]; Indefatigable [no precise locality]; Indefatigable, Conway Bay; Academy Bay; Academy Bay, Charles Darwin Research Station; CDRS, arid zone; transition zone, recently cut road, GPS: S 00° 42.528’, W 90° 18.849’; Finca Vilema, 2 km W Bella Vista; Horneman Farm, 200 m; Horneman Farm, 220 m; agriculture zone, finca C. Troya, N Bella Vista, GPS: 294 m elev., 00° 40.756’, W 90° 18.671’; Tortuga Res[erve]. W S[an]ta Rosa; Los Gemelos; Media Luna, pampa zone. – Santiago: Bahía Espumilla  ; James Bay, E side n[ea]r lagoons; La Bomba, 6 m elev., S 00° 11.151’, W 90° 42.052’; Cerro Inn; 200 m elev.; Aguacate [camp], 520 m elev.; Jaboncillo [camp], ± 850 m elev. – Seymour Norte: [no specific locality]. Deposited in AMNH, CAS, CDRS, CMNH, CNC, MCZ, MHNG, and ROM.

Diagnosis: Asciodes quietalis  is close to. gordialis and several external characters cannot be compared on the basis of the lectotypes as the lectotype of gordialis  ( Fig. 79View Figs 73 - 80) has lost the antennae and legs. However, on the basis of the lectotypes, the forewing of. gordialis appears less strongly suffused with dark scales with the main darker markings being the postmedian line with the most apparent spot on the costa, a median spot on the dorsum, and a wide dash between the postmedian line and the terminal row of dark spots in the median (M1 and M2) sector. The hindwing of. gordialis also appears to be without markings except for a dark terminal line widest at apex and gradually tapering into separate smaller spots toward the anal angle. In male genitalia, the most obvious differences are in the two projections of the valva medially; in. gordialis ( Fig. 136View Figs 136 - 137) the dorsal projection is thicker and slightly longer than that of. quietalis and the ventral projection is shorter, about as long as the dorsal projection, thinner, tubular, and apically tapering into a point and not dentate, whereas the ventral projection of. quietalis ( Fig. 94View Figs 92 - 94) is flattened, ribbon-like, longer than that of gordialis  and than its own dorsal projection, and apically dentate along the ventral edge. Compared to that of. quietalis, the phallus of. gordialis has the apex dorsally more thickly sclerotized and the troughlike signum is smaller and more thickly sclerotized only on one side. The female genitalia of. gordialis are unknown to me. In the Galápagos this species is most similar to Psara chathamalis (Schaus)  ( Fig. 48View Figs 41 - 48) externally, but the latter is usually more ochre brown, the forewing markings are not as sharply contrasted and more wavy than zigzag, the male doesn’t have a projection on the basal 1/4 of the antennae, and on the hindwing there are two transverse lines (sub- and postmedially) instead of one (postmedially) in. quietalis.

Biology: specimen from the CDRS has a label indicating that food plants are Commicarpus tuberosus (Lam.) Standl.  , Cryptocarpus pyriformis Kunth  , and Pisonia floribunda Hooker  f. ( Nyctaginaceae  ). Several other host plants in the Cucurbitaceae  , Oleaceae  , and Nyctaginaceae  ( Heppner, 2003; Robinson et al., 2014) have been recorded for. gordialis with. quietalis as synonym. Hence, the correct association of these specific host records is not possible. In the Galápagos, moths have been collected from sea level up to the rim of the volcano on Fernandina at 1341 m in elevation, in pristine to highly anthropized habitats, and from January until May.

Distribution: Described from the Dominican Republic, this species is found widely on the Galápagos archipelago. On top of the islands recorded in the Material examined section above, one specimen in the CDRS has a label mentioning that the species also occurs on Española, Gardner near Española, and Genovesa.

Remarks: Asciodes quietalis (Walker, 1859)  has in the past been confused and considered a synonym of Asciodes gordialis Guenée, 1854  , for example by Linsley & Usinger (1966), Peck et al. (1998), and Munroe (1995). Scoparia quietalis Walker, 1859  was described from three specimens of both sexes. I designate as lectotype a male with the following labels: ‘St. Dom. | 55.1’ [typed]; ‘Lecto | type’ [circular, dark blue bordered, typed]; ‘B.M. Pyralidae  | Genitalia slide | ♂. 21112’ [typed except male sign]; ‘ LECTOTYPE | Scoparia  | quietalis Walker  | Des[ignated by]. B. Landry, 2000’. The other two syntypes, both females, are also in the BMNH and are labelled paralectotypes; they both have the same first label as the lectotype and were given a circular, pale blue bordered paralectotype label. One has lost the abdomen while the other was dissected and bears B.M. Pyralidae  slide. 2 1111 ♀.

Asciodes gordialis Guenée, 1854  was described from a male and a female from ‘Domingo’, probably Santo Domingo, old name for the Dominican Republic. Both of these are in the BMNH ( Fig. 79View Figs 73 - 80) and I designate as lectotype the male, which bears the following labels: ‘ Cay | Bar [?]’ [hand written, circular]; ‘Lecto | type’ [circular, blue-bordered, typed]; ‘Cotype’ [orange, typed]; ‘ Guyane française | Cayenne | ex coll. Gn.’ [typed]; ‘Paravicini Coll. | B.M. 1937-383’ [typed]; ‘B.M. Pyralidae  | Genitalia slide | ♂. 21110’ [typed except male sign]; ‘ Asciodes Gn.  | gordialis Gn.  | 713.2 Typen’ [pale green, hand written]; ‘ LECTOTYPE | Asciodes  | gordialis Guenée  | Des[ignated by]. B. Landry, 2000’. This specimen has lost the legs and antennae ( Fig. 79View Figs 73 - 80). The other specimen, the female paralectotype, has lost the head and legs, and its abdomen is in a gelatine capsule. It can be noted that Munroe (1995: 74) made a mistake in recording that Asciodes scopulalis Guenée, 1854  was described in Botys  , because it was truly described in Asciodes Guenée. 


Invertebrate Collection


American Museum of Natural History


California Academy of Sciences


The Cleveland Museum of Natural History


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Museum of Comparative Zoology


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Royal Ontario Museum














Asciodes quietalis (Walker, 1859)

Bernard Landry 2016

Asciodes quietalis

Causton C. E. & Peck S. B. & Sinclair B. J. & Roque-Albelo L. & Hodgson C. J. & Landry B. 2006: 140

Asciodes gordialis Guenée, 1854

Perry R. & de Vries T. 2003: 146
Peck S. B. & Heraty J. & Landry B. & Sinclair B. J. 1998: 227
Linsley E. G. & Usinger R. L. 1966: 162