Beebea guglielmi Schaus, 1923,

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: 320-321

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Beebea guglielmi Schaus, 1923


Beebea guglielmi Schaus, 1923 

Figs 7, 8View Figs 1 - 8, 95View Figs 95 - 97, 141View Figs 138 - 142

Beebea guglielmi Schaus, 1923: 46  . ‒ Parkin et al., 1972: 105. ‒ Linsley & Usinger, 1966: 162. ‒ Linsley, 1977: 37. ‒ Perry & de Vries, 2003: 145, 146. ‒ Roque-Albelo & Landry, 2015.

Material examined

Holotype: ♂ ( USNM).

Other specimens: 7 ♀, 4 of undetermined sex from the Galápagos Islands: – Isabela: Albermarle, Cawley [sic] M[oun]t[ain] [= Alcedo volcano]. – Pinta: Abingdon [no precise locality]. – Santa Cruz: Academy Bay; Indefatigable, Charles Darwin Research Station; no precise locality. – Santa F é: no precise locality. Deposited in AMNH, BMNH, CAS, CDRS, and MHNG.

Diagnosis: Unlike any other Spilomelinae species, either from the Galápagos or the rest of the World, by virtue of the large size [58 mm wingspan for the holotype, 72 mm for the ‘largest female specimen’ ( Williams, 1930)], brown wings with darker brown waved transverse lines, labial palpi projecting forward beyond head as much as length of head, and strongly bipectinate male antennae ( Figs 7, 8View Figs 1 - 8).

Biology: Williams (1930) reports that larvae feed on Opuntia  , a genus with 14 species in the Galápagos (Jaramillo Díaz & Guézou, 2015). Williams (1930) also offers a brief description of the solitary and boring mature larva and states that when it is done feeding it spins a cocoon some 33-35 mm long along one side of the cactus plant, covering it with available material such as cactus spines and lichens for camouflage purposes. Perry & de Vries (2003) report that larvae found feeding on Opuntia insularis Stewart  in the crater of Darwin volcano on Isabela Island were referable to this species. Moths have been collected in January, February, April, June, and September to December ( Williams, 1930; Perry & de Vries, 2003; museum specimens).

Distribution: Endemic to the Galápagos, it was described from Chatham (= San Cristóbal), and apart from the holotype I have examined specimens collected on the islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz, and Santa Fe (see also Perry & de Vries, 2003). Williams (1930) reports it as well from Abingdon, Bindloe, Daphne Islet, Duncan, James  , and South Seymour islands, now respectively called Pinta, Marchena, Daphne Minor  (probably), Pinzón, Santiago, and Baltra.

Remarks: I have not been able to collect this species despite several months of work on the islands on which it has been recorded in the past, although it comes to light and that was my favoured method of collecting. Hence, I suspect that it may have suffered a population decline. The specimen examined from Albermarle (= Isabela), Cawley [sic] Mountain, was collected by F.X. Williams during the California Academy of Sciences Expedition to the Galapagos Islands in 1905-06. Williams (1930) refers to Cowley Mountain, on Isabela, which is an older name for Alcedo volcano (see for example TEXTS /SLEVIN. HTM). I suspect that the food plant of the larvae reported by Williams (1930) as Opuntia  , may also refer to other Cactaceae  , a family represented by 18 genera in the Galápagos (Jaramillo Díaz & Guézou, 2015). The male ( Fig. 95View Figs 95 - 97) and female ( Fig. 141View Figs 138 - 142) genitalia are shown here for the first time.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


American Museum of Natural History


California Academy of Sciences


Invertebrate Collection


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle














Beebea guglielmi Schaus, 1923

Bernard Landry 2016

Beebea guglielmi

Perry R. & de Vries T. 2003: 145
Linsley E. G. 1977: 37
Parkin P. & Parkin, D. T. & Ewing A. W. & Ford H. A. 1972: 105
Linsley E. G. & Usinger R. L. 1966: 162
Schaus W. 1923: 46