Alucita snezhinka Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich

Ustjuzhanin, Pеtеr, Kovtunovich, Vasiliy & Ustjuzhanina, Anna, 2018, New species of many-plumed moths (Lepidoptera: Alucitidae) from Tanzania, Zootaxa 4438 (1), pp. 167-175: 172

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Alucita snezhinka Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich

sp. nov.

Alucita snezhinka Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich  sp. nov.

( Figs 5–8View FIGURES 5–6View FIGURES 7–8).

Diagnosis. In the pale color of the wings and the tiny size, A. snezhinka  is similar to Alucita ectomesa ( Hering, 1917)  , but these species have differences in the female genital structure: in the new species, the bursa copulatrix is corrugated with long longitudinal thread-like strands and impregnation of small spike-like signa, and the antrum is V–shaped, while in A. ectomesa  , the bursa is without thread-like strands and has a well expressed longitudinal signum and wide crown-shaped antrum.

Description. Adult. Head, thorax and tegula white. Antenna white. Labial palpus white, thin, slightly bent, 2 times longer than longitudinal eye diameter. Third segment separated, tapered to apex, interspersed with small brown scales. Wingspan 10 mm. Wings snow-white, well expressed pale brown elongated patches of scales along white lobes of wing in male; smaller pale brown spots on wing in female. Fringe on wing with white and pale brown hair-like scales. Hind leg white.

Male genitalia. Uncus lanceolate, slightly shorter than valva. Gnathos narrow, thin, slightly shorter than uncus. Valva short, membranous, slightly widened basally, then smoothly narrowing distally [or towards apex]. Anellus arms straight, shorter than valva. Saccus wide, rectangular. Aedeagus thick, noticeably widened basally, 1,5 times longer than entire genital structure, with two robust needle-like cornuti.

Female genitalia. Papilla analis short, narrow. Posterior apophyses thin, long. Anterior apophyses equal to posterior ones in length. Antrum narrow, V–shaped. Ductus short, corrugated, with longitudinal strands, smoothly passing to bursa copulatrix. Ductus seminalis in middle of bursa. Bursa oval, elongated, corrugated, with long longitudinal thread-like strands and impregnation of small spike-like signa.

Type material. Holotype: male. Tanzania, Morogoro Distr., Nguru south For. Res. Dikarura Valley , 900 m, 2.xi.1991, L. Aarvik ( NHMO 2901View Materials)  ; Paratypes: 1 ♀, Tanzania, Morogoro Distr. & Town , 550–600 m, 25.iii.1992, L. Aarvik ( NHMO 2902View Materials)  ; 1 ♀, Tanzania, Uluguru north For. Res. Kibwe , 1300–1400 m, 3.ix.1992, L. Aarvik (CUK 312). 

Etymology. The specific name, snezhinka  , is derived from Russian word meaning snowflake and corresponds to the snow-white color of the wings in the new species.

Distribution. Tanzania.

Note. The male of Alucita snezhinka  slightly differs from the female in the wings color. In the male, brown spots of scales are more bright and contrast, while in the female they are paler. Unfortunately, we had not managed to do the DNAAbout DNA analysis to make sure that both sexes belong to the same species.


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