Farigia magniplaga Schaus, 1905

Cock, Matthew J. W., 2021, A new species and taxonomic changes relating to the Notodontidae (Lepidoptera) of Trinidad, West Indies, Zootaxa 5020 (2), pp. 307-327: 313-314

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Farigia magniplaga Schaus, 1905


Farigia magniplaga Schaus, 1905   ( Notodontidae   , Heterocampinae   )

( Figs. 7 View FIGURE 7 , 8 View FIGURE 8 )

Farigia xenopitha Druce, 1911   , syn. nov.

Schaus (1905) described F. magniplaga   from French Guiana (♂ type USNM) and the type is illustrated by Schintlmeister (2016) and USNM (2020). Subsequently, Druce (1911) described F. xenopitha   from Caparo, Trinidad, and a single male type from Cuparo (an alternative spelling of Caparo in material from the beginning of the last century) is in NHMUK. It resembles ♂ 1 in Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 , but is paler. This record was repeated by subsequent authors.

In their catalogue of Trinidad moths, Kaye and Lamont (1927) appear to have overlooked Druce’s description as they do not include F. xenopithia   , but they do include F. moresca Schaus, 1910   (type USNM, ♂ Costa Rica), citing a specimen from St. Ann’s in NHMUK. Farigia moresca   is now treated as a synonym of F. vecina Schaus, 1901   (type USNM, ♀ TL Mexico) ( Schaus 1928). I located the St. Ann’s specimen in NHMUK, and considered it, along with other material from Trinidad to represent a single phenotypically variable species, which at that time I identified as F. xenopithia   by comparison with the type.

Thiaucourt (1988) noted that the type of F. xenopithia   bears a close resemblance to the Central American species F. vecina   . In the same paper, he suggested that of the seven species assigned to the vecina   group, only F. magniplaga   occurs in the Guiana-Amazon area. Paul Thiaucourt (pers. comm.) subsequently suggested to me that F. xenopithia   may be a synonym of the variable species, F. magniplaga   . The lectotype of F. magniplaga   , shown online ( USNM 2020) and by Schintlmeister (2016), has an extensive dark patch on the forewing dorsum, and the rest of the forewing is mostly pale brown and mossy green; it does not fall within the range of variation I have observed in Trinidad ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 ). However, no taxonomic changes were formalized and Becker (2014) listed all seven species of this group as valid. I have now dissected a Trinidad male resembling the type of F. xenopithia   ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 ), and found it to match Thiaucourt’s terminalia figures of F. magniplaga   ( Thiaucourt 1988, Fig. 17 View FIGURE 17 ). Taking into consideration the wing pattern variability observed in Trinidad material ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 ), I conclude that F. xenopithia   should be treated as a synonym of F. magniplaga   , as suggested by Thiaucourt.

Within the Trinidad fauna, this variable species is quite distinctive and can be recognised by the mostly mottled green dorsal forewing, which may or may not have a white postdiscal band or a black streak from the base to the submarginal area, the hindwing is uniformly brown on the dorsal and ventral surfaces. In Trinidad, F. magniplaga   is an occasional species found in forested areas, with most records from the north of the island. It has not been recorded from Tobago ( Cock 2017).

Trinidad material examined. Arima Blanchisseuse Road , milestone 9.75, MVL: ♂ 21.ix.1982 (M.J.W. Cock) [ MJWC]. Cumaca Road, 4.6 miles, MVL: 4♂, ♀ 21.x.1982 (M.J.W. Cock) [2♂ MJWC, dissection 1013]; 2♂, ♀ UWIZM   CABI.8200–8202]. Cuparo: ♂ S.M. Klages [ NHMUK, type of F. xenopithia   ]. Curepe, MVL: ♂ 13.vi.1979 (M.J.W. Cock) [ MJWC]. North Coast Road , milestone 6, Carisal Trace , MVL: ♂ 5.iv.1979 (M.J.W. Cock) [ MJWC]. Parrylands Oilfield , MVL: ♀ 13.xi.1980 (M.J.W. Cock) [ MJWC]. St.Ann’s : ♀ [ NHMUK, as F. vecina   = F. moresca   ]. Valencia Forest , MVL: 2♂ 31.vii.1980 (M.J.W. Cock) [ NHMUK; UWIZM CABI.8199]; ♀ 5.viii.1981 (M.J.W. Cock) [ MJWC]  


The University of the West Indies Zoology Museum


Natural History Museum, London














Farigia magniplaga Schaus, 1905

Cock, Matthew J. W. 2021

Farigia xenopitha

Druce 1911

F. xenopitha

Druce 1911

F. magniplaga

Schaus 1905