Mesene epaphus pyrrha Bates, 1868

Dolibaina, Diego Rodrigo, Dias, Fernando Maia Silva, Siewert, Ricardo Russo, Mielke, Olaf Hermann Hendrik & Casagrande, Mirna Ma, 2016, Mesene Doubleday (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae) from Parque Nacional da Serra do Divisor, Acre, Brazil, with taxonomic notes and the description of a new species, Zootaxa 4175 (5), pp. 463-472: 470

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Mesene epaphus pyrrha Bates, 1868


Mesene epaphus pyrrha Bates, 1868 

( Figs 21–24, 26–28View FIGURES 1 – 32, 39View FIGURES 33 – 40, 44View FIGURES 41 – 45)

A single male was collected in 2014 on the hilltop flying slowly about two meters from the ground around 17:00h. Mesene epaphus  is a highly variable species ( Hall & Harvey 2002), with four names proposed to describe its diversity. Three of those names are recognized as valid subspecies ( Callaghan & Lamas 2004): the nominative subspecies, described from Surinam, is characterized by the reddish orange ground color of the apex of the forewing upper side ( Fig. 25View FIGURES 1 – 32); M. epaphus pyrrha Bates, 1868  , described from Tefé, Amazonas, Brazil, is characterized by the black ground color of the apex of the forewing, with white and reddish orange subapical and submarginal spots ( Figs 21–22, 28View FIGURES 1 – 32); and M. epaphus sertata Stichel, 1910  , also described from Tefé, Amazonas, Brazil, is an intermediate between the phenotypes of typical epaphus  and pyrrha  , with the forewing apex mostly reddish orange, but with the white subapical spot visible throughout the reddish orange ground color ( Figs 26–27View FIGURES 1 – 32). Hall & Harvey (2002) downgraded M. pyrrha  to a subspecies of M. epaphus  , and, observing the high variability, suggested that probably no subspecies of M. epaphus  should be recognized. We studied several western Amazon specimens of M. epaphus  deposited at the DZUP ( Figs 21–22, 26–28View FIGURES 1 – 32), and observed a number of variable intermediate phenotypes between the sertata and pyrrha  from a single locality, with identical morphology of the male genitalia. Therefore, we recognize M. epaphus sertata Stichel, 1910  syn. nov. as a new junior synonym of M. epaphus pyrrha  . The taxonomic status of M. epaphus pyrrha  , which occurs in the western Amazon basin, in relation to the nominative subspecies, only known from the northeast of the Amazon basin, needs further research. Due to distribution of CAS and morphology of the male genitalia, this species belongs to the “ phareus  ” species group.


Universidade Federal do Parana, Colecao de Entomologia Pe. Jesus Santiago Moure


California Academy of Sciences