Megalota bahamana Brown and Matthews

Brown, John W., Matthews, Deborah L. & Miller, Jacqueline Y., 2018, Two new species of Megalota from the Bahamas (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae: Olethruetinae), Zootaxa 4455 (3), pp. 597-600: 597-598

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Megalota bahamana Brown and Matthews

new species

Megalota bahamana Brown and Matthews  , new species ( Figs. 1–3, 5, 6 View Figure )

Diagnosis. Megalota bahamana  is assigned convincingly to the submicans  species group (sensu Brown 2009) based on the following features of the male and female genitalia: a large, distally free, densely spined, incurved process from the

valva that most likely represents the termination of the sacculus; a moderately stout, distally dilated, subbasal process from the costa of the valva, bearing 3–5 stout spines terminally (somewhat bearclaw-like); a stellate or comblike signum; and the colliculum comprising one-third or less of the ductus bursae. Males of the group also lack modified secondary scaling of the hindleg and a hairpencil from the anal portion of the hindwing.

As in other species of the submicans  group, M. bahamana  likely exhibits a variable forewing pattern; however, our specimens are represented by two distinct “forms,” neither of which is superficially similar to any other New World congener. In one form ( Fig. 1, 2 View Figure ) pattern elements are nearly absent with only a trace of a dark costal triangular patch; in the other form ( Fig. 3 View Figure ), which has a slightly grayer ground color, there is a well-defined, dark triangular patch from near mid-costa.

Based on male genitalia, M. bahamana  is closely related to M. submicans (Walsingham)  from Grenada, Dominica, and St. Lucia; the male genitalia of the two are nearly indistinguishable. Megalota bahamana  can be distinguished by the absence of a small thorn at the distal end of the phallus (present in M. submicans  ) and the absence of cornuti in the vesica of the phallus (two in M. submicans  ).

Description. Head: Scales of vertex cream to pale gray, tipped with brown to dark gray; scales of frons cream to pale fawn; length of labial palpus (all segments combined) ca. 1.2 times horizontal diameter of compound eye, pale gray mixed with dark gray on outer surface, paler on inner surface; scales of antenna cream to pale gray. Thorax: Dorsum and tegula dingy cream to pale gray; legs unmodified. Forewing ( Figs. 1–3 View Figure ) length 5.1–5.6 mm (mean 5.4 mm; n = 4); one form (1♂, 1♀) with forewing pale brick red, sparsely and faintly reticulated with pale brown, slightly darker in terminal region, with extremely faint indication of brown triangular patch from near mid-costa to the discal cell terminus; other form (2♂) pale gray, sparsely and faintly reticulated with brown, with well-defined brown subtriangular patch from near mid-costa. Hindwing with grayish scales, without anal fold or hairpencil. Abdomen: Male genitalia ( Fig. 5 View Figure ) with tegumen elongate-ovate; uncus broadly cordate with shallow, rounded, mesal notch, densely spined in dorso-posterior portion; socius short, rounded, membranous, with few bristles; valvae asymmetrical, venter of left valva bent at ca. 90° angle ca. 0.33 distance from base with patch of long setae at bend, setae ca. 0.8 as long as valva; venter of right valva rather evenly curved with sparse, shorter setae; a broad, free, incurved projection from valva ca. 0.65 distance from base to apex, probably representing termination of sacculus, strongly sclerotized along one side with dense patch of long, fine setae in distal portion of projection; subbasal process of costa of valva short, stout, ca. 2.5 times as long as wide, with 3– 5 stout spines at blunt distal end. Phallus slender, ca. 0.15 as wide as long, elongate, ca. 0.5 as long as valva, slightly curved throughout, without external thorn near tip; vesica lacking cornuti. Female genitalia ( Fig. 6 View Figure ) with papillae anales unmodified; sterigma with a pair of lateral lobes and a somewhat tubular mesal process; ostium with a small median lobe antero-ventrally, post-ostial region with inverted U-shaped sclerite; colliculum well sclerotized, slightly funnel-shaped, occupying ca. 0.2 of ductus bursae, remainder of ductus bursae membranous; corpus bursae rounded-oblong, punctate throughout; signum an irregularly dimpled patch of 6–8 short blunt spines of variable size and several additional tiny lobes.

Types. Holotype ♂, BAHAMAS: Great Inagua, 7.4 mi N of airport, 21.082516°, ‾73.641644°, 25.vii.2014, M. Simon & G. Goss, Bahamas Survey, MGCL Accession No  . 2014-21, D. Matthews genitalia prep. #1890, MGCL 2239257 (MGCL).

Paratypes (2♂, 1♀). BAHAMAS: Mayaguana Is[land], 3.4 mi NW of airport, 22.410411°, ‾73.056102°  , 28.vii.2014 (1♀), M. Simon & G. Goss, Bahamas Survey, MGCL Accession No   . 2014-21, D. Matthews genitalia prep. #1889, MGCL 238393 ( MGCL). Crooked Is [land], 1.5 mi E Landrail Pt., 22.813263°, ‾74.321186°  , (1♂), M. Simon & G. Goss, Bahamas Survey, MGCL Accession No   . 2013-21, USNMAbout USNM genitalia slide 150,054, MGCL 233025 ( MGCL). San Salvador [ Island]  , ix.1923 (1♂), Bartsch, USNM genitalia slide 150,245 (USNM).

Etymology. The species name refers to the Bahamas, where the type series was collected.

Distribution and Biology. Megalota bahamana  has been collected from Great Inagua, Mayaguana, Crooked, and San Salvador islands in the Bahamas. Adults were captured in June, July, and September. Although the early stages are unknown, it is suspected that the larvae feed on Croton  ( Euphorbiaceae  ), several species of which are available on many of the islands in the Bahamas and elsewhere in the Caribbean ( Correll & Correll 1982).


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History