Melipotis florida Troubridge

Troubridge, J. T., 2020, A new genus and 37 new noctuoid species from peninsular Florida and the Keys (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea), Insecta Mundi 2020 (789), pp. 1-56 : 16-17

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.4585782

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scientific name

Melipotis florida Troubridge

sp. nov.

Melipotis florida Troubridge , new species

( Fig. 26a, 26b View Figures 26–31 , 65 View Figures 61–66 , 122 View Figures 114–122 )


Diagnosis. Melipotis florida is most similar to M.perpendicularis (Guenée) ( Fig.27a, 27b View Figures 26–31 ) (BIN:BOLD:AAB8726), lectotype from Colombia, designated by Viette (1951). Melipotis perpendicularis forms a species complex in southwestern United States where two cryptic species occur along with M. perpendicularis , these species are placed into BIN: BOLD:ABZ4611 along with M. florida . In M. perpendicularis , the antemedial line of the forewing extends roughly perpendicular to the posterior margin of the wing, whereas that of M. florida arises at an acute angle from the posterior margin. Internally, the male genitalia are similar, but differ in the vesica, which has four elongate, finger-like diverticula in M. perpendicularis , but only three in M. florida .

Description. Antennae filiform, ciliate; head, vertex, prothoracic collar, tegulae, thorax, and abdomen gray brown to light gray brown. Dorsal forewing. Forewing length 18–21 mm. Male: ground color dark gray brown; basal line absent, antemedial line forms a solid band 1.5–2.0 mm wide, light gray, often with chestnut toward posterior margin, curves abruptly toward tornus, meeting posterior margin at an acute angle; a distinct black triangular spot lies basal to antemedial line adjacent to posterior margin; narrow fine postmedial line delineates outer margin of reniform spot and bends around to terminate mid way along antemedial band; submarginal line somewhat obscure, bordered outwardly with chestnut brown scales, divides medial blackish area from broad submarginal gray band; orbicular spot black with thin white line on outer margin and scattered chestnut brown scales on perimeter; a small black dot occurs between orbicular and reniform spots; reniform spot light gray; minute black dots on margin between veins; fringe gray. Females extremely variable, some resembling males and others with the entire forewing mottled gray ( Fig. 26b View Figures 26–31 ). Dorsal hindwing. Dirty white basally with pearlescent sheen; veins bordered with black scales; broad black terminal band encompasses ca. ½ of wing above and ¼ wing below cubital veins; a diffuse submarginal patch of light-gray scales is present between cubital veins; fringe black between cubital veins, white elsewhere. Male genitalia ( Fig. 65 View Figures 61–66 ). Valve divided in half lengthwise with sclerotized dorsal and ventral halves separated by membranous seam that extends from base to apex; clasper arises from base of valve, narrow at base and widens to form a paddle-like tip; a sclerite extends along the entire length of the dorsal section of valve and splits near the apex to form a small, pointed spine-like process that extends just beyond the dorsal margin and a second spine-like process that extends just beyond the tip of the valve; uncus short, blunt, covered with what appears to be hair pencils; juxta with short ear-like processes on either side of aedeagus; anal tube with long ventral sclerite; vesica arcs ventrally supported by a narrow, posterior sclerite leaving from small bump on dorsal surface and two smaller ventral sclerites; vesica forms globular process at base of downward arc on which three elongate, finger-like diverticula extend from left, right, and anterior sides of vesica; a second large diverticulum extends downward from the base of the left diverticulum and two small diverticula occur on the dorsal surface; a long, hair-like cornutus extends from the lower surface of the vesica, dorsally between these two diverticula; vesica completely covered by fine cornuti except on posterior surface. Female genitalia ( Fig. 122 View Figures 114–122 ). Ovipositor telescopic, ovipositor lobes fleshy with short setae; ductus bursae divided into a long, posterior, lightly sclerotized section and heavily sclerotized anterior section ca. half the length of the posterior section, these two sections separated by a short membranous section; orbicular corpus bursae with two small signa, narrows on the posterior ventral surface to ductus seminalis.

Type material. Holotype male: USA: Florida, Monroe Co.: Dagny Johnson S.P., 25.181°N, 80.364°W, 3.Mar.2014, J. Troubridge, in the CNC GoogleMaps . Paratypes: 270♂, 68♀: Collier Co.: Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park , 21.Feb.2014, 1♂ ; 21.Feb.2013, 1♀, all J. Troubridge ; Miami-Dade Co.: Florida City , 25° 24.89′N, 80° 26.40′W, 1.Apr.2014, 1♀ GoogleMaps ; 27.Jan.2014, 45 ♂, 16 ♀ GoogleMaps ; 2.Mar.2014, 9♂, 3♀; 11.Feb.2013, 5♂; 15.Jan.2013, 9♂, 5♀; 30.Jan.2013, 22♂, 9♀; 9.Mar.2013, 4♂, 2♀; 3.Feb.2016, 116♂, 7♀; 26.Feb.2012, 11♂, 4♀; 21.Mar.2012, 11♂, 3♀; 13.Mar.2019, 36♂, 16♀, all J. Troubridge ; Miami , Brickell Ham., 21.Aug.1939, F.N. Young, 1♂ (no. 3546,1) ( FSCA) ; Monroe Co.: Key Largo , 26.Dec.1987, L.C. Dow, 1♀ ( FSCA) .

Etymology. The name refers to the known range of the species. Noun in apposition.

Distribution. This species is known from Upper Key Largo, northward at least to Collier County.

Remarks. The DNA was analyzed, and the 658 COI base pairs compared with those of specimens of Melipotis perpendicularis . The results showed a 2.3% difference between M. florida and M. perpendicularis , its nearest relative.

Erebidae : Erebinae : Euclidiini


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology













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