Zale vargoi 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 : 22-23

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.4585782

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scientific name

Zale vargoi Troubridge

sp. nov.

Zale vargoi Troubridge , new species

( Fig. 33a, 33b, 33c View Figures 32–34 , 78 View Figures 74–78 , 125 View Figures 123–131 )


Diagnosis. There are no North American species that can be confused with males of Z. vargoi ; the gray-brown wing color of the male is diagnostic. Females could easily be confused with females of Z. lafontainei . The female of Z. vargoi is smaller (FW length 18–21 mm versus 22–27 mm in Z. lafontainei ) and the ostium bursae of Z. vargoi extends through the 7 th abdominal sternite, whereas that of Z. lafontainei is distal to the 7 th sternite.

Description. Antennae filiform, ciliate. Zale vargoi is sexually dimorphic. Male. Head, thorax, and abdomen gray brown. Dorsal forewing. Forewing length 18–21 mm. Ground color gray brown; basal area brown with obscure, off-white basal line; thin, jagged antemedial line off-white; jagged, brown medial line bordered anteriorly by a band of scattered white and light-green scales, within which the orbicular spot is present as a small black dot; reniform spot absent; thin, black, jagged, postmedial line becomes white where it crosses costa; very thin, off-white subterminal line edged outwardly with dark gray forms a crescent extending from posterior margin to terminus of vein M3; subterminal line obscure between vein M3 and costa; a white dash is present on subterminal line at vein CuA2, submarginal line a series of dots between veins; fringe concolorous with wing. Dorsal hindwing. Ground color gray brown, basal area slightly paler; minute discal lunule dark gray brown; three faint gray-brown bands extend through medial area adjacent to subterminal line; subterminal line consists of two thin lines, basal line dark gray brown, much thinner than black distal line; distal line bordered distally with brown-ochre, and gray lines between M3 and tornus, purplish-gray submarginal area lighter than medial area; obscure submarginal streaks between veins brown; fringe concolorous with wing. Female. Head and thorax dark brown; abdomen light brown with black scales on 1 st and 6 th tergites. Dorsal forewing. Ground color light brown, suffused with darker brown scales; basal area a mixture of dark-brown and black scales; thin, jagged, black antemedial line obscure; thin, jagged, postmedial line black, on which a black dot occurs in cell M3, line becomes heavier between vein CuA1 and costa; a triangular patch of dark-brown and black scales extending from CuA1 to apex, distal to postmedial line; medial line dark brown; orbicular spot a small black dot; reniform spot with scattered black scales on basal area, otherwise imperceptible; thin, brown subterminal line edged outwardly with wide black band that forms a crescent extending from posterior margin to terminus of vein M3, submarginal line an obscure series of black dots; fringe brown. Dorsal hindwing. Ground color light brown with scattered dark brown scales basal to medial line; faint discal lunule brown; three obscure bands of brown scales present between medial line and subterminal line; subterminal line consists of two thin black lines, bordered distally with light brown scales, followed by a wide dark gray band; submarginal line a series of obscure, dark brown dots between veins; fringe brown. Male genitalia ( Fig. 78 View Figures 74–78 ). Valves asymmetrical, heavily sclerotized; right valve bends slightly downward toward apex with dorsal finger-like process above two low humps; a broad, low, triangular process extends ventrally from ventral margin of sacculus, posterior to which a flattened process bends medially from tip of sacculus; left valve much broader and more complex with long dorsal and ventral finger-like processes extending from apex and long, finger-like process extending ventrally from ventral margin of sacculus, posterior to which a triangular process lies flat against valve at tip of sacculus; uncus long and thin with downward spine at tip; juxta with two lateral anterior processes, carved out on right to accommodate aedeagus; aedeagus heavily sclerotized, bends down and to the left before sweeping upward toward vesica, which projects dorsally from tip of aedeagus; a strong spine projects posteriorly from the point where the aedeagus turns vertically; vesica with several elongate diverticula, those on the left covered with minute spicules. Female genitalia ( Fig. 125 View Figures 123–131 ). Ovipositor lobes short, setose, rounded at tip; ostium bursae cuts through left side of 7 th abdominal sternite; ductus bursae relatively short, sclerotized toward ostium bursae; appendix bursae undefined; ductus seminalis exits dorsally; oblong corpus bursae sack-like; 7 th abdominal sternite asymmetrical, deeply concave on posterior margin, with circular orifice on left forming ostium bursae.

Type material. Holotype male: USA: Florida, Monroe Co.: Sugarloaf Key , 24.665°N, 81.516°W, 24.Jan.2017, BOLD sample ID: KSLEP1002-17 , J. Vargo, in the CNC GoogleMaps . Paratypes: 2♀: Monroe Co.: No Name Key , 24.695°N, 81.329°W, 21–22.Jan.2017, 1♀ GoogleMaps ; 5.Feb.2018, 1♀, both J. Troubridge.

Etymology. I name this species to honor my good friend, James Vargo, who collected the holotype.

Distribution. Zale vargoi is known only from the Lower Keys, Monroe Co., Florida.


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes













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