Zale clandestina 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 : 23-24

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.4585782

publication LSID


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scientific name

Zale clandestina Troubridge

sp. nov.

Zale clandestina Troubridge , new species

( Fig. 34a, 34b View Figures 32–34 , 77 View Figures 74–78 , 126 View Figures 123–131 )


Diagnosis. Zale clandestina is closely related to and easily confused with Z. minerea (Guenée) . Since individuals of Z. minerea could be confused with Z. clandestina, DNA or genital characters should be used to distinguish the two species. In the female genitalia of Z. clandestina , the posterior lobes of the 7 th sternite are more evenly rounded than in Z. minerea and form a deep U-shaped medial groove, but the lateral corners of the 7 th sternite of Z. minerea are more angular and form a V-shaped medial groove. In Z. clandestina , the posterior portion of the corpus bursae is relatively short but that of Z. minerea forms a longer neck. In the male genitalia, the apical processes of both valves are carved away subapically on the dorsal margin giving the appearance of a brontosaur’s head in Z. minerea ( Fig. 76 View Figures 74–78 ), evenly rounded in Z. clandestina ( Fig. 77 View Figures 74–78 ), and the heavily setose ridge on the right valve of Z. minerea terminates adjacent to the posterior margin of the valve but continues well beyond the posterior margin in Z. clandestina .

Description. Antennae filiform, ciliate. Zale clandestina is sexually dimorphic. Male. Head, thorax, and abdomen ochre. Dorsal forewing. Forewing length 21–22 mm. Ground color light ochre; the entire area basal to the obscure, cream colored antemedial line is mottled with various shades of brown; similar mottled brown patches present between radial vein and costa in medial area and between obscured postmedial line and apex; orbicular spot a tiny brown dot; reniform spot a brown lunule; cubital vein edged with brown scales between antemedial line and subterminal line edged basally with brown and distally with white forms a crescent extending from posterior margin to terminus of vein M3 where a dark-brown patch extends between subterminal line and outer margin; subterminal line obscure between vein M3 and costa; outer margin deeply scalloped between veins; a row of brown marginal dots is present between veins; fringe concolorous with wing. Dorsal hindwing. Ground color light beige, basal area slightly paler; minute discal dot light brown; five faint light-brown lines extend through medial area adjacent to subterminal line; thin, cream-colored subterminal line bordered basally with dark brown, distally with light brown and then white edged distally with light gray between M3 and tornus; obscure marginal dots between veins brown; fringe concolorous with wing. Female. Head brown; thorax dark brown; abdomen brown with beige dorsal dots. Dorsal forewing. Ground color ochre brown, suffused with dark-brown scales; basal area dark brown; antemedial line chestnut, obscured by dark-brown scales; thin, faint postmedial line brown, on which a dark-brown dot occurs in cell M1; a triangular patch of dark-brown scales extends from vein M1 to apex, distal to postmedial line; medial line a diffuse scattering of dark-brown scales; area between radial vein and costa mottled dark brown; cubital vein edged with dark gray; orbicular spot a small dark-brown dot; reniform spot a dark-brown crescent, thin, brown subterminal line edged outwardly with wide, dark-gray band that forms a crescent extending from posterior margin to terminus of vein M3; all veins between subterminal line and outer margin edged with dark-gray scales; fringe brown. Dorsal hindwing. Ground color light brown with scattered dark-brown scales basal to medial line; faint discal dot brown; two obscure bands of brown scales present basal to subterminal line; subterminal line consists of two thin black lines bordering chestnut-brown band; subterminal line bordered distally with light-brown scales, followed by a wide dark-gray band; fringe dark brown. Male genitalia ( Fig. 77 View Figures 74–78 ). Valves asymmetrical, heavily sclerotized. Right valve with a low, pointed process mid-way along ventral margin (process “a”), distal to which ventral margin curves upward to a low medial pointed process (process “b”), adjacent to which a long process arises from outer margin, curving downward and inward to a blunt apex; a heavily setose ridge extends along inner margin of valve from process “a” to process “b” and extends distally from process “b” as a heavily setose, finger-like process about ¾ mm in length (this ridge terminates at process “b” in Z. minerea ). Left valve with a large process mid-way along ventral margin that is drawn to a blunt point, posterior to which valve is deeply incised anterior to a wide subapical section, from which a dorso-ventrally flattened, finger-like process apically bends inward. Uncus long, narrow, with hooked, pointed tip; juxta H-shaped; aedeagus heavily sclerotized, bends to left and then abruptly upward with subapical field of minute teeth; vesica with a small basal diverticulum, a large sub-basal diverticulum and small subapical diverticulum on right, two small sub-basal diverticula and one subapical diverticulum on the right, and a large apical diverticulum bending downward; ductus seminalis arises dorsally adjacent to sub-basal diverticulum. Female genitalia ( Fig. 126 View Figures 123–131 ). Ovipositor lobes rounded at tip; 7 th abdominal sternite forms a heavily sclerotized plate; a deep, medial, posterior indentation divides 7 th sternite with symmetrical, lateral lobes, this indentation terminates anteriorly at a suture, which divides plate in half, curving slightly to left of center where ostium bursae opens through plate at anterior margin; heavily sclerotized ductus bursae extends posteriorly from ostium bursae to short, narrow appendix bursae; ductus seminalis arises on ventral side of appendix bursae; bursae copulatrix round, extends anteriorly half way beyond 7 th sternite; signa absent.

Type material. Holotype male: USA: Florida, Citrus Co.: State Rt. 480, 28.698°N, 82.401°W, 16.Feb.2020, J. Troubridge, in the CNC GoogleMaps . Paratypes: 7♂, 4♀: Alachua Co.: 9 miles NW Gainesville, UF Horticulture Unit , 5–12. Mar.1978, Malaise trap, N.N. Greenbaum, [one] slide MGCL 5881 , 2♂ ; same data, 2–9. Apr.1978, slide MGCL 1262 , 1♀ ( FSCA) ; Citrus Co.: same data as holotype, 1♂ GoogleMaps ; same location as holotype, 13.Apr.2017, 1♀, J. Troubridge GoogleMaps ; Withlacoochee State Forest , Rd. M-11, 12.May.1985, H.D. Baggett, 1♂ ; 8 mi. W. of Floral City , Rd. M-11, 18.May.1988, L.C. Dow, 1♂, 1♀ ( FSCA, MGCL) ; Liberty Co.: Torreya State Park , 16.Mar.1980, H.D. Baggett, 1 ♂ ; 25.May.1980, C.F. Zeiger, slide MGCL 3158 , 1♂ ; 29.May.1984, slide MGCL 3159 , 1♀ ( FSCA) .

Etymology. The name is from Latin and means clandestine, a reference to the fact that this species has been hidden under Z. minerea .

Distribution. Zale clandestina has been collected in north-central Florida, North Carolina and there is a single specimen in the BOLD database from Connecticut.

Remarks. The DNA were analyzed and the 658 COI base pairs compared with those of specimens of Z. minerea . The results showed a 2.7% difference between Z. clandestina and Z. minerea , its nearest relative.

Erebidae : Eulepidotinae : Panopodini


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Florida Museum of Natural History- Zoology, Paleontology and Paleobotany


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology













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