Ceratrichia fako, Sáfián, Szabolcs & Tropek, Robert, 2016

Sáfián, Szabolcs & Tropek, Robert, 2016, Two new butterfly species (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) from Mount Cameroon, Gulf of Guinea Highlands, Cameroon, Zootaxa 4150 (2), pp. 123-132 : 128

publication ID

https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.4150.2.2

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scientific name

Ceratrichia fako

sp. nov.

Ceratrichia fako sp. nov.

(FIGS: 5A, D, G, J; 6A, D; 7)

Holotype. Ƌ PlantiCam camp, the main tourist trail, south-western slope of Mount Cameroon, South-West Province , Cameroon; 23.XI–18.XII.2014. Leg.: Sáfián, Sz. & Tropek, R. Gen. prep.: SAFI 00079 . Coordinates: N 04.117°, E 09.073°; elevation: 1100 m a.s.l. GoogleMaps

Paratypes. 1 Ƌ Buea-Bokwaongo trail (1700 m), southern slope of Mount Cameroon, South-West Province , Cameroon; XI.2014. Leg.: Sáfián, Sz.; 7♂♂ 3♀♀ PlantiCam camp and above along the main tourist trail (1100–1500 m), south-western slope of Mount Cameroon, South-West Province , Cameroon; 23.XI–18.XII.2014 and 07–23.IV.2015. Leg.: Sáfián , Sz. & Tropek, R.

Description of the holotype. Forewing: 14 mm. Wingspan: 27 mm. The upperside is chocolate brown, scattered with golden-brown scaling of variable density over both wings. The golden scaling is particularly dense in the basal area of the forewing and on most of the hindwing, where even long golden-brown hairs are present. The forewing underside is also chocolate brown, with a prominent yellow band along the costa, which becomes diffuse in the apical area, dusting around six small white spots (one of which is found in the discoidal cell). The hindwing underside is bright yellow, with a prominent chocolate brown margin, which is dusted by golden-brown scales. Five small brown spots are also present in the yellow area of the hindwing, as well as a whitish spot in the brown margin. The body is blackish-brown from the dorsal side, covered by golden-brown hairs. Ventrally, the body is yellow with long yellow hairs on the thorax. The legs are brown and yellow; the palpi are yellow with brown hairs. The antennae are very long, dark brown, ringed with yellow. Their tips are broadened, gently hooked. The eyes are large, bald, dark grey.

Male genitalia. Uncus funnel-shaped with very long and narrow tip, scaphium is present, well developed, narrow, long. Tegumen is hood-like, saccus short, weakly sclerotized. Valvae are symmetrical, their cucullus is quite blunt. The aedeagus is short, trumpet-like (teste Larsen) very weakly sclerotized. It tapers down into a slim curving posterior tip, while the vesica is broad and blunt.

Description of the female. In size and appearance, the female of C. fako is very similar to the male, however six hyaline spots are present in the sub-apical area of the forewing of the female.

Diagnosis. C. fako is obviously closely related to C. lewisi and the recently described C. manengouba , with the following differences, which are consistent over the large available series. The hindwing upperside of both sexes of C. lewisi has an extensive yellow patch along the outer margin, covering almost half of the wing, which is missing completely from C. fako , replaced by an overlay of dense golden-brown scales. Uppersides of both wings of C. fako , and especially the hindwing, are slightly overlaid by golden-brown scales, distinguishing it from both of its relatives. The ground colour of C. manengouba is generally darker; in its description, Larsen & Collins (2014) state that: “Upperside of both sets of wings uniformly deep black”; while the ground colour of C. fako is significantly lighter—it is a warm dark chocolate brown.

Etymology. The species is named after Fako , the local name of Mount Cameroon, the type locality of the species.

Habitat and behaviour. The first specimen was found at 1700 m a.s.l. in the sub-montane forest of Mount Cameroon, above the town of Bokwaongo-Buea. It was flying in the usual short skipping flight typical for various Ceratrichia species, in a small clearing surrounded by tree-ferns. The rest of the type series (including the holotype) were collected during various occasions over two seasons (Nov–Dec 2014 and April 2015) between 1100 and 1500 metres, just above the PlantiCam camp. All the caught and observed specimens occurred in the uplandsub-montane transitional forest along the main tourist trail on the south-western slope of Mount Cameroon. The species is much less common than C. clara with which it flies in syntopy, although C. fako seems to be much more localized, restricted usually to the darker bottom of the rocky ravines, where sun can only patchily penetrate the forest understorey. The males usually perch on a sun-lit leaf of fern or low bush, and patrol around regularly for a couple of metres before settling on the same perch or a nearby spot. The sub-montane C. flava prefers to stay along the edges of clearings in the habitat mosaic, where C. fako does not usually venture out.













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