Panthea gigantea (French),

Anweiler, Gary G., 2009, Revision of the New World Panthea Hübner (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) with descriptions of 5 new species and 2 new subspecies, ZooKeys 9 (9), pp. 97-134: 107-108

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.9.157

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Panthea gigantea (French)


Panthea gigantea (French) 

Figs. 6-9View Figures 1-11, 48View Figures 44-49, 60View Figures 58-68, 70View Fig

Platycerura gigantea French 1890: 134  .

Panthea gigantea (French)  ; Smith 1891: 34; Franclemont and Todd 1963: 134. Diphthera gigantea (French)  ; Draudt in Seitz 1924: 18.

Type material. Platycerura gigantea  was described by French from a single male received from David Bruce from Colorado, where he is known to have traveled and collected widely ( Brown 1966). A search for the type, which was retained by French ( Smith 1893), has been unsuccessful and it is apparently lost, possibly in the fire that destroyed much of his collection in 1892 ( Southern Illinois University Carbondale 2009). As it appears the present concept of P. gigantea  may encompass more than a single taxon, the following neotype is designated to establish stability of the name: Neotype male – “ CO [Colorado] / Larimer Co. [County]”; “Estes Park [40° 22.315' N 105° 31.645' W] / 15 July 1993 / R. A. Belmont / UV BL”; “ NEOTYPE / Platycerura  / gigantea French  / Anweiler 2009” [red label]; deposited in CNC. The neotype is a male missing the left antennae and showing minor greasing, but is otherwise in good condition.GoogleMaps 

Diagnosis. Panthea gigantea  is on average the largest New World species of Panthea  with some females having a wingspan in excess of 6 cm. Only P. guatemala  from southern Mexico and Guatemala and some populations of P. virginarius  from the western USA overlap P. gigantea  in size. The male of P. gigantea  can be recognized by the combination of large size (FW length 22-27.5 mm), dark gray-black, or graybrown ( Mexico only) forewing and contrasting white hindwing, and can be separated from all other New World Panthea  by the unique bifurcate uncus. The female of P. gigantea  can be separated from that of P. guatemala  by range ( Fig. 70View Fig) and by the much less extensively sclerotized ductus bursae of P. gigantea  ( Fig. 60View Figures 58-68) and from the female of P. virginarius  ( Fig. 61View Figures 58-68) by the much larger and more heavily sclerotized sterigma of P. gigantea  .

Distribution and biology. Panthea gigantea  is found throughout much of the warmer and drier regions of western North America from south-central British Columbia, Canada south to the state of Durango, Mexico and from the Black Hills of South Dakota, western Nebraska and the Texas Panhandle west to Washington, Oregon and the coast of California ( Fig. 70View Fig). Panthea gigantea  is replaced in the cooler and more humid Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountain regions by P. virginarius  . Panthea gigantea  is associated with Ponderosa pine forest ( Pinus ponderosa Dougl.  [ex Laws.]), and Ponderosa pine is the only known larval host. ( Duncan 2006; Anweiler unpub.). The larva of P. gigantea  was illustrated in color by Duncan (2006).

Remarks. Compared to material from farther north and west, specimens of P. gigantea  from Arizona and New Mexico show differences in the genitalia of both sexes, including in the proportions and shape of the valve in the male and the width and length of the ductus bursae in the female. DNA ‘barcode’ fragment data of cox1 mtD- NA for 6 specimens from Arizona and New Mexico show a mean difference of about 1.7 % from two specimens from Idaho and British Columbia, and sequence from a single specimen from west central California is about 1.8 % divergent from the Idaho- British Columbia samples and about 0.8 % divergent from the Arizona-New Mexico samples (Anweiler unpublished data). The forewings of the four Mexican specimens examined are gray brown instead of gray black with a less “powdery” appearance, so the antemedial, medial and postmedial lines contrast much more prominently than on non-Mexican material ( Figs. 8, 9View Figures 1-11). Additional and more recent material is needed in order to evaluate the taxonomic status of these different P. gigantea  populations.














Panthea gigantea (French)

Anweiler, Gary G. 2009

Platycerura gigantea French 1890: 134

French GH 1890: 134

Panthea gigantea (French)

Smith JB 1891: 34