Elachista phichaiensis Sruoga & Kaila

Sruoga, Virginijus, Kaila, Lauri & Rocienė, Agnė, 2019, The Elachistinae (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea, Elachistidae) of Thailand, with description of eight new species, European Journal of Taxonomy 574, pp. 1-34: 20-23

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Elachista phichaiensis Sruoga & Kaila

sp. nov.

Elachista phichaiensis Sruoga & Kaila   sp. nov.


Figs 51–58 View Figs 51–54 View Figs55–58


Elachista phichaiensis Sruoga & Kaila   sp. nov. is a small species with peculiarly coloured forewings ( Fig. 51 View Figs 51–54 ) and a dorsoventrally flattened head. In wing pattern and male genitalia, the new species is most similar to E. albrechti Kaila, 1998   (for illustrations, we refer to Kaila 1998: figs 12–17), known from Nepal. However, the new species is easily distinguished by features of the male genitalia. The main differences between E. phichaiensis Sruoga & Kaila   sp. nov. and E. albrechti   are: (1) in E. phichaiensis Sruoga & Kaila   sp. nov. the digitate process is long and slender, in E. albrechti   it is short and wide; (2) the spinose knob of gnathos in E. phichaiensis Sruoga & Kaila   sp. nov. is not indented distally and spinose area is not separated by membranous area as it is in E. albrechti   ; (3) in E. phichaiensis Sruoga & Kaila   sp. nov. the indentation of cucullus about ⅓ of the width of the distal lobe of cucullus, in E. albrechti   the indentation of cucullus is as wide as the distal lobe of cucullus; (4) in E. phichaiensis Sruoga & Kaila   sp. nov. the saccus is very short, as long as its width, in E. albrechti   it is slender and long, three times as long as wide; (5) the vesica in E. phichaiensis Sruoga & Kaila   sp. nov. is with cornuti, in E. albrechti   without.


In reference to the host location, Phichai, where the holotype was collected.

Type material


THAILAND • ♂; Lampang, Muban Phichai ; 18°18ʹ15ʺ N, 99°31ʹ06ʺ E; 21 Nov. 2012; M.J. Pellinen leg.; MZH VS3 View Materials / 2.11.18. GoogleMaps  



EXTERNAL CHARACTERS ( Figs 51–52 View Figs 51–54 ). Forewing length 2.7 mm; wingspan 6 mm (n = 1). Head: frons shiny, creamy white; vertex and neck tuft whitish brown, some scales with dark brown tips; labial palpus upwards curved, diverging, about 1.4 times as long as width of head, creamy white, third segment with few dark brown scales; scape creamy white below, with few dark brown scales above, without pecten; flagellum creamy white below, greyish brown above, weakly annulated with paler rings. Thorax and tegula intermixed with greyish brown and creamy brown scales. Forewing: ground colour varying from creamy to a mixture of rusty and dark grey scales, costa dark brown except medially from where oblique pale ochreous streak extend to fold, and in distal ¾ where it is creamy to varying extent; in the middle of wing at fold dark brown spot formed of slightly raised scales; fringe scales brownish grey, fringe line blackish brown. Hindwing and its fringe scales brownish grey.

MALE GENITALIA ( Figs 53–58 View Figs 51–54 View Figs55–58 ). Uncus lobes widely apart from each other, elongate, relatively short, slightly longer than its width, ventral surface densely covered with short, thick scales. Basal arms of gnathos very long, basally strongly melanized, and strongly bent towards posterior direction, apically fused; spinose knob medium sized, oval. Costa of valva weakly concave; basal fold of costa meets distal fold at 2/5 from base. Cucullus medially deeply incised, thus divided into two lobes: wide triangular lobe where sacculus meets cucullus, and another very large distal lobe. Digitate process long and slender, ⅓ length of valva and about 13 times as long as its width, distally with few short setae. Juxta lobes large, about 2/5 length of valva, medially produced as curved horn, median margin with short setae, distal margin with row of very long dorsally directed hair-like scales. Vinculum with broad median ridge, tapered to short and broad saccus. Phallus about 1.26 length of valva, evenly bent from basal ⅓; vesica with group of minute spines and three long, bent cornuti.




Unknown. The specimen was collected by artificial light.

Flight period

The only known specimen was captured in November.


So far this species is known only from northern Thailand.


The wings in the holotype is somewhat rubbed, therefore the description of external characters is approximate.


Finnish Museum of Natural History