Pyrausta panopealis ( Walker, 1859 ), Walker, 1859

Landry, Bernard, 2015, The Pyraustinae (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae s. l.) of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, Revue suisse de Zoologie 122 (1), pp. 55-70: 61-62

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.14577

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Pyrausta panopealis ( Walker, 1859 )


Pyrausta panopealis ( Walker, 1859)  

Figs 7, 8, 19 a-b, 24

Rhodaria panopealis Walker, 1859: 318   .

Pyrausta panopealis Walker.   – Munroe (1976: 111, 112, not illustrated). – Munroe (1983: 71) – Robinson et al. (1994: 179, pl. 29 fig. 19). – Shaffer et al. (1996: 189). – Peck et al. (1998: 227). – Munroe (1995: 57). – Heppner (2003: 275). – Causton et al. (2006: 141). – Roque-Albelo & Landry (2012). – Nuss et al. (2014). – Patterson et al. (2014).

Material examined: 14 ♂ (4 dissected), 16 ♀ (3 dissected). – Isabela: 3 km N S [an]to Tómas, Agriculture zone; 11 km N P [uer]to Villamil; NE slope Alcedo, near shore, GPS: elev[ation]. 9 m, S 00°23.619’, W 90° 59.715’; NE slope Alcedo, GPS: elev. 292 m, S 00° 23.829’, W 91° 01.957’; Alcedo, lado NE, camp arida alta, 200 m [elev.]; V[olcan]. Darwin, 300 m elev. – Santa Cruz: 4 km N Puerto Ayora; casa L. Roque-Albelo & V. Cruz, GPS: 137 m elev., S 00° 42.595’, W 90° 19.196’; transition zone, recently cut road, GPS: S 00° 42.528’, W 90° 18.849’, [reared] from Hyptis sidaefolia   leaves; low agriculture zone, GPS: 00° 42.132’, W 90° 19.156’; Finca Vilema, 2 km W Bella Vista; Los Gemelos. – Santiago   : N side, GPS: 437 m elev., S 00° 13.316’, W 90° 43.808’; Cerro Inn; Bahía

Espumilla; 200 m elev.; Aguacate, 520 m elev.; Central, 700 m elev.; Jaboncillo, ± 850 m elev. Deposited in CDRS, CNC, MHNG.

Diagnosis: In the Galápagos this small species can only be confused with Pyrausta insolata   sp. n., but the key above will separate specimens of these two. Outside of Galápagos the species is most similar to Pyrausta phoenicealis (Hübner)   , but on average smaller (6-7 mm in forewing length), with wings lighter, more thinly scaled, the forewing with dark areas redder and light areas yellower, the hindwing lighter and not as red as the forewing, with the pale areas weakly contrasting and without a fulvous patch at base, the fringes with the basal parts yellow or with a few reddish scales and distal parts whitish, etc. ( Munroe, 1976). The female hindwing is generally darker than that of the male because the lighter orange markings are smaller than those of the male.

Biology: Hyptis capitata Jacquin   ( Lamiaceae   ) was reported as a host plant in Puerto Rico ( Munroe, 1976) and Dicerandra frutescens Shinners   and Hyptis capitata Jacquin   ( Lamiaceae   ) in Florida ( Heppner, 2003). I have reared specimens from Hyptis sidaefolia (L’Hér.) Briq.   ( Lamiaceae   ) leaves on Santa Cruz Island. The moths are attracted to light and have been collected between the coastal zone and up to 850 m in elevation.

Distribution: Described from China, this species is widespread in the tropics of the world ( Munroe, 1976). In the Galápagos I have collected specimens on the islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz, and Santiago   . One specimen in the CDRS with a label stating ‘41’ was associated with catalogue data stating ‘ Pyrausta phoenicealis   , Santa Cruz, Fernandina, Isabela, Santiago, Transition   to humid zones, Feb[ruary]., June, July, Dec[ember].’

Remarks: For the full synonymy pertaining to this taxon see Munroe (1976, or 1995). I confirm that the holotype deposited in the BMNH is a female. Pyrausta panopealis   has been confused and synonymized with Pyrausta phoenicealis (Hübner, 1818)   in some publications prior to Munroe (1976), who removed it from synonymy based on small differences (see Diagnosis). Later as well (see for example Guillermet, 2009, and Vári et al., 2002), the species has been reported as P. phoenicealis   , with P. panopealis   in synonymy, although Munroe (1976) stated that P. phoenicealis   ‘seems to be confined to the southeastern part of the United States [of America]’ and its type locality is Florida. I have decided to follow Munroe (1976, 1983, 1995) in considering that P. panopealis   and P. phoenicealis   are different taxa as he made the only available comparative study of the group and because there are DNA CO1 barcode unpublished data that seem to support the separation of the two species (J.-F. Landry, pers. comm.). The host plant record of Hyptis capitata Jacquin   ( Lamiaceae   ) by Munroe (1976) is based on Schaus (1940) who reported the species as P. phoenicealis   from Puerto Rico.


Nanjing University


Department of Botany, Swedish Museum of Natural History


Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle, Paris (MNHN) - Vascular Plants


University of New England


Naturhistorisches Museum Wien


Invertebrate Collection


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle














Pyrausta panopealis ( Walker, 1859 )

Landry, Bernard 2015

Rhodaria panopealis

Walker 1859: 318