Urodeta falcata, Sruoga & Prins, 2022

Sruoga, Virginijus & Prins, Jurate De, 2022, New species of Urodeta Stainton, 1869 (Lepidoptera, Elachistidae, Elachistinae) from Ghana and Democratic Republic of the Congo, with identification keys to the Afrotropical species of the genus, ZooKeys 1089, pp. 25-36 : 25

publication ID


publication LSID


persistent identifier


taxon LSID


treatment provided by

ZooKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Urodeta falcata

sp. nov.

Urodeta falcata sp. nov.

Figs 1 View Figures 1–4 , 2 View Figures 1–4 , 5-14 View Figures 5–14

Material examined.

Holotype. Ghana • ♂; Ashanti Bobiri , 4 km NE Kubease, 6°41'N, 1°20'W; 230 m alt.; 25 May 2011; J. & W. De Prins leg., gen. prep. VS510. GoogleMaps


Urodeta falcata is a small, dark-coloured species with indistinct wing markings. In wing pattern and male genitalia, the new species is most similar to U. aculeata Sruoga & De Prins, 2011, known from Cameroon, U. tantilla Sruoga & De Prins, 2011, known from Kenya and U. maculata (Mey, 2007), known from Namibia. However, U. falcata can be distinguished most easily by the presence of two claw-shaped cornuti, pointed apex of phallus and long ventral shield of juxta.


Male (Figs 5 View Figures 5–14 , 6 View Figures 5–14 ). Forewing length 2.2 mm; wingspan 5.0 mm (N = 1). Head: frons, vertex and neck tuft pale grey, weakly mottled with dark brown tipped scales; labial palpus vestigial, visible only as very short greyish extension; scape greyish white below, brownish grey above, pecten pale grey; flagellum pale brown, weakly annulated with darker rings basally and slightly serrated apically. Thorax and tegula strongly mottled with scales basally pale grey and distally brownish grey. Forewing: strongly mottled with scales basally pale grey and distally brownish grey; wing darker beyond middle; fringe brownish grey. Hindwing and its fringe brownish grey.

Female. Unknown.

Male genitalia (Figs 7-14 View Figures 5–14 ). Uncus short. Spinose knob of gnathos long oval, twice as long as wide, oriented posteriorly (Fig. 12 View Figures 5–14 ). Valva short and broad; costa concave; ventral margin of sacculus convex, distally meeting emargination of termen at a blunt angle; cucullus short and narrow, tapered apically, inner surface covered with long setae; transtilla short, strongly sclerotized. Ventral shied of juxta about 3 times as long as wide, strongly sclerotized. Vinculum U-shaped, proximal margin weakly concave. Sclerotized phallic tube short, as long as valva, with strongly sclerotized, wide band along ventral margin; distally tapered towards pointed apex; vesica with 2 large curved cornuti and numerous tiny, elongate spines.



Flight period.

Based on the specimen available, adults fly in May.


So far, this species is known only from southern Ghana (Figs 1 View Figures 1–4 , 2 View Figures 1–4 ).


The species name is derived from the Latin Urodeta falcata (sickle-shaped) in reference to the shape of cornuti in male genitalia.


The head of the holotype is somewhat abraded, therefore the description is approximate.