Ethmia scythropa Walsingham

Phillips-Rodriguez, Eugenie, Powell, Jerry A., Hallwachs, Winnie & Janzen, Daniel H., 2014, A synopsis of the genus Ethmia Huebner in Costa Rica: biology, distribution, and description of 22 new species (Lepidoptera, Gelechioidea, Depressariidae, Ethmiinae), with emphasis on the 42 species known from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, ZooKeys 461, pp. 1-86: 8-9

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by

ZooKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Ethmia scythropa Walsingham


Taxon classification Animalia Lepidoptera Depressariidae

Ethmia scythropa Walsingham   Figures 5, 50, 95, 137, 149

Ethmia scythropa   Walsingham, 1912: 148; Powell 1973: 127.


Ethmia scythropa   is easily distinguished from all other members of the genus in Central America by its erect, white scaling of the head and the presence of gray tufts of hair under the tegula in the male.


Male: FW length: 10.1-13.4 mm (n = 4). Head: Labial palpus elongate, proboscis and front smooth, pale grayish; crown and occipital margin with elongate, anteriorly directed, white tufts; antennal scape elongated. Thorax: Ground color gray, tegula with metallic black-blue and dense gray tufts under. FW ground color olivaceous gray, reflecting metallic; a large dorsal blotch dark gray reflecting metallic purplish at middle line extending to top of cell. HW ground color whitish becoming pale brownish apically, costal hair pencil dark ochreous. Abdomen: Brown, genital scaling bright ochreous. Genitalia (Fig. 50) with uncus barely notched; gnathos with broad, dentate posterior portion, basal processes short and thin, valva broadly emarginate distally.

Female: FW length 11.1-13.4 mm (n = 3). Head and thorax: As described for male except tegula without enlarged hair tufts and HW costal area simple. Abdomen: Genitalia (Fig. 95) with sterigma bearing rounded lateral lobes; ductus with a narrow sclerotized sleeve; signum a fold with irregular sized teeth.


Male: Costa Rica, "Banana River" [ Río Banano near Limón, Limón Prov.] March 1907, W. Schaus. USNM Type No. 68206 [USNM, examined].

Distribution and biology.

Ethmia scythropa   has been recorded from eastern Mexico (Jalisco and Veracruz) to Costa Rica and in Cuba and Jamaica ( Powell 1973). In Costa Rica (Fig. 149) this species has been collected from 0 to 1150 m on the east side of Cordillera Volcánica de Guanacaste and Tilarán and in northern Caribbean lowlands. Ethmia scythropa   occurs in ACG rain forest.

Food plant records.

Ethmia scythropa   was reared from Boraginaceae   : Bourreria oxyphylla   Standl., Bourreria costaricensis   (Standl.) A.H. Gentry.

Immature stages

(Fig. 137). Dorsum: Head capsule and prothoracic shield bright orange with black dots disposed in rows, T1-T3 and A-1 segments black with white spots, T2 enlarged, 4 middle segments orange with black and white spots, caudal segments black with white spots. The lateral color pattern is the same as the dorsal color pattern.


Hymenoptera   : Braconidae   : Microgastrinae  : Glyptapanteles   Whitfield58 (n = 3); Diptera   : Tachinidae   : Hemisturmia   Wood02 (n = 1).