Sagarriella libyssa caligans ( Turati, 1907 ), Macià & Mally & Ylla & Gastón & Huertas, 2019

Macià, Ramon, Mally, Richard, Ylla, Josep, Gastón, Javier & Huertas, Manuel, 2019, Integrative revision of the Iberian species of Coscinia Hübner, [1819] sensu lato and Spiris Hübner, [1819], (Lepidoptera: Erebidae, Arctiinae), Zootaxa 4615 (3), pp. 401-449: 421-422

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Sagarriella libyssa caligans ( Turati, 1907 )

comb. nov.

Sagarriella libyssa caligans ( Turati, 1907)   comb. nov.

Original combination: Coscinia caligans Turati, 1907   . Il Naturalista siciliano, 20 (2), 45.

LT. Sicily ( Italy)

Material studied. 7♂♂, 6♀♀ Bronte , Etna, Sicilia ( Italy), 1750 m, 20.VIII.2009, Nardelli leg.   ; 2♂♂, 1♀ Mischlif- fen, Middle Atlas (Marroc), 1950 m, 10.V.2000, R. Macià & J. Ylla leg.   ; 2♂♂ Ifrane , Middle Atlas (Marroc), 1600 m, 4.V.2000, R. Macià & J. Ylla leg.  

Diagnosis. Very similar to S. romei   , from which it is distinguished by the larger size and the paler forewings of the imagines. Females are usually considerably smaller than males. The male genitalia differ in the uncus, which tapers evenly towards the tip (uncus slightly widened medially in S. romei   ), and in the broader valvae, which have a smaller apical cleft. In the female genitalia, the basal part of ductus seminalis is strongly sclerotized where it meets the ductus bursae, whereas in S. romei   the ductus seminalis is entirely membranous; two small circular signa present in the bursa, which are absent in S. romei   . Sagarriella libyssa   from Sicily has very dark forms and lacks the ochreorange diffusion on the underside which is typical of S. romei   .

Description. Imago ( Figs 13–16 View FIGURES 9–18 ). Average wingspan (males) 35.5 mm (n = 6; 33–38 mm); (females) 29.8 mm (n = 6; 27–34). Wings of male brown, somewhat darkening towards the tips; forewings with a black costa and a black discal mark consisting of two spots, one below the other; forewings of female beige, with black costal streak and a single discal spot; hindwings light brown, somewhat narrower than in males.

Genitalia ( Fig. 35 View FIGURE 35 ). In the male genitalia, the valvae have a triangular, apically tapered protuberance in the costal (ventral) margin.Aedeagus with a roundly pointed coecum, and posteriorly a set of numerous short spinules (cornuti). Female genitalia with a short and wide highly sclerotized ductus bursae; ductus seminalis emerging laterally from the anterior ductus bursae as a short, strongly sclerotized tube, remainder of ductus seminalis membranous.

Immature stages. Studied in great detail by Nardelli (2010).

Molecular data. The DNA barcode sequences of the two investigated specimens differs by 2.81% uncorrected p-distance. This is a relatively large intraspecific genetic difference compared to that in the sister species S. romei   . This large genetic distance might be due to the geographic distance of the two sampled specimens, one being from Sicily and the other from the Atlas Mountains in Northern Morocco. Sagariella romei   is also the nearest Barcode neighbour with 5.62–6.26%. GenBank accession numbers of the two partial COI sequences are MH688110 View Materials and MH688111 View Materials (see also Table 2 View TABLE 2 ).

Sequencing of the nuclear wingless gene was not successful.

In the phylogenetic results, S. libyssa   is strongly supported as monophyletic (1.00 PP, 99% BS), and strongly (1.00 PP) to moderately (83% BS) supported as sister to the congeneric S. romei   . Together with Coscinia   and Spiris   , Sagarriella forms a tritomy in the phylogenetic results, but this tritomy is not supported by posterior probabilities or Bootstrap values.

Biology. Univoltine species, on the wing from early September to mid-October, flying at altitudes between 800–1700 m. The larvae feed on different low plants, including Senecio squalidus   L., Cyperus rotundus   L. and Oryzopsis miliacea Asch & Graebn. In   captivity they accept Poaceae   ( Poa annua   L.) (personal observation, RMV and Nardelli (2010)).

Distribution ( Fig. 57 View FIGURE 57 ). In Western Europe, only present in Sicily ( Italy) as S. libyssa caligans ( Turati, 1907)   . Sagarriella libyssa libyssa   was described from Algeria, and the species is also present in Morocco as S. libyssa liouvillei ( Le Cerf, 1928)   . The females of subspecies caligans   are fully winged, as in those of subspecies libyssa   from North Africa, in coastal areas from Morocco to Libya, but in subspecies liouvillei that lives in mountain areas from Morocco to Algeria they are brachypterous ( Nardelli, 2010). This fact should be taken in consideration to establish the systematic relationship between them.

Remarks. Nardelli (2010) found obvious morphological differences between the aedeagus of the North African and Sicilian populations, pointing out that they may well be two different species. This hypothesis is not corroborated in the present work by the study of their DNA.