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1 March 2008 A New Parelbella from Mexico (Hesperiidae: Pyrginae: Pyrrhopygini)
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Abstract

A new species of Parelbella is named and described. It is known from the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca, México, and may be endemic to the southern Sierra Madre Oriental.

Parelbella (Hesperiidae: Pyrginae: Pyrrhopygini) was proposed by Mielke (1995) for a group of 4 Neotropical species occurring from northern Argentina and eastern Paraguay northward into southern Mexico. A single species, Parelbella macleannani (Godman & Salvin, 1893), has been known from the northern extreme of this distribution, ranging southward into northern South America. An undescribed species potentially sympatric with P. macleannani, discovered in the collection of Allyn Museum of Entomology, now housed at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, is described herein.

Parelbella nigra Mielke, Austin & A. Warren, sp. n. (Fig. 1A, B, a, b; Fig. 2A, C)

Description. Male--FW length = 25.6 mm (holotype), 25.0 mm (paratype). Forewing pointed apically, termen nearly straight, anal margin slightly concave just basad of middle; black; 3 aligned opaque white macules angled from mid-costa toward just basad of tornus, broadest macule in discal cell, rectangular, extending distad just beyond origin of CuA1; narrower macule in CuA1-CuA2, hourglass-shaped, entirely basad of origin of CuA1, outlined distad with single row of pale blue scales; still narrower and pointed caudad macule in anterior half of CuA2-2A, outlined distad and posterior half proximad with single row of pale blue scales; small pale blue macule at base of discal cell; pale blue postbasal band across wing from anal margin to anterior discal cell continued in costal cell by a few pale blue scales; a few pale blue scales just caudud of CuA2 about one-third distance from base to termen; narrowly triangular pale blue macule extending along vein 2A from about mid-CuA2-2A to beyond end of white macule; another parallel pale blue macule in anal cell extending distad of that in CuA2-2A to submargin; irregular and less distinct submarginal patches of pale blue scales in M3-CuA1, CuA1-CuA2, and CuA2-2A; a few pale blue submarginal scales in mid-M2-M3; fringe black with a few pale scales in CuA2-2A.

Hindwing termen slightly undulate to a short projection at end of vein 2A; mostly black, but browner along costa and with gray-brown scaling along anal margin; pale blue submarginal band divided by black veins, narrowing somewhat from Rs to 2A, curving slightly caudad; similar, more or less parallel medial band, about equally broad throughout, anteriormost and posteriormost portion with scales like those of submarginal band, mid-portion (between veins M1 and CuA2) of bluish white hair-like scales; vague pale blue macule in Sc+R1-Rs between submarginal and medial bands; postbasal curved band of bluish white hair-like scales from anterior discal cell to beyond 2A; fringe white with black at tips of veins, a few black scales intermixed between veins, mostly black posterior to vein 2A.

Ventral forewing duller than dorsum, distinctly brown caudad of CuA2; white macules of dorsum repeated with additional narrow white macules in R1-R2 extending just distad of distal end of macule in discal cell and in Sc-R1 from mid-macule in R1-R2 to well distad of distal end of that macule roughly aligned with white macule in discal cell; pale blue macule at base of costa; postbasal band faint, most prominent in discal cell; thin line of pale blue scales at distal end of discal cell; submarginal pale blue macules somewhat more prominent than on dorsum, that in CuA2-2A doubled; pale blue macule in anal cell as on dorsum.

Ventral hindwing duller black than on dorsum; submarginal pale blue band similar to that on dorsum paralleled distad by much narrower pale blue line from Rs to just caudad of M3, more or less joined cephalad by rectangular pale blue macule in Sc+R1-Rs; another similar but broader macule in Sc+R1-Rs just proximad of submarginal band with a narrow blue line overlapping both in costal cell; medial band less well-defined than on dorsum consisting of individual and well-separated macules; postbasal band also vague, most prominent cephalad.

Head black, dorsum with narrow transverse lines, white medio-caudad of palpi, white between antennae, white dorsad of mid-eyes, pale blue behind antennae, broader white to pale blue cephalad on collar extending behind eyes and very broadly beneath eyes onto ventro-lateral portion of palpi, caudal portion of collar black; eyes dark gray; palpi black dorsad, third segment black, short, stout, porrect; antennae black with sparse whitish scales ventrad on club, apiculus dull red-brown of 20 (holotype) and 21 (paratype) segments. Thorax black, dorsum with narrow transverse pale blue line cephalad, dorso-lateral pale blue lines on tegulae narrowing caudad (central portion of dorsal and lateral thorax rubbed, may have pair of narrow central blue lines as does female and other congeners), venter with pair of medial white lines narrowing caudad, legs black with narrow white laterally, broadest on femur. Abdomen slightly greased (may have been brighter), black dorsally and laterally with narrow pale blue transverse lines at segments laterally (leaving broad black dorsal ridge), these narrowing ventrad and caudad; ventral abdomen dark gray with transverse white to pale blue at segments narrowing posteriorly; terminal tuft dark gray, highlighted with pale ochre scales caudad from distal end of segment 7 to distal tip.

Genitalia (Fig. 2A). Uncus undivided, robust, strongly decurved with hook at caudal end; tegumen hood-like with pair of lateral processes from caudal end slightly divergent, slightly decurved, toothed along central edge; vincular arc [we use this descriptive term for the combined and often curved ventral appendix of the tegumen and dorsal appendix of the saccus (e.g., see Pierce 1914) termed the vinculum by many authors (see also Torre-Bueno 1937)] thin, slightly sinuate; saccus long, thin, oriented nearly vertically; valva with costa-ampulla broadly humped narrowing caudad to harpe, harpe with prominent more-or-less triangular dorsal process strongly toothed on cephalad edge, less so on caudal edge, this process exceeded by caudal lobe shorter than dorsal lobe, prominently toothed on dorsal edge; aedeagus robust, about three-quarters length of valva, proximal part of aedeagus slightly curved ventrad.

Female--FW length = 29.6 mm (allotype), 29.1, 30.1 mm (paratypes). Forewing broader than on male, pointed apically but more rounded than on male, termen slightly curved, anal margin nearly straight, black; 3 aligned translucent macules lightly scaled with white angled from mid-costa toward just basad of tornus, broadest macule in discal cell, trapezoidal (narrowest cephalad) extending distad just beyond origin of CuA1; narrower macule (nearly of equal width on paratype) in CuA1-CuA2, hourglass-shaped, entirely basad of origin of CuA1 (extending slightly distad on paratype), outlined distad with single row of pale blue scales; still narrower and pointed caudad macule in anterior half of CuA2-2A outlined distad with single row of pale blue scales; cells Sc-R1 and R1-R2 with narrow pale blue lines cephalad of white band; small pale blue macule at base of discal cell; pale blue postbasal band across wing from anal margin to anterior discal cell (vague on paratype); narrowly triangular pale blue macule extending along vein 2A from about mid-CuA2-2A to beyond end of white macule; another parallel pale blue macule in anal cell extending distad of that in CuA2-2A to submargin; irregular and less distinct submarginal patches of pale blue scales in M3-CuA1, CuA1-CuA2, and CuA2-2A; a few pale blue submarginal scales in mid-M2-M3; fringe black.

Hindwing more convex and broader than on male, termen slightly undulate to a short projection at end of vein 2A; mostly black, but slightly browner along costa and anal margin; pale blue submarginal band divided by black veins, narrowing somewhat from Rs to 2A, curving slightly caudad, broader pale blue macule posterior to vein 2A; similar, more-or-less parallel medial band, about equally broad throughout, anteriormost portion of scales like those of submarginal band, posterior portion not well-defined, of blue scales and bluish white hair-like scales; postbasal curved band of bluish white hair-like scales from anterior discal cell to beyond 2A; fringe white with black at tips of veins, a few black scales intermixed in cell Sc+R1-Rs, mostly black posterior to vein 2A.

Ventral forewing duller than dorsum, distinctly brown caudad of CuA2; white macules of dorsum repeated, additional narrow blue-white macules in R1-R2 extending just distad of distal end of macule in discal cell and in Sc-R1 extending well distad of distal end of that macule; pale blue macule at base of costa; postbasal band faint, most prominent in discal cell (especially on paratype); thin line of pale blue scales at distal end of discal cell; submarginal pale blue macules similar to those on dorsum, that in CuA2-2A doubled (not on paratype); pale blue macule in anal cell as on dorsum.

Ventral hindwing duller black than on dorsum; submarginal pale blue band similar to that on dorsum paralleled distad by much narrower pale blue line from Rs to CuA2, vague rectangular pale blue macule in Sc+R1-Rs between the two; similar macule (more prominent on paratype) in Sc+R1-Rs just proximad of submarginal band with a vague narrow blue line overlapping both in costal cell; medial band less well-defined than on dorsum, prominent only in CuA2-2A and only a few pale blue scales cephalad (better defined on paratype); postbasal band vague throughout (better defined on paratype).

Head same as male, but all lines pale blue except that behind and beneath eye remaining white, antennal nudum with 20, 21, and 22 segments. Thorax same as male, but dorsal markings deeper blue (perhaps an artifact of greasing of male’s abdomen), pair of medial longitudinal pale blue lines in addition to the broader ones more laterally. Abdomen same as male, except segmental lines on venter pale blue.

Genitalia (Fig. 2C). Sterigma in lateral view with curved caudal edge extended to prominent point caudad from dorsal edge, cephalad edge bulbous, papillae anales robust, more-or-less quadrate but being somewhat broader ventrally, caudal edge straight.

Types. Holotype male with the following labels: white with black lines enclosing data, printed and handwritten - / T. Escalante / Totontepec / Oax / vii-50 /; white printed - /A. C. Allyn / Acc. 1973-48 /; white, printed - / MGCL/FLMNH / Specimen no. / 40755 /; white, printed and handwritten - / Genitalic Vial / GTA-13765 /; red, printed - / HOLOTYPE / Parelbella nigra / Mielke, Austin & A. Warren /. Allotype female with the following labels: white with black lines enclosing data, printed and handwritten - / T. Escalante / Totontepec / Oax. / vii-50 /; white printed - / A. C. Allyn / Acc. 1973-48 /; white, printed - / MGCL/FLMNH / Specimen no. / 40756 / white, printed and handwritten - / Genitalic Vial / GTA-13768 /; red, printed - / ALLOTYPE / Parelbella nigra / Mielke, Austin & A. Warren /. Paratype female with the following labels: white with black lines enclosing data, printed and handwritten - / T. Escalante / Presidio / Ver / vii-54 /; white printed - / A. C. Allyn / Acc. 1973-48 /; white, printed - / MGCL/FLMNH / Specimen no. / 40757 /; blue, printed - / PARATYPE / Parelbella nigra / Mielke, Austin & A. Warren /. The types above are deposited at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Two additional paratypes, at the Instituto de Biología, UNAM (IBUNAM), Mexico City, are from MEXICO: Oaxaca, Puerto Eligio, V-1978, Adolfo Ibarra (male) and MEXICO: Oaxaca; Chiltepec, VIII-68, Díaz Fránces (female). The primary types and examples of P. macleannani from Mexico are illustrated in color on the McGuire Center’s website < http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/mcguire/>.

Type Locality. MEXICO: Oaxaca; Municipio Totontepec Villa de Morelos, Totontepec. The holotype and allotype of P. nigra are labeled as from Totontepec, Oaxaca, situated at about 2000 m in the southeastern part of the Sierra de Juárez (Sierra Mixe). Native habitats at this elevation should include moist montane cloud forest. Chiltepec (Mpio. San José Chiltepec) and Puerto Eligio (Mpio. Santiago Comaltepec) also are situated in the Sierra de Juárez at 100 and 650 m, respectively). The fauna of Papilionoidea of this region has recently been studied (e.g., Luis et al. 1991) and several taxa are known to be endemic to the region (e.g., Papilio esperanza Beutelspacher, 1975, Papilionidae; Paramacera chinanteca L. D. Miller, 1972, Nymphalidae). A female paratype of P. nigra is labeled as from Presidio, Veracruz. Presidio was a ranch near Totutla (Mpio. Totutla) frequented by various Mexican naturalists, from which collections were made at nearby localities including Orizaba, Córdoba and Fortín de las Flores, on the eastern slope of the Sierra Madre Oriental at approximately 1000-2500 m. The ranch is now apparently known as Finca Hilde El Mirador (J. Brock, pers. comm. 2007). In general, habitats in this region have been altered drastically since the specimen of P. nigra was collected in 1954, but included moist montane cloud forest and semi-deciduous tropical forest at lower elevations.

Etymology. The species is named after its very dark aspect due to the absence of white macules in the apical portion of the forewing as occur on other species of the genus.

Diagnosis and Discussion

Parelbella nigra is immediately distinguished from its most similar congener, P. macleannani (Fig. 1), by the absence of white subapical macules on its forewing. In addition, P. macleannani usually has 1 or 2 white submarginal macules in M1-M2 and/or M2-M3 that are also absent on P. nigra. Additional characters of the wings, color, and pattern are abundantly different between the 2 taxa. The male of P. nigra has a triangular forewing that is less truncated apically than on P. macleannani and the hindwing is proportionally longer. Female forewings of P. nigra are more rounded than those of P. macleannani and the hindwings are less rounded. The white macules of the medial band on the forewing are aligned or even slightly curved distad on P. nigra, while these tend to be curved inward on P. macleannani. The blue on P. nigra is less intense than that of P. macleannani on which it is more extensive, with the submarginal macules even extending to the subapex on the forewing. The submarginal band on the hindwing of P. nigra is curved caudad on the male and curved throughout on females, whereas these are much straighter on P. macleannani. On the ventral hindwing, the blue markings are again less extensive on P. nigra on which the medial and postbasal bands are poorly developed and lack elements present on P. macleannani. Finally, the terminal scales on the abdomen of P. nigra are pale ochre in contrast to whitish on P. macleannani.

Genitalia of P. nigra have the overall gestalt for the genus (Mielke 1995). The uncus appears more robust than on other congeners. The processes of the tegumen are likewise more robust and exhibit both a distinctly toothed ventral edge and a divergent aspect not seen on other Parelbella. The harpe has the caudal lobe shorter than the dorsal process as noted for Parelbella polyzona (Latreille [1824]) and Parelbella peruana Mielke, 1995 (Mielke 1995). The dorsal process is prominently toothed on its cephalad edge as also illustrated for those two taxa (Mielke 1995). The aedeagus appears more robust than those of other Parelbella. The pointed dorsal edge of the female’s sterigma of P. nigra is not seen on other Parelbella on which this is blunt and has a dorsad orientation. Quadrate papillae anales were illustrated only for P. macleannani (Mielke 1995).

In comparison with the sympatric P. macleannani, the genitalia of both sexes of P. nigra are distinctly different as illustrated (Fig. 2). It should be noted that the genitalia of putative P. macleannani from Mexico (Fig. 2B, D) differ in several respects from those illustrated for the species by Mielke (1995). It may be that P. macleannani as now constituted includes more than 1 species. This is further reinforced by the differences in markings between the specimens illustrated here and those illustrated by Mielke (1995) from Panama and Ecuador.

While P. macleannani and P. nigra have not been recorded at the same localities, they are potentially sympatric with both occurring in the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca in southern Mexico. The available specimens suggest that P. nigra might be endemic to Mexico, particularly to the southern Sierra Madre Oriental (which includes the Sierra de Juárez) of Veracruz and Oaxaca, in extremely humid regions. A specimen seen by Bell (1942) in the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and described as having the subapical macules absent and a narrower blue pattern may well have been P. nigra and merits re-examination. In Mexico, Parelbella macleannani is known from Dos Amates and Catemaco in Veracruz, and San Miguel (Chimalapa) and Rio Sarbia in Oaxaca (Mielke 1995, this study). It also has been reported at Sayaxché, El Petén, Guatemala, and then southward from Nicaragua to Colombia and Ecuador (Mielke 1995; Burns & Janzen 2001).

Acknowledgments

We thank Andrei Sourakov for assembling Fig. 1 and Christine Eliazar for preparing Fig. 2. Lee D. Miller, Jacqueline Y. Miller, and Jorge Llorente reviewed versions of the manuscript and made valuable suggestions. We also thank Jim P. Brock for information and Adolf Ibarra for facilitating access to the IBUNAM collection. Funding for A. D. Warren during completion of this study was provided by DGAPA-UNAM.

References Cited

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E. L. Bell 1942. New records and new species of Hesperiidae from Mexico (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae). An. Esc. Nac. Cienc. Biol 2:455–468. Google Scholar

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J. M. Burns and D. H. Janzen . 2001. Biodiversity of pyrrhopygine skipper butterflies (Hesperiidae) in the Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. J. Lepid. Soc 55:15–43. Google Scholar

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A. M. Luis, I. F. Vargas, and J. E. Llorente . 1991. Lepidopterofauna de Oaxaca I: Distribución y fenología de los Papilionoidea de la Sierra de Juárez. Publicaciones Especiales del Museo de Zoología 3:iii–1–119. Google Scholar

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F. N. Pierce 1914. The Genitalia of the Group Geometridae of the Lepidoptera of the British Islands. An Account of the Morphology of the Male Clasping Organs and the Corresponding Organs of the Female. Publ. by author, Liverpool. 226 pp. Google Scholar

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Appendices

Fig. 1.

Parelbella from Mexico: A (dorsal), a (ventral)--Parelbella nigra holotype male, MEXICO: Oaxaca; Totontepec, Jul 1950; B (dorsal), b (ventral)--Parelbella nigra allotype female, MEXICO: Oaxaca; Totontepec, Jul 1950; C (dorsal), c (ventral)--Parelbella macleannani female, MEXICO: Oaxaca; Rio Sarbia, Aug 1958; D (dorsal), d (ventral)--Parelbella macleannani, female, MEXICO: Oaxaca; Chimalapa, Sep 1956.

i0015-4040-91-1-30-f01.gif

Fig. 2.

Genitalia of Parelbella from Mexico. A. Parelbella nigra holotype, GTA #13765, data as in Fig. 1: (a) lateral view of tegumen, uncus, saccus, and valva; (b) lateral (above) and dorsal (below) views of aedeagus; (c) dorsal view of tegumen and uncus; (d) ventral view of saccus; B. Parelbella macleannani male, GTA #13767, MEXICO: Oaxaca; Chimalapa, Jul 1953 (same views as 2A); C. Parelbella nigra allotype, GTA #13768, data as in Fig. 1 (lateral view of caudal structures); D. Parelbella macleannani female, GTA #13766, MEXICO: Oaxaca; Rio Sarbia, Aug 1958 (same view as 2C).

i0015-4040-91-1-30-f02.gif
Olaf H. H. Mielke, George T. Austin, and Andrew D. Warren "A New Parelbella from Mexico (Hesperiidae: Pyrginae: Pyrrhopygini)," Florida Entomologist 91(1), 30-35, (1 March 2008). https://doi.org/10.1653/0015-4040(2008)091[0030:ANPFMH]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 March 2008
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