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A new Andean genus, Lafontaineana, with descriptions of four new species and two new Neotropical species of Panthea (Noctuidae, Pantheinae)
expand article infoJose I. Martinez, B. Christian Schmidt§, Jacqueline Y. Miller
‡ University of Florida, Gainesville, United States of America
§ Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Open Access

Abstract

Lafontaineana Martinez, gen. nov. is proposed as a new Neotropical genus of Pantheinae, forming a sister group to Gaujonia Dognin, 1891 based on a phylogenetic analysis. In addition, one new combination and four new species are proposed: Lafontaineana marmorifera (Walker, 1865), comb. nov. (Colombia), Lafontaineana alexandrae Martinez, sp. nov. (Ecuador), Lafontaineana imama Martinez, sp. nov. (Colombia), Lafontaineana puma Martinez, sp. nov. (Ecuador), and Lafontaineana thuta Martinez, sp. nov. (Ecuador). Two new Neotropical species of Panthea are described, Panthea hondurensis Martinez, sp. nov. and Panthea taina Martinez, sp. nov.

Keywords

Andes Mountains, cloud forest, Lichnoptera, Neotropics, South America, Systematics

Introduction

Lichnoptera Herrich-Schäffer, 1856, is currently the most diverse genus of neotropical pantheines and, like other neotropical Noctuidae, it has been poorly studied. Literature citations of the type species L. gulo Herrich-Schäffer, 1856 are largely limited to historical accounts (e.g., Walker 1862; Prittwitz 1871; Kirby 1892; Hampson 1913; Seitz 1919; Nye 1975; Poole 1989). Taxonomic research on the genus Lichnoptera by the senior author and Schmidt and Anweiler (2020) has revealed that Lichnoptera is a morphologically and genetically heterogeneous group requiring the establishment of new genera. Here, we erect Lafontaineana gen. nov. based on the type species Diphtera marmorifera (Walker, 1865), and add descriptions of four new species: Lafontaineana alexandrae sp. nov., Lafontaineana imama sp. nov., Lafontaineana puma sp. nov., and Lafontaineana thuta sp. nov. Lafontaineana marmorifera (Walker) comb. nov. is re-described.

Surprisingly, Lafontaineana is restricted to a small area, high elevation (~ 3,000 m) region of the Andes Mountains of Colombia and Ecuador. No records are known from other Andean countries, and the species are rarely collected; life histories and larval host plants remain completely unknown. Lafontaineana forms part of the Lichnoptera clade or “Jaguar Moths,” a clade which includes approximately 38 species of Neotropical Pantheinae in the genera Bathyra Walker, 1865, Cicadoforma Martinez, 2020, Cicadomorphus Martinez, 2020, Gaujonia Dognin, 1891, Gaujoptera Martinez, 2020, Lichnoptera Herrich-Schäffer, 1856, Millerana Martinez, 2020, and Oculicattus Martinez, 2020. Jaguar Moths are thought to mimic tiger moths (Erebidae: Arctiinae) (Martinez 2020). We also describe two new Neotropical pantheine species of the genus Panthea: Panthea hondurensis sp. nov. and Panthea taina sp. nov.

Methods and materials

Terminology and specimen preparation techniques follow standard protocols for Noctuidae (Lafontaine 1987, 2004; Schmidt and Anweiler 2020). Genitalia were stained with 1% chlorazol black and examined in 30% ethanol, and subsequently stored in pure glycerin. Type specimen preparations were mounted in Euparal. Photographs of pinned adults were taken using a Canon EOS Rebel T5i camera and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens, and the genitalia with a StackShot automated focus stacking macro rail with a Canon EOS 6D and an Infinity long-distance microscope Model K2 DistaMax.

We performed the molecular diagnosis by DNA barcoding four out of six new species mentioned in this study (with the exception of Panthea taina sp. nov. and Lafontaineana puma sp. nov.), implementing a segment from the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (COI) gene. The DNA barcodes of outgroups were taken from the Barcode of Life Data System V4 (http://barcodinglife.com). DNA was extracted from dried specimens, typically of a single leg. Sequencing was carried out by the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding, Guelph, Ontario (http://ccdb.ca) following the protocols of Ratnasingham and Hebert (2013). Concatenation and alignment of sequences was performed using Geneious 9.1.3 (http://www.geneious.com). The gene tree construction was performed using a maximum-likelihood (ML) analysis in IQ-TREE v. 2 following Nguyen et al. (2015), Hoang et al. (2018), and Minh et al. (2020). We estimated branch support by running 1000 replicates of ultrafast bootstraps (UFBoot) (‘-bb’ command) and 1000 replicates of the Shimodaira-Hasegawa approximate likelihood ratio test (SH-aLRT) (‘-alrt’ command); values of UFBoot ≥ 95 and SH-aLRT ≥ 80 for nodes were considered highly supported. The divergence among species was obtained by using the identification engine of Barcode of Life Data System V4 (http://www.boldsystems.org/index.php/IDS_OpenIdEngine) and the nucleotide BLAST (https://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi). Photographs and files including molecular data for voucher specimens are available at Barcode of Life Data System V4 [dataset: Jaguar Moths; code: DS-JAGM (https://www.dx.doi.org/10.5883/DS-JAGM)]. Sequence data are available on GenBank (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Genbank) (Suppl. material 3: Table S1).

The following institutional collections were reviewed to obtain the specimens:

CNC Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada;

FSU Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Jena, Germany;

MGCL McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, Florida, USA;

NHMUK The Natural History Museum (formerly British Museum [Natural History]), London, United Kingdom.

Systematics

Lafontaineana Martinez, gen. nov.

Gender

Feminine.

Type species

Diphtera marmorifera Walker, 1865 by present designation.

Etymology

Lafontaineana is proposed in honor of our colleague J. Donald Lafontaine, who has worked with Lepidoptera, especially Noctuoidea, for more than 40 years; his work has been an inspiration to many in the world of noctuoid research.

Included species

Lafontaineana marmorifera (Walker,) comb. nov. and the four new species described herein: L. alexandrae sp. nov., L. imama sp. nov., L. puma sp. nov., and L. thuta sp. nov.

Diagnosis

The external and internal morphologies of Lafontaineana and Lichnoptera are dissimilar (Figs 6, 7, 21, 29). In Lafontaineana, the thorax is white with black patches, which form large black polygons; these patches are smaller in Lichnoptera. The black markings of the forewing are wider and more sharply defined. The hindwing has a discal spot and dark lunate mark on the tornus, both of which are absent in Lichnoptera. In the male genitalia of Lafontaineana, the valva lacks the clasper (present in Lichnoptera), and there are sclerotized spines on the vesica (absent in Lichnoptera). In the female genitalia of Lichnoptera, the corpus bursae is remarkably smaller than the appendix bursae, while in Lafontaineana the opposite is true.

Description

Lafontaineana species are sexually dimorphic in size as well as in coloration, and the female is larger and paler than male. Both sexes have filiform antennae; eyes densely covered by short and fine interfacetal setae; haustellum short, dark brown; palpus short with the terminal segment 5× shorter than second segment, divided in black and yellow, but differing in the terminal segment, which is mostly marbled with black, white, and yellow scales. Thoracic dorsal vestiture concolorous except in forewing, of which ground color is white to yellowish white, with prominent black polygons in collar, tegula, and patagium centrally, while ventrally the thorax is gray; thorax with orange hair-like tuft laterally beneath forewing; forewing pattern well-developed with ground color darker in the median field; orbicular spot round and prominent, reniform spot trapezoidal. Hindwing white, semi-hyaline (dark gray in L. alexandrae); female with barely visible discal, medial and postmedial lines; dark spots covering costa and Sc+R1 cells; discal spot fused with discal line; lunate marking on tornus, which is longer in female. Abdomen dull orange with dark brown dorsal stripe and brown dorsal tuft on segments A1–A7. Male genitalia with tegumen relatively narrow; long simple valva lacking clasper; cucullar region slightly squared, but narrow and reasonably short; costal and posterior margins with a curved extension on each; juxta mostly shield-like; uncus sinuous; aedeagus short; vesica longer than the aedeagus with a medial diverticulum and a row of sclerotized spines. Female genitalia with sterigma and appendix bursae lightly sclerotized; ductus bursae sclerotized; corpus bursae transparent without signa; anterior and posterior apophysis remarkably short, except in L. alexandrae which has large posterior apophysis.

Genetic characterization

DNA barcodes of Lafontaineana species are distinguishable from their sister clade, the Gaujonia genus group, by ≥ 7% divergence (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. 

Relationships between the species of the genus Lafontaineana and other genera in the Lichnoptera clade employing a Maximum Likelihood analysis based on the cytochrome c oxidase I gene (COI). Nodes with black circles represent high support (UFBoot ≥ 95 and SH-aLRT ≥ 80). Nodes with gray circles represent low support (UFBoot < 95 and SH-aLRT < 80). Black branches represent the outgroups.

Immature stages

Immature stages as well as the host plants are unknown.

Key to the genus of Lafontaineana based on male and female morphology

1 Hindwings white with conspicuous lines (Figs 4, 8–15) 2
Hindwings dark gray with inconspicuous lines (Fig. 16) L. alexandrae
2 Forewing with rounded orbicular spot (Figs 4, 8, 9, 14, 15) 3
Forewing with squared orbicular spot (Figs 10–13) 4
3 Orbicular spot small with a dot in the middle; thorax with small polygons and a wide sulfur-yellow line on metanotum; abdomen with orange bands fused on A1; male genitalia with a small swollen protuberance on the costal margin of valva (Figs 14, 15, 24) L. thuta
Orbicular spot wide; large polygons on thorax; abdomen with wide orange bands and long white hairy scales covering the genitalia; male genitalia with valva widely swollen on the costal margin (Figs 4, 5, 8, 9) L. marmorifera
4 Medial field brown or dark brown (Figs 12, 30) L. puma
Medial field slightly suffused brownish yellow; band in the fold of the forewing in pale-yellow (Figs 10, 11) L. imama

Descriptions

Lafontaineana alexandrae Martinez, sp. nov.

Figures 16, 30

Type material

Holotype: ♀, Ecuador, Zamora-Chinchipe, Reserva Biologica San Francisco, Montane Rainforest, Blacklight 2×15W, 30 Jan. 2013, 19.00–21.30 h, 03°58.94'S, 79°04.84'W, 2212 m, coll. Gunnar Brehm & Yoko Matsumura / DNA Barcode run 2013, COI-5P marker, University of Guelph / Arcec 30166 / leg sampled in ethanol G. Brehm, Green vial caps. deposited in FSU.

Etymology

This species is named after the senior authors’ sister, Alejandra Martinez, who has supported JIM’s work since the beginning of his career.

Diagnosis

Lafontaineana alexandrae is the only species in the genus that has a dark hindwing. The female genitalia differ from the rest of the Lafontaineana by the presence of the small projections; small papillae anales-like on the A8 membrane.

Description

Head. Palpus marbled in yellow, white, and black; frons covered by a mixture of yellow and black scales. Thorax. Polygons small, outlined by wide yellow lines; setal tuft pale orange; ventrally brown with some dark gray scales. Wing. Forewing length 22–24 mm; yellow with blurry black lines; basal and medial lines absent, and space between antemedial and subterminal lines brown; crescent-shaped orbicular spot; reniform spot arrow tip-shaped, curving inwards on outer margin with lunate marking near inner margin; hindwing completely covered by gray scales; fringe black with some spots in yellow; pattern lines barely visible. Legs. Black with white joints and yellow tufts. Abdomen. Black with yellow intersternal membrane ventrally; dorsally with huge black line of tufts with some scales in white; anal papilla covered by yellow scales. Female genitalia. Anal papilla remarkably short; sterigma considerably wide; posterior apophysis round, 2× larger than anal papilla; appendix bursae sclerotized, ⅓× shorter than the corpus bursae; A8 membrane with a projection resembling small anal papilla.

Figure 2. 

Relationships between the species Panthea hondurensis and other Panthea species employing a Maximum Likelihood analysis based on the cytochrome c oxidase I gene (COI). Nodes with black circles represent high support (UFBoot ≥ 95 and SH-aLRT ≥ 80). Nodes with gray circles represent low support (UFBoot < 95 and SH-aLRT < 80). Black branches represent the outgroups.

Genetic characterization

The minimum DNA barcode divergence is 4.28% compared to L. marmorifera.

Figures 3–5. 

Lafontaineana marmorifera 3 head, ♂, Cundinamarca, Colombia MGCL 4 holotype ♂, New Grenada (Colombia), NHMUK 5 holotype genitalia ♂, New Grenada (Colombia), NHMUK.

Distribution

The holotype, the only known specimen, was found in the cloud forest of southern Ecuador (Fig. 35).

Remarks

Known only from the holotype, which has the tornus of the left forewing broken (Fig. 16), and the right forewing broken at cell R5. The DNA voucher label (Arcec 30166) is different from the voucher published at http://barcodinglife.com (Arcec 31097) probably by a confusion.

Figures 6–20. 

Adult habitus of Lichnoptera, Lafontaineana, and Panthea 6 Lichnoptera gulo, ♂, MGCL, Cundinamarca, Colombia 7 L. gulo, ♀, MGCL, Cundinamarca, Colombia 8 Lafontaineana marmorifera, ♂, MGCL, Cundinamarca, Colombia 9 L. marmorifera, ♀, MGCL, Cundinamarca, Colombia 10 L. imama, ♂, MGCL, holotype, Tolima, Colombia 11 L. imama, ♀, MGCL, paratype, Tolima, Colombia 12 L. puma, ♂, CNC, holotype, La Alegria, Ecuador 13 L. puma, ♀, CNC, paratype, La Alegria, Ecuador 14 L. thuta, ♂, MGCL, holotype, Loja, Ecuador 15 L. thuta, ♀, MGCL, paratype, Sucumbios, Ecuador 16 L. alexandrae, ♀, FSU, holotype, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador 17 Panthea guatemala, ♂, CNC, San Lorenzo, Guatemala 18 P. hondurensis, ♂, MGCL, holotype, Francisco Morazán, Honduras 19 P. reducta, CNC, ♂, Pedernales, Dominican Republic 20 P. taina, ♂, La Vega, MGCL, holotype, Dominican Republic.

Lafontaineana imama Martinez, sp. nov.

Figures 10, 11, 22, 31

Type material

Holotype: ♂, Columbia, Tolima, Nevado del Tolima, 4°36'02"N, 75°19'51"W, 2600 m, 5–7 Dec. 2013, legit Victor Sinyaev & Mildred Márquez / UF, FLMNH, MGCL 1049058. [DNA voucher MGCL-NOC-65241] deposited in MGCL. Paratype (1 ♀ MGCL): Colombia, Tolima, Cerro Bravo, La Libia, 5°06'21"N, 75°16'22"W, 15.-18. Dec. 2015, 3000 m, leg Sinyaev & Machado coll. Dr. Ron Brechlin / UF, FLMNH, MGCL 1049056.

Etymology

Imama is the common name of the jaguar Panthera onca (Linnaeus) in the Embera language. The name is a noun in apposition.

Diagnosis

Lafontaineana imama and L. puma resemble each other; however, L. imama has a more squared forewing shape. Also, the forewing is paler and shorter, the copper color standing out over the black and brown patterns barely visible. In addition, in L. imama the polygons on the thorax are clearly separated, while in L. puma some polygons are fused in the middle of the thorax. In the male genitalia the valva is noticeably wider than in L. puma, but the apex is much shorter; the vesica has a smaller diverticulum and a shorter row of spines. In the female, the corpus bursae and appendix bursae are narrower than in L. puma, and the papillae anales are also wider in L. puma.

Description

Head. Palpus with the last segment pale yellow with some spots in black, female with longer spots; frons divided into black and yellow. Thorax. The black polygons are separated from each other by pale-yellow lines; grayish blue ventrally. Wing. Forewing length, male 19–21 mm; female 23–25 mm; forewing pale yellow with black lines and brownish yellow scales in median field; a pale-yellow band in the fold; black orbicular spot square with a yellow dot on the middle; rectangular reniform spot with the outer margin slightly concave and a black lunate marking inside close to the upper area, while female with presenting only a small dot; hindwing with brown veins; fringe same yellow color with some black spots extending through costal and Sc+R1 cells; tornal lunate marking relatively large; female costal and Sc+R1 cells with large black and pale-yellow spots with the black lines extending and forming discal, medial, and postmedial lines; female tornal lunate marking fused with the postmedial line expanding through 2A and CuA2 cells; black line on the outer margin between 2A and CuA2 vein ends in both sexes. Legs. black with some patches in pale yellow on the joints and yellow tufts on the back area of the legs. Abdomen. Brown covered by white scales except for A8, which is brown in male ventrally; upper side complete orange with a small line of tufts except on A8; female brown with the intersternal membrane white and the last segment yellow ventrally but dorsally similar to male with the A7 and A8 brown, line of tufts with some white scales dorsally. Male genitalia. Very wide cucullar region, square apex with rounded edges, densely clothed by setae; costal margin with remarkably swollen protuberance; saccular region narrow and its process narrower; juxta spoon-like and quite concave on the upper side; aedeagus short and narrow; diverticulum is not very prominent; line of spines short. Female genitalia. Anal papilla small; sterigma sclerotized, thin and elongated; posterior apophysis reduced and almost imperceptible; appendix bursae sclerotized, ⅛ × shorter than the corpus bursae.

Figures 21–24. 

Male genitalia of Lichnoptera and Lafontaineana 21 Lichnoptera gulo, MGCL, Cundinamarca, Colombia 22 L. imama, MGCL, holotype, Tolima, Colombia 23 L. puma, CNC, holotype, La Alegria, Ecuador 24 L. thuta, MGCL, holotype, Loja, Ecuador.

Genetic characterization

Although Lafontaineana imama looks externally most similar to L. puma, the DNA barcode of L. imama is closer to that of L. thuta, differing by only 1.07%. Unfortunately, the DNA of L. puma was not available for comparison.

Distribution

The two known specimens were found in deciduous forests of west-central Colombia (Fig. 35).

Remarks

Holotype and paratype are in perfect condition (Figs 10, 11).

Lafontaineana marmorifera (Walker, 1865), comb. nov.

Figures 3–5, 8, 9, 32

Diphtera marmorifera Walker, 1865: (32): 612.

Lichnoptera marmorifera Hampson, 1913: 13: 385, 396–397, pl. 235, fig. 20.

Type material

Holotype: ♂, New Grenada (Colombia), coll. Mr. Marks, labeled “Diphtera marmorifera” / [Red labeled] deposited in NHMUK. Additional examined specimens (3 ♂, 1 ♀ MGCL): Colombia, Cundinamarca, Guasca, El Chochal de Siecha, 3120 m, 28 Nov. 2019, coll. Jose I. Martinez / UF, FLMNH, MGCL 1049165. [DNA voucher MGCL-NOC-65368]. Colombia, Cundinamarca dept., Vereda La Concepción, Bosque La Guajira, 4°47'34"N, 75°46'60"W, 9–12 IV 2014, 2910 m, coll. M. Márquez & J. Machado (2 ♂). Colombia, Cundinamarca dept., Vereda La Concepción, Bosque La Guajira, 4°47'34"N, 75°46'60"W, 10–13 I 2015, 2910 m coll. Dr. Ron Brechlin / UF, FLMNH, MGCL 1049167 (1 ♀).

Etymology

The name marmorifera is probably derived from the marbled coloration of the forewings of this species.

Diagnosis

Lafontaineana marmorifera is relatively easy to distinguish from other species because of its pale sulfur yellow color, with brown and black patterns on the lightly squared forewing. Forewing with a large squared orbicular spot and semi-rhomboid-shaped reniform spot, which are totally different from other species. Hindwing with black lines at the end of each vein, a white fringe, and a long discal spot. Forewing length male 18–20 mm, female 24–26 mm. Palp pale sulfur-yellow with black patches on the second segment; antenna black; male thorax is pale sulfur-yellow, paler than the forewings on the dorsal surface, with black polygons outlined with white scales, the ventral area is dark gray. Abdomen dark brown with the two wide stripes and very narrow line of tufts. Male genitalia valva considerably wide; apex rounded; an extension present on the costal margin; sacculus wide with the process same size as sacculus; aedeagus 4⅓ × longer than wide; vesica short and broad with medial diverticulum equal in size to the base of the vesica; vesica with dense line of spines.

Genetic characterization

The DNA barcode of Lafontaineana marmorifera is close to that of L. alexandrae (see L. alexandrae genetic characterization).

Distribution

The type specimen was labeled as coming from New Grenada, which was a territory that comprised the four countries Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. However, curators at the NHMUK in the early 20th century added a label that says Colombia (Fig. 35).

Remarks

Holotype with both antennae broken, the right hindwing is also broken on the CuA2 cell (Fig. 4). However, the other examined specimens are in very good condition.

Lafontaineana puma Martinez, sp. nov.

Figures 12, 13, 23, 33

Type material

Holotype: ♂, Ecuador, La Alegria, 2700 m, 14–15 Sep. 1977, coll. Luis E. Peña / LACM ENT 332567 deposited in CNC. Paratype (1 ♀ CNC): Same collecting data as holotype / LACM ENT 332566.

Etymology

Since the name “Jaguar Moth” makes reference to wild cats in general, the word puma was chosen in reference to the cougar (Puma concolor Linnaeus, 1771), which also means powerful in the Quechua language. The specific name is a noun in apposition.

Diagnosis

The only species that looks very similar to Lafontaineana puma is L. imama (see diagnosis of L. imama). However, the main external morphological character is the dorsal fusion of polygons in the middle of the thorax; internally the vesica has a remarkably reduced medial diverticulum.

Description

Head. Last segment of the palpus in white with scattered black scales, male darker than female; frons covered by black and yellow scales in male, while grey and yellow in female. Thorax. Whitish yellow; polygon on the middle and those on each side of the posterior area from the mesothorax are fused, while the two lateral polygons remain separated; ventrally clothed by white and black scales Wing. Forewing length male 23–25 mm; female 28–30 mm; forewing same yellow color as the thorax; black linear patterns and the space in median field coppery; orbicular spot with the upper and lower sides flattened and large yellow spot in the middle; reniform spot D-shaped outlined with black rectangle; relatively large lunate marking within the reniform spot; hindwing with pale-orange veins and some small black dots; silvery white fringe on the outer margin, while the posterior margin has some brown scales; three well-developed black spots on costal and Sc+R1 cells, narrower in female; small discal spot; discal, medial, and postmedial lines absent in both sexes; tornal lunate marking very small in male and normally expanded through 2A and CuA2 cells in female. Legs. black with a small yellow line in each joint; yellow tufts, darker in male. Abdomen. The orange lines and the brown line in the middle almost the same size; male with completely brown tufts, female with yellow ends; genitalia covered with orange scales; brownish gray ventrally in male and brown with some brownish gray scales and yellow intersternal membrane in female. Male genitalia. Narrow and pointed cucullus; apex rounded and covered by setae; costal margin slightly swollen; sacculus wide with a lightly narrow process; juxta shield-shaped with the upper edges flattened; aedeagus slightly long; diverticulum relatively prominent; line of spines long and curved along on upper side of vesica. Female genitalia. Anal papilla wide; sterigma with long and wide opening; posterior apophysis length 1¼ × anal papilla; appendix bursae and corpus bursae similar in size.

Genetic characterization

Unknown.

Distribution

Both specimens were found in deciduous forests in western Ecuador (Fig. 35).

Remarks

Attempts to extract DNA from these specimens were unsuccessful.

Lafontaineana thuta Martinez, sp. nov.

Figures 14, 15, 24, 34

Type material

Holotype: ♂, Ecuador 8 km SE of Loja, Parque Nacional Podocarpus Cajanuma, mont. rainforest, Blacklight 2 × 15W, 2897 m, 26 iii. 2011, 04°06.86'S, 79°10.47'W, coll. Lisa Lehner & Marc Adams / DNA Barcode run 2013, COI-5P marker, University of Guelph / Arcec 32455. deposited in FSU. Paratypes (1 ♂ FSU): Ecuador Zamora-Chinchipe, Cerro Toledo, Elfin forest, Parque Nacional Podocarpus Cajanuma, mont. rainforest, Blacklight 2 × 15W, 2938 m, 6 Feb. 2013, coll. Gunnar Brehm (1 ♂). (1 ♂, 1 ♀ MGCL): Ecuador, Pichincha, Quito/ Chiriboga Km 33, 2650 m, 25 Apr. 1976, coll. N. Venedictoff (1 ♂). Ecuador, Sucumbios, El Playon, 2 km to Minas, 0°37'24"N, 77°39'51"W, 18.-19. II 2013, 3320m, leg. Sinjaev & Romanov / UF, FLMNH, MGCL 1049166 (1 ♀).

Etymology

The name thuta means moth in the Quechua language. The specific name is a noun in apposition.

Diagnosis

Lafontaineana thuta can be differentiated externally from the other species of genus Lafontaineana by the minute yellow dot on the orbicular spot. Internally, L. thuta possesses a prominent diverticulum on vesica similar to L. marmorifera and L. puma, but the line of spines is narrower than L. marmorifera and shorter than L. puma.

Description

Head. Black palpus with some scattered yellow scales on last segment; frons yellow with few black scales. Thorax. Sulfur-yellow with a horizontal line on the metathorax with the end near to the abdomen black; polygons small and separated by sulfur-yellow lines; abdominal side gray; dark orange setal tufts. Wing. Forewing length male 19–21 mm; female 25–27 mm; sulfur-yellow with black and dark brown patterns; forewing same yellow as thorax; median field dark brown; orbicular spot with a minute yellow dot; reniform spot bean-like with a large dot close to inner margin; hindwing white with orange veins; fringe sulfur-yellow, paler than the forewing; costal margin with black fringe and some yellow scales; posterior margin with white scales; costal and Sc+R1 cells with large black and white patches; small discal spot and tornal lunate marking. Legs. Black with large sulfur-yellow and white patches. Abdomen. Brown dorsally with a huge black line of tufts from A2 extending and expanding through the subsequent tergites making the orange lines narrower; white scales at the ends of the tufts; yellowish white with brown scales on the intersternal membrane ventrally. Male genitalia. Tegumen short; wide cucullus with a square-shaped apex, clothed by setae; costal margin lightly expanded; sacculus wide and process with a small projection on posterior margin; juxta broadly spoon-shaped with slightly concavity on upper area; aedeagus with huge diverticulum; wide line of spines, long spines. Female genitalia. Anal papilla short and squared; sterigma semi-sclerotized, large and widely opened; posterior apophysis 3 × longer than anal papilla; appendix bursae ⅙ × longer than the corpus bursae.

Genetic characterization

DNA barcoding of Lafontaineana thuta showed it to be closer to L. imama (see L. imama genetic characterization).

Distribution

This species has been found only in high elevations of deciduous forests of Ecuador (Fig. 35).

Remarks

Both holotype and paratype are in perfect condition (Figs 14, 15). As in L. alexandrae, the voucher number (Arcec 32455) is different from that published at http://barcodinglife.com confusion (Arcec 30239).

Panthea Hübner, 1820

Panthea is a small genus comprising 14 species worldwide, distributed mainly in the Nearctic and Palearctic regions (Anweiler 2009; Behounek et al. 2013; Schmidt and Anweiler 2020). Only three species are known in the Neotropical region (Panthea furcilla (Packard, 1864), P. reducta Anweiler, 2009, and P. guatemala Anweiler, 2009) and we describe two additional species from the Neotropics: Panthea hondurensis sp. nov. and Panthea taina sp. nov.

The genus Panthea is characterized externally by bipectinate antennae, small eyes with dense interfacetal setae, a short haustellum, and the forewings presenting five well-defined transverse lines and poorly developed reniform and orbicular spots (sometimes absent). Internally, male genitalia presenting heavily sclerotized valves, well-developed uncus compressed at the tip, and the vesica without diverticula and armed with wide cornuti. Female genitalia with well-developed sterigma and simple corpus bursae lacking appendix bursae.

Panthea hondurensis Martinez, sp. nov.

Figures 18, 26

Type material

Holotype: ♂, Honduras: Fco. Morazán, Reserva Biológia Monte Uyuca, 1.600 m, 14.034858°, -87.075035°, 16 vii. 2015, coll. D. Matthews & J. Y. Miller / Honduras Biodiversity Survey MGCL Accession, #2015-56 / Barcode MGCL 270947, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity, UF. [DNA voucher LEP-75397] deposited in MGCL. Paratypes (1 ♂ MGCL): Same collecting data as holotype.

Etymology

This species is named after the only country in which it is known to occur.

Diagnosis

Panthea hondurensis is morphologically similar to P. guatemala. Externally, P. hondurensis is slightly smaller and darker with the lunate markings on the reniform spots longer than those of P. guatemala. In the male genitalia, P. hondurensis has wider valves without protuberances at the apex and shorter subuncal lobes. The aedeagus is noticeably shorter.

Figures 25–28. 

Male genitalia of Lafontaineana and Panthea 25 Panthea guatemala, CNC, Oaxaca, Mexico 26 P. hondurensis, MGCL, holotype, Francisco Morazán, Honduras 27 P. taina, MGCL, holotype, La Vega, Dominican Republic 28 P. reducta, ♂, CNC, Pedernales, Dominican Republic.

Description

Only known from two male specimens. Head. Male antenna brown and bipectinate; palpus black and dark brown; frons marbled with brown, white, and gray scales. Thorax. Marbled with brown and gray scales forming polygons outlined by black scales. Wing. Forewing length in male 21–23 mm; forewing with the basal, antemedial, and medial lines all in black, while the postmedial line is brown highlighted with gray scales; orbicular spot not present; reniform spot formed by long lunate marking; hindwing whitish brown with dark brown veins; wide well-developed pale-brown discal line, while the medial line is inconspicuous; fringe alternating with black and whitish brown scales; legs black with some dark brown and gray spots. Abdomen. Darker brown than thorax; dorsal and ventral sides black, tergite ends brown; last abdominal segment with long brownish gray scales. Male genitalia. Tegumen narrow; simple valva with narrow cucullar region and flattened apex; saccular region 1½× wider than the cucullar region; saccular process ending in a Y-shaped clasper; juxta shield-shaped with the upper side concave; uncus tip flattened; subuncal lobes short; aedeagus short, 3× longer than width; vesica with a small basal diverticulum and a long sclerotized cornutus, second cornutus similar in size located laterally on the central region of the vesica.

Figures 29–34. 

Female genitalia of Lichnoptera and Lafontaineana 29 Lichnoptera gulo, MGCL, Cundinamarca, Colombia 30 Lafontaineana alexandrae, FSU, holotype, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador 31 L. imama, MGCL, paratype, Tolima, Colombia 32 L. marmorifera, MGCL, Cundinamarca, Colombia 33 L. puma, CNC, paratype, La Alegria, Ecuador 34 L. thuta, MGCL, paratype, Sucumbios, Ecuador.

Genetic characterization

DNA barcodes of Panthea guatemala and P. hondurensis differ by 1%, comparable to differences between other closely related species of the genus (Schmidt and Anweiler 2020) (Fig. 2).

Distribution

The only two known specimens were found in the cloud forest of south-central Honduras (Fig. 36).

Remarks

The holotype (Fig. 18) and paratype are in perfect condition.

Panthea taina Martinez, sp. nov.

Figures 20, 27

Type material

Holotype: ♂, Dominican Republic, Prov. La Vega 5 km W. of Manabao, 19–23-IV-2000, Blacklight, 3050 ft elev., coll. R. E. Woodruff & T. J. Henry / Finca Eladio Fernandez “Paso la Perra”, along Rio Yaque del Norte 3050 ft elev. / UF, FLMNH, MGCL 1034189. [DNA voucher LEP-75402] deposited in MGCL. Paratypes (1 ♂ MGCL): Same collecting data as holotype.

Etymology

The word taina comes from the Taínos, a group of indigenous people of the Caribbean islands.

Diagnosis

Panthea taina is most similar to P. reducta (Fig. 21), but they can be easily separated: Panthea taina is larger with darker wing markings, the transverse lines of the forewings are well developed, whereas in P. reducta they are inconspicuous. In P. taina the medial line is separated from the reniform spot, whereas in P. reducta the medial line is fused with the reniform spot, forming a square. The orbicular spot is present as a small line in P. taina, but is absent in P. reducta. The hindwing of P. taina has well-developed lines, which are absent in P. reducta. In the male genitalia, P. taina has longer valves and a pointed apex, while in P. reducta the valves are short and the apex rounded. The tegumen is wider in P. reducta and its subuncal lobes reduced, compared to the large and prominent lobes in P. reducta.

Description

Only known from two male specimens. Head. Male antenna is bipectinate and dark orange in color; dark brown palpus; dark grayish brown frons. Thorax. Marbled with brown and gray scales, with some patches of black scales. Wing. Forewing length of male 22–24 mm; forewing with all lines well-developed; orbicular spot formed by a small black line; reniform spot with a narrow lunate marking; hindwing paler color than forewing with black veins; discal spot V-shaped; medial and postmedial lines well developed; fringe black with white scales at the end of each vein. Legs. foreleg black with some dark gray spots, while the midleg and hindleg are marbled in gray, brown, and black. Abdomen. Marbled with brown and black scales, end of each tergite with gray scales; last abdominal segment with whitish gray hair-like scales. Male genitalia. Tegumen narrow; simple valva with cucullar and saccular regions similar in size; apex pointed; saccular process ending in a long clasper with a rounded tip; juxta heart-shaped; uncus long with rounded tip; subuncal lobes wide and rounded; aedeagus short, 2× longer than width; vesica wide, bean-like, with a large sclerotized cornutus.

Figure 35. 

Distribution of examined specimens of Lafontaineana.

Genetic characterization

Unknown.

Distribution

This species is endemic to the Dominican Republic and it was found in high elevations of the Cordillera Central (Fig. 36). Panthea taina and P. reducta may be endemic to two different mountain chains, P. reducta occurring in the Sierra de Bahoruco, 130 km far from the Cordillera Central.

Figure 36. 

Distribution of examined specimens of Panthea.

Remarks

The holotype (Fig. 20) as well as the paratype are in perfect condition.

Discussion

The only previously known species of the new Neotropical genus Lafontaineana was included in the genus Lichnoptera for more than a century (Hampson 1913). However, we found that Lafontaineana is the sister clade to the Gaujonia genus group (Martinez 2020). Another important result of the phylogenetic analysis is that the paraphyly of the genus Lichnoptera is corroborated. Unfortunately, only seven of the eleven species are included in the COI gene analysis, and thus the generic placements of Lichnoptera moesta Herrich-Schäffer, 1858, L. primulina Dognin, 1912, L. rufitincta Hampson, 1913, and L. pollux (Edwards, 1887) are still not settled.

In regard to the life history and host plants, nothing is known about Lafontaineana, but following the sister group, it is possible that some species in this genus also feed on Rosaceae, Betulaceae, Fagaceae, or even Podocarpaceae (Anweiler 2009; Schmidt and Anweiler 2010; Martinez 2020; Schmidt and Anweiler 2020). Lafontaineana is endemic to the South American Andes Mountains with a distribution restricted to the cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador. This genus may prove to be a reasonable flagship taxon for cloud forest conservation.

Acknowledgements

We thank Andy Warren and the MGCL at the Florida Museum of Natural History (University of Florida) for providing facilities. Special thanks are due to Alberto Zilli at the NHMUK who provided the photographs of the type species. We thank Christi Jaeger (CNC), David Plotkin (MGCL), and Ryan St Laurent (MGCL) for their help and support with the molecular analyses, and also to Charles V. Covell Jr. (MGCL) for his helpful comments. Many thanks to Gunnar Brehm (FSU) and Victor Sinyaev who provided additional specimens, and Tyler Shaw who helped prepare specimens for identification. We also thank Donald Lafontaine and Jocelyn Gill (CNC) for their support. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Geographic Society (EC-51416R-18).

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