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Phaenochitonia pseudodebilis (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae): first description of the female and updated geographic distribution.

Phaenochitonia Stichel, 1910 (Riodinidae: Symmachiini) contains 7 species distributed on Neotropics, and they are easily confounded with species of Comphotis (Incertae Sedis section) but can be distinguished by the presence of concealed androconial scales in the abdominal tergites of the males (an exclusive character of Symmachiini) and the Sc vein not fused with [R.sub.1] (Hall & Willmott 1996; Callaghan & Lamas 2004). The females, usually with orange or red transverse bands on the forewings or on both wings, are very different from the males which possess red markings traversing both wings or restricted to the inner margins of the hind wings (Hall & Willmott 1996).

Phaenochitonia pseudodebilis Hall & Willmott, 1996 was described based on a single male specimen from Cuiaba--River System, Mato Grosso, Brazil (Hall & Willmott 1996). Since then, the female of P. pseudodebilis has been unknown. Here we provide the first description of the female of P. pseudodebilis and an update on its geographical distribution, which until now was known only from its type locality.


Description (Figs. 1 and 2): Forewing length 7 mm. Ground color of dorsal and ventral surfaces dark brown with an orange transverse band on both wings. The basal area of both wings on ventral surface with general spot pattern similar to male. Abdomen entirely brown, different from that of the male, which has a red stripe on dorsum. Female genitalia: sterigma formed by a rectangular lamella antevaginalis and an inverted U-shaped postvaginalis lamella; ductus bursae thinned, with apical third sclerotized and about three times length of bursa copulatrix; bursa copulatrix totally membranous, with a hook-shaped signum dorsally.


The only known record of P. pseudodebilis was from its type locality, Cuiaba--River System, Mato Grosso, Brazil. However, by the examination of the Riodinidae deposited in the Collection of Entomology Padre Jesus Santiago Moure, Department of Zoology of the Federal University of Parana (DZUP), 13 specimens of P. pseudodebilis collected in the 1970s at Alto Rio Arinos, Diamantino, Mato Grosso, were identified. Later, in the 1990s, 5 males and 1 female were also observed and collected in gallery forests about 18 km from Ribeirao Cascalheira, which is 530 km northeast of Diamantino. The individuals were always associated with a gallery forest, a humid forest characteristic of the Cerrado (Brazilian savanna) vegetation.

The Cerrado domain has a heterogeneous physiognomy, ranging from open areas to dense forests, and is highly threatened due the loss of many of its native areas (Myers et al. 2000). The gallery forests play an key role in the maintenance of diversity of the Lepidoptera of the Cerrado (Camargo 2001; Brown & Giffordi 2002; Scherrer et al. 2013), which underscores the importance of preserving these habitats.

The records of P. pseudodebilis are scarce, as are those of many other butterflies that occur in the Cerrado biome. Thus it is important to emphasize the need to intensify the development of well-sampled inventories of butterflies in the Cerrado domain, as well as in the transitional areas between the Cerrado and Amazonia. Probably new records of P. pseudodebilis will be revealed as new inventories are performed in this area, enabling a better assessment of its distribution and its conservation status.

Material Examined

BRAZIL--Mato Grosso: Diamantino--Alto Rio Arinos, S 14[degrees] 24' -W 56[degrees] 25', Faz. S. Joao, 28-VIII-1976,1 male, Mielke & Furtado leg., DZUP 26.492 (DZUP). 15-I-1978, 1 female, Mielke & Furtado leg., DZUP 26.489 (DZUP). 16-I-1978, 1 male, Mielke & Furtado leg., DZUP 26.493 (DZUP). 17-I-1978, 1 male and 1 female, Mielke & Furtado leg., DZUP 26.494, DZUP 26.495 (DZUP). 20-I 1978, 1 male and 1 female, Mielke & Furtado leg., DZUP 26.496, DZUP 26.490 (DZUP). 3-IX-1978, 6 males, Mielke & Furtado leg., DZUP 26.497, DZUP 26.498, DZUP 26.499, DZUP 26.500, DZUP 26.501, DZUP 26.502 (DZUP). Ribeirao Cascalheira: 11-18 KM N Ribeirao Cascalheira, S 12[degrees] 56' -W 51[degrees] 49', 21-23-VIII-1997, 5 males and 1 female, Mielke leg., DZUP 26.503, DZUP 26.504, DZUP 26.505, DZUP 26.506, DZUP 26.507, DZUP 26.508 (DZUP).

The authors are grateful to Vitor Nardino (TaxonLine --UFPR) for the photographs; colleagues of the Laboratorio de Lepidoptera Neotropical (LELN-UFPR), especially Diego Rodrigo Do libaina for helpful comments on the manuscript; two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions; and the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimiento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq) for the fellowship granted to the authors.

Caption: Fig. 1. Female of Phaenochitonia pseudodebilis Hall & Willmott, 1996: A, dorsal view, and B, ventral view.

Caption: Fig. 2. Female genitalia of Phaenochitonia pseudodebilis Hall & Willmott, 1996: A, lateral view, and B, ventral view.


BROWN JR, K. S., AND GIFFORD, D. R. 2002. Lepidoptera in the cerrado landscape and the conservation of vegetation, soil and topographical mosaics, pp. 201-217 In P. S. Oliveira and R. J. Marquis [eds.], The cerrado of Brazil: ecology and natural history of a neotropical savanna, Columbia University Press, New York, 398 pp.

CALLAGHAN, C. J., AND LAMAS, G. 2004. RIODINIDAE, pp. 141-170 In G. Lamas [ed.], Checklist: Part 4A. Hesperioidea--Papilionoidea, In J. B. Heppner [ed.], Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera 5A. Association for Tropical Lepidoptera/Scientific Publishers, Gainesville, 439 pp.

CAMARGO, A. J. A. 2001. Importancia das Matas de Galeria para a conservagao de lepidopteros do Cerrado, pp. 607-634 In J. F. Ribeiro, C. E. L. Fonseca and J. C. Sousa-Silva [eds.], Cerrado: caracterizagao e recuperagao de Matas de Galeria, Embrapa CPAC, Planaltina. 899 pp.

HALL, J. P., AND WILLMOTT, K. R. 1996. Systematics of the riodinid tribe Symmachiini, with the description of a new genus and five new species from Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae). Lambillionea 96(4): 637-660.

MYERS, N., MITTERMEIER, R. A., MITTERMEIER, C. G., FONSECA, G. A. B., AND KENT, J. 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853-858.

SCHERRER, S., FERRO, V. G., RAMOS, M. N., AND DINIZ, I. R. 2013. Species composition and temporal activity of Arctiinae (Lepiodoptera: Erebidae) in two cerrado vegetation types. Zoologia 30(2): 200-210.

RICARDO RUSSO SIEWERT *, OLAF HERMANN HENDRIK MIELKE AND MIRNA MARTINS CASAGRANDE Laboratorio de Estudos de Lepidoptera Neotropical, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Parana, P.O. Box 19.020, 81.531-980, Curitiba, Parana, Brazil

* Corresponding author; E-mail:

Supplementary material for this article in Florida Entomologist 97(2) (2014) is online at


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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Scientific Notes
Author:Siewert, Ricardo Russo; Mielke, Olaf Hermann Hendrik; Casagrande, Mirna Martins
Publication:Florida Entomologist
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2014
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