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Porphyrogenes spina Austin & Mielke, 2008
(Spina Scarlet-eye)

Type Specimens photo collection:

Distribution and Larval Foodplants:

Panama. Known from 2 specimens. Reports from Costa Rica should be corrected to P. sula.


Characterized by a spoon-like, profoundly broadened to the end upcurved harpe terminally with small teeth and gray (not brown or tan) tufts at the base of the dorsal hindwing. Possibly a synonym of P. sula.



Porphyrogenes spina Austin & Mielke, 2008

Insecta Mundi 0044: 27, figs. 97 ♂ D, 98 ♂ V, 131 ♂ venation, 150 ♂ genitalia (holotype).

Original Combination: Porphyrogenes spina

Type Locality: "PANAMÁ: Canal Zone; Gamboa."

Types: Holotype in USNM.



Original description from:

Austin, George T., and Olaf Hermann Hendrik Mielke 2008. Hesperiidae of Rondônia, Brazil: Porphyrogenes Watson (Lepidoptera: Pyrginae: Eudamini), with descriptions of new species from Central and South America. Insecta Mundi 0044: 1-56, 165 figs. (26 September 2008)

p. 27, f. 97, 98, 131, 150

Porphyrogenes spina Austin and Mielke, new species

(Fig. 97, 98, 131, 150)

Description. Male (Fig. 97, 98) - forewing length = 22.8 mm, 23.2 mm (both from Panama); fore-  
wing with costal fold, apex slightly produced, pointed, termen and anal margin nearly straight; hindwing  
termen nearly straight, tornus produced to short lobe, vein Rs arising nearer to end of discal cell than to  
its base and well distad of CuA2 (Fig. 131); dorsum brown, unmarked; forewing overscaled with ochreous-  
olive heaviest basad, anal margin with sparse tuft proximad; hindwing overscaled with ochreous-olive  
posterior to vein Rs; shining gray speculum in anterior discal cell (as small area), proximal 1/2 of Sc+R1-  
Rs, and entire costal cell; very short and small gray recumbent tuft near base of Sc+R1-Rs, similarly short  
but much thicker semierect gray tuft arising from near base of discal cell covering speculum in discal  
cell, curving anteriorly and, with anterior tuft, covering base of speculum in Sc+R1-Rs (Fig. 131); con-  
spicuous erect ochreous-olive tuft along anterior edge of vein 2A, recumbent pale tan tuft from posterior  
edge of 2A; fringes on both wings gray-brown.

Venter brown; forewing vein 2A weakly sinuate, bare and moderately swollen in central 1/3 (Fig.  
131); shining gray-tan speculum in proximal 1/2 of CuA2-2A (continued to about 3/4 distance to termen as  
modified brown scales) and in entire anal cell; hindwing with no indication of discal macules; cell 2A-3A  
with deep groove just caudad of vein 2A.

Dorsal head and thorax ochreous-olive, palpi pale gray, eyes red, antennae black, yellow on venter  
distad and beneath apiculus, nudum red-brown, 30 (n = 1) or 31 (n = 1) segments, ventral thorax gray-  
brown, pectus brown with much green anteriorly, legs brown proximad, ochreous-brown distad, dorsal  
abdomen brown, overscaled with ochreous-olive, ventral abdomen warm brown, some greenish anteriorly.

Genitalia (Fig. 150) - tegumen narrow in lateral view, broad and nearly round in dorsal view, very  
long and relatively broad dorso-caudal oriented process from each side of caudal end, tuft double and  
dense; uncus nearly straight in lateral view, divided in dorsal view, arms very widely spaced, long and  
thin, ventral process of uncus very thin; gnathos shorter than uncus, terminal ends rounded in ventral  
view; combined ventral arms from tegumen and dorsal arms from saccus curved; saccus very broad,  
short, oriented dorso-cephalad; valva with costa-ampulla more or less rhomboidal, harpe long, relatively  
broad cephalad, curving evenly upward to broader and finely (but densely) dentate caudal end oriented  
nearly dorsad, dentate projection proximad of caudal end dorsad; aedeagus shorter than valva, broad with  
flaring caudal end; cornuti as three rows each of multiple relatively short, slightly curved, and thin  

Female - unknown.

Types. Holotype male with the following labels: white, printed and handprinted - / PANAMÁ: Canal  
Zone / Gamboa / x.18.78 / Gordon B. Small /; white, printed and handprinted - / Genitalic Vial / GTA -  
8905 /; red, printed - / HOLOTYPE / Porphyrogenes spina / Austin & Mielke /. Deposited at the National  
Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC. Paratype male - PANAMÁ: Panamá Prov., Distrito de El  
Llano, Cordillera de San Blas, north of El Llano, ca. 330m, 10 May 1978 (GTA #8904, deposited at  

Type locality. PANAMÁ: Canal Zone; Gamboa.

Etymology. The name means spine and refers to the spine-like serrations of the harpe.

Distribution and phenology. The species is known only from the types taken in Panama during  
May and October.

Diagnosis and discussion. Porphyrogenes spina is similar to a species to be described below and is  
distinguished in the discussion of that species. This species is also somewhat similar to P. spoda, but the  
genitalia are very different, the tufts are gray (red-brown on P. spoda), the swollen portion of vein 2A is  
shorter than on P. spoda, and P. spina is not as reddish brown.

p. 28

                [...]               Porphyrogenes sporta is similar to P. spina, but differs in having a less  
extensive speculum on the dorsal hindwing, tan rather than gray tufts, a more sinuate and broadly  
swollen vein 2A in a conspicuous groove on the forewing, and a gray-tan rather than brown and green  
pectus. The male genitalia are also similar with both having long processes from the tegumen (being  
longer on P. sporta). The uncus on P. sporta is more curvate, the distal arm of the gnathos is shorter, the  
harpe is curved less sharply and has a more evenly rounded caudal end (without the projection occurring  
on P. spina), the aedeagus is less flaring at the caudal end, and the spikes of the cornuti are more robust.


Austin, George T., and Olaf Hermann Hendrik Mielke 2008. Hesperiidae of Rondônia, Brazil: Porphyrogenes Watson (Lepidoptera: Pyrginae: Eudamini), with descriptions of new species from Central and South America. Insecta Mundi 0044: 1-56, 165 figs. (26 September 2008). p. 27, f. 97, 98, 131, 150

Janzen, Daniel. H. and Winifred Hallwachs 2009. Event-based database of caterpillars, their host plants, and their parasitoids in Area de Conservacio´n Guanacaste, northwestern Costa Rica.

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