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Porphyrogenes virgatus (Mabille, 1888)
(Virgatus Scarlet-eye)

Type Specimens photo collection:

Distribution and Larval Foodplants:

Honduras, Guyana, Peru

Diagnosis

The status of this taxon is currently unclear. Described from a female. Due to extreme sexual dimorphism, no males have been firmly associated with this female. The name virgatus might represent a valid species, or a female of some Porphyrogenes species described earlier from males, e.g. P. zohra, as has been suggested by Evans (1952). Austin & Mielke (2008) treat this name as an "unassociated female". We will follow this treatment and will keep the name until more specimen are discovered and males are associated.

Narrow white band across the forewing is diagnostic.
 

Synonymy

 

Porphyrogenes virgatus (Mabille, 1888)

Naturaliste (2)2(39): 170, fig. 6 ♀ V&D.

Original Combination: Thymele Virgatus

Type Locality: “Pébas, Brésil“, should be Pébas, Peru per Austin and Mielke 2008, Insecta Mundi 0044: 20

Types: Lectotype in MNHU, designated by Austin and Mielke 2008, Insecta Mundi 0044: 20, figs. 45 ♀ D, 46 ♀ V.

The status of this name is unclear and it represents an "unassociated female."

 

Bibliography

Original description from:

              Mabille, Paul 1888. Description de lépidoptères (hespérides) nouveaux. Le Naturaliste (2)2(39): 169-171, 9 figs. (15 July)

p. 170, f. 6

                                      French original                                         English translation
                       Thymele Virgatus,  n. sp.
   Brun noirâtre ; base des ailes et limbe brun jaunâtre.
Ailes  supérieures   traversées  par  une  bande  vitrée,
blanche, égale et très oblique, allant de la cote au bord
externe  au-dessus  de  l'angle.   Ailes  intérieures  très
amples  arrondies  à l'angle  antérieur,  puis  fortement
sinuées,  à  lobe  anal  prononcée  triangulaire.
   Dessous  semblable, espace  abdominal plus clair.
   Corps brun à poils jaunâtre. Palpes gris brun; pattes
rougeâtres.
   Pébas, Brésil. Collect. Staudinger.
                       Thymele Virgatus,  n. sp.
   Blackish brown; Base of wings and legs yellowish brown.
Forewings        traversed        by      a       band       glassy,
white,  even  and very oblique,  from  the  costa to the edge
external       above       the       angle.      Hindwings      very
amply    round   at   the    front   angle,   and   then   sharply
sinuate,   with   anal    lobe   pronounced   [and]   triangular.
   Underside  similar,  abdominal  space  lighter.
   Body brown with scales yellowish. Palpi gray brown; legs
reddish.
   Pébas, Brazil. Collect. Staudinger.

Text from:

Evans, William Harry 1952. A catalogue of the American Hesperiidae indicating the classification and nomenclature adopted in the British Museum (Natural History). Part II. Pyrginae. Section I. London, British Museum (Natural History). v + 178 pp., pls. 10-25.

p. 157; description in a form of identification key: relevant snippets are cited here.

D.7. PORPHYROGENES Watson 1893 :

                                    [...]

Ia (9a).  Large,  ♂ F > 20 mm.

                                    [...]

6a (Ib).  H termen straight, origin of vein 6 mid origins of  
 veins 7 and 4.

                                    [...]

7a (6).  H vein 7 mid base and end of cell, arising well  
 before vein 2.  ♂ F 26 mm.

 7 (8). ♂ secondary sexual characters as in sororcula. Above  
 tawny brown, no black spots. ♀ brown, hyaline band as  
 in vulpecula, but no blue colouring: below palpi and  
 pectus brown.

zohra.  2 sub-species.

 (a).  Bright uniform tawny brown, above: below choco-  
 late; apex unf may be tipped pale brown.  ♀ unh purple  
 brown.

Sub-sp. zohra Möschler 1878: ♂ Venezuela.  Fig Seitz.

 Synonyms.  virgatus Mabille 1888: ♀ Pebas: figured.

 sula Williams & Bell 1940: ♂ Honduras: genitalia figured.  

 B.M.  I ♀ Honduras.  I ♀ Br Guiana.  2 ♂ Fr Guiana.  
 2 ♂ Pará.

Comment: According to Austin & Mielke (2008), Evans unjustifiably associated females described as virgatus with a male described as zohra, Therefore information about females zohra in Evans (1952) refers to virgatus. P. virgatus should be kept as an unassociated female.

Text 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. 1

           [...]           Porphyrogenes virgatus (Mabille, 1888) and Porphyrogenes eudemus (Mabille, 1888), considered  
synonyms of P. zohra and Porphyrogenes vulpecula (Plötz, 1882), respectively, without justification by Evans  
(1952), are removed from those synonymies and retained, along with P. passalus, as females without confirmed  
affinities. Lectotypes are here designated for                [...]                Thymele virgatus Mabille, 1888;      [...]        

p. 17

Evans (1952) and subsequent students (e.g., Mielke 2004, 2005) have, without justification, consid-  
ered Thymele virgatus Mabille, 1888 as the female of and synonymous with P. zohra. Thymele virgatus,  
another taxon (see above under P. omphale) without a clearly associated male, is here removed from that  
synonymy since there is yet nothing to indicate its relationship with P. zohra.

p. 20, f. 39, 40

Porphyrogenes virgatus (Mabille, 1888)

(Fig. 45, 46)

Thymele virgatus Mabille, 1888. Type locality: Pebas, Brazil (sic = Peru), female type (herein designated  
 the lectotype, Fig. 45, 46) in MNHU.

Description. Female - (described from photographs of the type, Fig. 45, 46) – forewing apex pro-  
duced and acute, termen convex anteriorly, slightly concave posteriorly, anal margin prominently con-  
cave; hindwing termen convex, concave just anterior to short tornal lobe, vein Rs arising nearer to end of  
discal cell than to its base and distad of CuA2; dorsum brown; forewing crossed diagonally by narrow  
white band from costa (where divided into two macules), through discal cell, base of M3-CuA1, mid CuA1-  
CuA2, and terminating near termen distad in mid-CuA2-2A; hindwing overscaled with grayish posteri-  
orly, no indication of discal macules; fringes on both wings brown, paler than ground color.

Venter brown; white band as on dorsum, forewing vein 2A bowed following contour of anal margin,  
entire anal cell tan; hindwing unmarked, heavily overscaled with grayish posterior to vein 2A; cell 2A-3A  
with groove just caudad of vein 2A.

Dorsal head and thorax brown; palpi gray-brown, antennae broken; ventral thorax and pectus gray-  
brown, legs gray-brown with orange tinge; dorsal and ventral abdomen gray-brown.

Genitalia - not examined.

Distribution. The distribution of this taxon, like that of P. passalus, cannot be fully elaborated from  
the literature since records often did not indicate the sex of the P. zohra (the previously supposed male)  
reported. Known records are for Honduras, Guyana, and Peru (Mabille 1888, Evans 1952).

Diagnosis and discussion. Thymele virgatus is another taxon described from a female without a  
clearly associated male. Evans (1952) and subsequent students (e.g., Mielke 2004, 2005) have, without  
justification, considered it as the female of and synonymous with Porphyrogenes zohra. Porphyrogenes  
virgatus is here removed from that synonymy until its affinities are clarified. The type in MNHU (Fig.  
45, 46) is here designated as the lectotype of Thymele virgatus, fixing its identity for the same justification  
as noted above for Eudamus passalus. This specimen has five labels: / Origin. /, / Pebas Hhl. /, /  
Thymele virgatus Mab. /, / Virgatus Mab. /, and / Virgatus Mab. /. Porphyrogenes virgatus differs from  
similar females by the narrower white band on its forewing.

p. 32

                                                                                  [...]                                            Since the genitalia of  
two of the banded phenotypes (P. passalus, P. virgatus) have yet to be examined, nothing can be offered  
with respect to their interrelationships.

References:

Mabille, Paul 1888. Description de lépidoptères (hespérides) nouveaux. Le Naturaliste (2)2(39): 169-171, 9 figs. (15 July). p. 170, f. 6

Evans, William Harry 1952. A catalogue of the American Hesperiidae indicating the classification and nomenclature adopted in the British Museum (Natural History). Part II. Pyrginae. Section I. London, British Museum (Natural History). v + 178 pp., pls. 10-25. p. 157

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. 20, f. 39, 40

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