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Staphylus esmeraldus L. Miller, 1966
(Esmeraldus Sootywing)

Type Specimens photo collection:

Genitalia photo collection:

Distribution and Larval Foodplants:

E Costa Rica




Miller, Lee Denmar (1966) "A new Staphylus from Costa Rica (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae)". Entomological News 77(10): 261-264, 3 figs. (8 December)
Staphylus  esmeraldus,   new   species.    Figs.  1,  2  (♂),  3  (♂

    Male: Head and most of the distal two segments of the palpus 
brilliant  iridescent  green  above ;  frons,  upper  surface  of  the 
proximal  segment  of the palpus and the tip of the third segment 
black.    Cheek    and   palpus    below  dark gray.   Antenna  dark 
brown  above,  below  with  shaft  ringed with brown and yellow 
and  yellow  alone  inside  flexion  of club;  nudum  dull  brown. 
Thorax and abdomen above thickly covered with blackish-brown 
hairs  intermingled  with  a  few golden ones ; below, thorax and 
abdomen brown ; legs brown. 

    Upper surface of  forewing dark brown sparsely overlaid with 
golden  scales,   shaded  darker basad  and with  prominent black 
spot   at   the   end   of   the  cell.   Two transverse dark bands are 
present,  one  lying  just outside  the  cell and the other along the 
margin.   The   costal  fold  is well  developed.  Hindwing  above 
also   dark brown thinly overscaled with gold, darker basad, with 
a thin,  dark extradiscal line and poorly denned dark submarginal 
spots.  Under  surface  of  forewing  unmarked,  rich dark brown, 
and   that   of  the   hindwing  dark  brown  with  basal gold over- 
scaling and a few scales of the same color forming an ill-defined 
mesial  spot-band. The  fringes  of both  wings  above and below 
dark brown.  Length of  forewing of  holotype, 13 mm. 

    The   male   genitalia   are   characteristic  of  the green-headed 
Staphylus   with   a  massive,  straight  tegumen ; a small, curved 
uncus ;  no  scaphium  and  ornamented  valvae.  The  well-devel- 
oped   dorsal   median   spine  on  the valva serves to separate the 
male  genitalia of esmeraldus  from  those  of  S. chlorocephala 

    The female is unknown. 

    Described   from   a   single   specimen.  Holotype  ♂: COSTA 
RICA: 10 mi. W. of Guapiles, Prov. Limon, 520 m.;10.viii.1963; 
perched   on   foliage   with  wings outstretched along forest trail, 
tropical   wet   forest   (Lee  D.   Miller) ;   ♂   genitalia  slide  no. 
M-1457  (Lee D. Miller). 

    The   Holotype  is   deposited   in   the  collection   of Carnegie 
Museum   (C. M. Ent. Type No. 512). 

    This   species   can   be   keyed  only  with  difficulty to chloro- 
cephala  in  Evans'  (1953: 84)  key  to  Staphylus  since he men- 
tions  a  tornal  white  area on  the under  surface of the hindwing 
which  is  totally  absent  in  esmeraldus.  The  only  other  green- 
headed  Staphylus,  chlora  Evans,  is totally different, as may be 
seen  in the diagnosis of the chlorocephala group which follows: 

   1.  chlorocephala—Contrasting  dark  and  pale  bands  above ; 
no hyaline forewing  spots ; forewing costal fold well developed ; 
under  surface  of  hindwing  with  a tornal white shade; southern 

   2.  esmeraldus—Dark  bands above less prominent; no hyaline 
forewing  spots ;  forewing  costal  fold  well  developed ;  under 
surface  of  hindwing  dark  tornally  with  a  few  golden  scales ; 
Costa  Rica. 

   3.  chlora—Dark  bands  above less prominent; forewing with 
prominent  hyaline  apical  and  discal  spots ;  no  costal fold on 
forewing ; under surface of hindwing dark tornally ; Bolivia and 
Brazil  (Rio Tapajos, Para). 

    The  holotype  of  esmeraldus  is  the first record for its group 
in  Central  America ;  in  fact,  this  group  has  previously  been 
recorded   from   no  closer   than  central  Brazil.  This  apparent 
gap  in  the  distribution of the chlorocephala group may be real 
or  not  since  these  insects  are  rare  wherever  they  are  found, 
closely resemble some of the  commoner Staphylus in flight and 
may have been  overlooked by many collectors who were chiefly 
concerned  with  the  gaudier,  more  conspicuous butterflies.  In 
any event, members of this group of Staphylus should be sought 
wherever  there  are suitable tropical wet or rain forests through- 
out  South  America  and  at least  southern  Central  America. 

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