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A New Species of Aristotelia (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae: Anomologinae) from Sandy Habitats in Colorado, Kansas, and Texas


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A new species of Aristotelia is proposed from sandy habitats in Texas, Colorado, and Kansas. Illustrations are provided of the imago and genitalia of the male and female.
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A New Species of Aristotelia (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae:
Anomologinae) from Sandy Habitats in Colorado,
Kansas, and Texas
Authors: Lee, Sangmi, and Brown, Richard L.
Source: The Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 76(1) : 40-42
Published By: The Lepidopterists' Society
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Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society
76 (1), 2022, 40–42
1School of Life Sciences, Box 874108, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4108, USA
2,Mississippi Entomological Museum, Mississippi State, MS 39762-9775, USA.
*Corresponding Email:
A new species of Aristotelia is proposed from sandy habitats in Texas, Colorado, and Kansas. Illustrations are
provided of the imago and genitalia of the male and female.
Additional key words: North America, Monahan sandhills, male genitalia, female genitalia
The genus Aristotelia Hübner [1825] (Gelechiidae)
occurs throughout the world and includes about 150
described species, of which 35 species are known from
America north of Mexico (Lee et al. 2009). Most imagos
have a similar (often nearly identical) ornate forewing
pattern formed of yellowish- to reddish-brown ground
color with ivory white to yellowish white bands or spots.
Larvae of species in America north of Mexico feed on a
wide range of families, including Anacardiaceae,
Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Ericaceae, Fabaceae,
Fagaceae, Myricaceae, Polygonaceae, Rosaceae,
Rhamnaceae, Salicaceae, and Solanaceae, but have a
narrow range of hosts within each family (Robinson et
al. 2002).
The purpose of this paper is to describe a distinctive
new species of Aristotelia that is characterized by
forewings with a reddish orange ground color and ivory
white bands and spots that are margined by silvery lines
and spots. In addition to a series of specimens collected
by the author (RLB) in sand hills near Monahans, Texas,
single specimens have been collected at Two Buttes
Reservoir and Comanche National Grasslands, both in
Baca Co., Colorado and Cimarron National Grassland
north of Elkhart, Kansas.
Dissection and slide mounting methods for genitalia
followed Clarke (1941), except preparations were
stained with eosin and mounted in Euparal. A Leica
M205 Stereo-Microscope (with magnifications 7.76–
159X) was used for examining specimens and slide
mounts. Images were made with the Passport II
Imaging System with a Canon MPE 65 mm 1–5X
micro-photography lens, and with a Leica stereoscope
with Leica Application Suite 4.6©. Terminology for
genitalia follows Klots (1970), except the use of phallus
instead of aedeagus follows Kristensen (2003).
Aristotelia arenella Lee, new species
Description. Imago (Figs. 1−2). Wing length 5.0–
5.5 mm (n=17). Head ivory white to yellowish white;
antenna 0.66 length of forewing, scape concolorous
with head basally, remainder grayish brown with apical
ring concolorous with base, pedicel and basal 4–7
flagellomeres grayish brown, remaining flagellomeres
alternating between yellowish white and grayish brown,
forming ringed appearance. Labial palpus with second
segment white to yellowish white with yellow or pale
brown rings at 0.33 length and near tip; third segment
grayish white with three dark gray rings at 0.33 length,
0.66 length, and tip; tegulae dark gray basally, yellowish
white apically. Forewing ground color varying from
reddish orange to orange, interrupted by ivory white
(variably mixed with orangish white) bands and spots
on costal margin, including a narrow band at base of
wing extending from costa to dorsum, a wide band at
0.20 forewing length extending from costa to 1A+2A, a
small white spot at 0.33 forewing length between costa
and subcostal vein, a wide band at 0.45 forewing length
extending from costa to discal cell, and a wide band at
0.75 forewing length extending from costa to discal cell,
a patch of dark brown scales between latter two white
bands; inner margin (dorsum) with a large white spot
near 0.50 forewing length and a smaller white spot
present or absent near 0.60 forewing length; silvery
scales forming a subbasal line from midwing to dorsum,
a silvery line on apical margin of the white band at 0.20
length and a silvery spot between white band and
dorsum, a silvery line from costal spot at 0.33 forewing
length to middle of discal cell, disconnected from
silvery spot on medial margin of white spot at mid-
dorsum, a silvery spot on medial margin of white band
at 0.45 forewing length, disconnected from silvery spot
near dorsum at 0.60 forewing length, a silvery spot on
medial margin of white band at 0.75 forewing length,
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termen with variable number of silvery spots forming
broken line; fringe scales reddish orange to orange
basally and ivory white apically, except unicolorous
grayish brown near cubital area; underside of forewing
dark gray with ivory white spots on costa that mirror
spots on upperside. Hindwing ground color dark gray,
fringe varying from yellow to dark gray.
Abdomen (Fig. 5): Abdominal segment VIII without
FIGS. 1–6. Images of Aristotelia arenella Lee, sp. nov. 1. Imago of holotype, dorsal view; 2. Imago, ventral view; 3. Male genitalia
(rolled); 4. phallus; 5. Female genitalia, A8–10; 6. Female genitalia, ductus bursae and corpus bursae.
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Male genitalia (Figs. 3−4). Uncus broad basally,
slightly narrowed apically, slightly emarginated medially,
apex rounded, edged with sparse setae; gnathos large,
hook-shaped, subequal in length with uncus; tegumen
with outer and inner margins heavily sclerotized; costal
part of valva elongate, broad basally, narrowed apically,
extending beyond tip of uncus, slightly curved with
rounded apex, covered with sparse setae; saccular part
of valva less than 1/5 length of costal part, stout,
rhombus-shaped, apical margin curved outwardly;
phallus strongly swollen in basal half, distally narrow,
parallel-sided, apical opening oblique.
Female genitalia (Fig. 6). Papillae anales rounded
apically, sparsely covered with setae; sternite VIII
unmodified, sclerotized; apophyses posteriores rod-like,
almost 1.5X longer than length of apophyses anteriores;
apophyses anteriores rod-like, fused to lateral wall of
sternum VIII; ductus seminalis arising from near
posterior end of ductus bursae; colliculum band-shaped,
sclerotized laterally; ostium bursae bordered by small
protuberances of sternite VIII; ductus bursae with inner
surface covered with dense microtrichia, posterior half
straight, anterior half coiled to corpus bursae; corpus
bursae ovate, inner surface covered with dense
microtrichia; signum subtrapezoidal, with strongly
sclerotized margins, posterior margin convex medially
and anterior margin with two large spines.
Diagnosis. This species is superficially similar to Aristotelia
primipilana Meyrick and Aristotelia monilella Barnes & Busck,
both of which occur in eastern United States, by the forewing
having ivory white bands and metallic scales. Aristotelia arenella
differs in having four ivory white bands and a spot on the costa
and two isolated spots on the dorsum, whereas the other two
species have only three bands. The new species has a narrow,
ivory band at the wing base and a silvery line from the middle of
wing base to the dorsum, whereas these markings are absent in
the other species. The apical, ivory spot on the costa of the un-
derside of the forewing is large and distinct in A. arenella, but is
absent in the other two species. The pattern of silvery spots in
the median area and apical margin of forewing is unique to the
new species.
Holotype. Male. USA, Texas, Ward Co., 3.7 mi. NE of Mon-
ahans, 31˚36'44"N, 102˚49'56"W, 12 Aug. 2012, R.L. Brown, col-
lected at blacklight trap in sand dunes, (genitalia slide
SLEE0954, DNA barcoded SL0628). Deposited in the National
Museum of Natural History (USNM).
Paratypes (n=16: 13m, 3f). COLORADO: Baca Co., Co-
manche Natl. Grasslands, Picture Canyon. PA, 37°00.61'N
102°44.85'W, 6 Aug. 2005, D.J. Wright (1m); Colorado, Baca Co.,
Two Buttes Reservoir, 21.vii.1991, leg. P.A. Opler (1f);
KANSAS: Morton Co., Cimarron Natl. Grassland, 7.5 mi.
N Elkhart, [37°07.2'N 101°53.7'W], 25 Aug. 2000, D.J. Wright
(1m); TEXAS: same data as holotype (8m, 2f, female genitalia
slide SLEE0955), same data except 12 Aug. 2014 (3m).
Deposited in Hasbrouck Insect Collections at Arizona State
University (ASUHIC), Mississippi Entomological Museum
(MEM), C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity at
Colorado State University, and USNM.
Etymology. The specific epithet is based on the Latin word,
arena, meaning sand or a sandy place.
Aristotelia arenella is known only from the Monahan
sandhills in southwestern Texas, two localities in
southeastern Colorado, and one locality in southwestern
Kansas. The latter three localities are within 100 km of
each other. David Bettman (pers. com.) has visited the
Two Buttes Reservoir site in Colorado and has
described them as having “sandy” deposits, and Don
Wright (pers. com.) described the sites in Comanche
National Grasslands in Colorado and Cimarron National
Grasslands in Kansas as having “sandy” soils. All
specimens were collected during August.
The photograph of the holotype (Fig. 1) was made by
the author (SL) in 2012 after this specimen and some of
the paratypes were deposited ASUHIC. An
independent photograph of one of the specimens in the
MEM in 2012 was similar in having a deep reddish
orange ground color of the forewing. However,
specimens in both ASUHIC and MEM now have a
paler orange color with apparent fading of the reddish
We thank Donald Wright (Cincinnati, Ohio) for donating
specimens of this new species to the Mississippi Entomological
Museum and information on its habitat, David Bettman
(California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco) for his assis-
tance in supplying information on the habitat at Two Buttes
Reservoir, Colorado, and Paul Opler and Boris Kondratieff
(C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Colorado State
University, Colorado) who made specimens available for this
study. We also thank two anonymous reviewers who contributed
helpful comments on the manuscript. Research of the author
(RLB) was supported by the National Institute of Food and
Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, CRIS project MIS
CLARKE, J.F.G. 1941. The preparation of slides of the genitalia of
Lepidoptera. Bull. Brooklyn Entomol. Soc. 36: 149–161.
KLOTS, A.B. 1970. Lepidoptera, pp. 115–130. In Tuxen, S.L. (Ed.),
Taxonomist’s glossary of genitalia in insects. Munksgaard,
KRISTENSEN, N.P. 2003. Skeleton and muscles: adults, pp. 39–131. In
Kristensen, N.P. (Ed.), Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies. Vol.
2. Morphology, Physiology, and Development. The Handbook of
Zoology/Handbuch der Zoologie. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin and
New York.
LEE, S., HODGES, R.W. & BROWN, R.L. 2009. Checklist of Gelechiidae
(Lepidoptera) in America North of Mexico. Zootaxa 2231: 1–39.
M. HERNANDEZ. 2002. Hostplants of the moth and butterfly
caterpillars of America north of Mexico. Mem. Amer. Entomol.
Inst. 69: 1–824.
Submitted for publication 8 October 2018; revised and
accepted 13 September 2021.
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Full-text available
3 To whom correspondence should be sent Abstract A checklist of Gelechiidae in America north of Mexico is provided based on additions of new taxa and nomenclatorial changes in publications since 1978. This checklist includes the addition of 253 new species and 8 new genera, 30 species and 5 genera previously unrecorded from North America, 4 species inadvertently omitted in the previous checklist, and many nomenclatorial changes. Ymeldia Hodges, 1963 is transferred to Oecophoridae. The following new synonymies are established: Neoschema Povolny, 1967, n. syn. of Gnorimoschema Busck, 1900; Scrobipalpulopsis Povolný, 1987, n. syn. of Scrobipalpula Povolný; 1964, Tuta Kieffer & Jörgensen, 1910, rev. syn. of Phthorimaea Meyrick, 1902; Eupolella Fletcher, 1940, n. syn. of Dichomeris Hübner, (1818); Eupolis Meyrick, 1923, n. syn. of Dichomeris Hübner, (1818); Aristotelia nigrobasiella Clarke, 1932, n. syn. of Aristotelia isopelta Meyrick, 1929; Aristotelia intermediella (Chambers, 1879), n. syn. of Aristotelia pudibundella (Zeller, 1873); Gelechia brumella Clemens, 1864, n. syn. of Chionodes continuella (Zeller, 1839); Anacampsis bidiscomaculella (Chambers, 1874), rev. syn. of Anacampsis fullonella (Zeller, 1873); Aroga trachycosma (Meyrick, 1923), n. syn. of Aroga elaboratella (Braun, 1923); and Dichomeris caryaefoliella (Chambers, 1872), n. syn. of Dichomeris georgiella (Walker, 1866). The following new combinations are made: Monochroa pullusella (Chambers, 1874), n. comb., Monochroa robusta (Braun, 1921), n. comb., Gnorimoschema klotsi (Povolný, 1967), n. comb., Gnorimoschema powelli (Povolný, 1998a), n. comb., Scrobipalpuloides chiquitella (Busck, 1910), n. comb., Scrobipalpuloides chiquitelloides (Powell & Povolný, 2001), n. comb., Scrobipalpuloides elaborata (Povolný, 2000), n. comb., Scrobipalpuloides insularis (Powell & Povolný, 2001) n. comb., Scrobipalpuloides isolata (Povolný, 2000) n. comb., Scrobipalpuloides spinosa (Povolný, 2000), n. comb., Scrobipalpuloides totalis (Povolný, 2000), n. comb., Scrobipalpuloides truncata (Povolný, 2000), n. comb., Scrobipalpula lutescella (Clarke, 1934), n. comb., Scrobipalpula lycii (Powell & Povolný, 2001), n. comb., Scrobipalpula physaliella (Chambers, 1872), n. comb., and Scrobipalpa arenaceariella (Powell & Povolný, 2001), n. comb. New records for the Nearctic Region are given for Carpatolechia fugitivella (Zeller), Carpatolechia notatella (Hübner), Carpatolechia proximella (Hübner), and Altenia perspersella (Wocke). This checklist also provides the type localities of species based on examination of specimens and published references. Subfamilies have been divided into tribes, which has required rearrangement of genera. References that include new taxa or nomenclatorial changes since 1978 are provided.
Taxonomist's glossary of genitalia in insects
  • A B Klots