Thursday, 20 November 2014

A new species of Satyrine Butterfly from the Pantepui Tablelands of western Guyana.

The Pantepui Tablelands are an area of sandstone tabletop mountains mainly located within southeastern Venezuela, but also extending into Guyana and Brazil. The area is poorly explored, but is thought to be a biodiversity hotspot, with a distinct flora and fauna of its own. Three new Butterfly species have been described from the area in the past decade, and it is thought that the Pantepui could be home to a large number of endemic species.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 5 November 2014, Shinichi Nakahara of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, Steven Fratello of West Islip in New York and Donald Harvey of the Department of Entomology at the Smithsonian Institution describe a new species of Satyrine Butterfly from the Guyanan side of Mount Roraima, which lies on the border between Guyana, Venezuela and Brazil in the Pantepui Tablelands.

The new species is placed in the genus Euptychia and given the specific name roraima, in reference to the area where it was found. The species is described from a single male specimen collected in April 2001 at an altitude of 800 m on the north slope of Mount Roraima, by Romeo Williams and Wiltshire Hinds during a joint expedition by the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Guyana.

Male of Euptychia roraima from Mount Roraima, Guyana; left, dorsum, right, venter. Scale bar is 10 mm. Nakahara et al. (2014).

The single specimen of Euptychia roraima has a forewing length of 16 mm and is dark brown in colour with spots on its wings and a hairy body.

The northeast slope of Mt. Roraimataken from a clearing at approximately 1300m. Nakahara et al. (2014).

See also…

Tortrix Moths, Tortricidae,  are predominantly small Moths with feathery wings found across much of the globe. They are ubiquitous members of the Insect fauna, but despite this have not been extensively...

Stem-mining Moths of the family Nepticulidae are found across the world, but are at their most numerous and diverse in Southern Europe. The larvae feed on...

The Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) first appear in...

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