Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory

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Two New Species of Psychocampa and a Possible Case of Visual Mimicry in the Sack-Bearer Moths (Lepidoptera: Mimallonoidea)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2019
Authors:S. R. Laurent, Carvalho, A. P. S., Kawahara, A. Y.
Journal:Insect Systematics and Diversity
Start Page:3
Pagination:3 [9 pp.]
Date Published:04/2019

"Within the Lepidoptera, diurnal adult behavior is more often associated with butterflies than moths. However, many moth species are also known to have adults that fly during the day, and the lack of diel activity data for moths can be attributed to limited natural history observations. Moths belonging to Mimallonidae Burmeister are one such example of a family of Lepidoptera for which very little is known about adult activity times, with literature reports of only two of the nearly 300 described species known to exhibit diurnal behavior. In the present study, two new species of black and white Psychocampa Grote & Robinson are described: P. aello St Laurent, sp. n. from Colombia and P. celaeno St Laurent, sp. n. from Panama. We hypothesize that these two species are diurnal due to their rarity in collections and apparent similarity in appearance with diurnal sphingid hawkmoths of the genus Aellopos Hübner (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) and certain Hymenoptera. Psychocampa funebris (Schaus) is the species most similar to the two new species described here, it is known from Argentina, southeastern Brazil, and Uruguay whereas the new species are from Panama and western Colombia. Psychocampa funebris is known to be diurnal, and therefore, it is likely that the two new, apparently related species described herein, are also diurnal. Considering the hypothesized diurnal behavior of the new species, and their unique coloring and patterning, we believe this to be the first documentation of potential adult mimicry in Mimallonidae."

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith