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Thirteen new species of butterflies (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) from Texas.
By Zhang, J., Q. Cong, and N.V. Grishin.
Insecta Mundi 921: 1-58, 58 figs., 2023
Cite: 2327489 with citation markup [cite:2327489]
Full PDF - Insecta Mundi

Zhang, Jing, Qian Cong, and Nikolay Vyacheslav Grishin. 2023. Thirteen new species of butterflies (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) from Texas. Insecta Mundi 921: 1-58, 58 figs.


Analyses of whole genomic shotgun datasets, COI barcodes, morphology, and historical literature suggest that the following 13 butterfly species from the family Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea) in Texas, USA are distinct from their closest named relatives and therefore are described as new (type localities are given in parenthesis):

Spicauda atelis Grishin, new species (Hidalgo Co., Mission),
Urbanus (Urbanus) rickardi Grishin, new species (Hidalgo Co., nr. Madero),
Urbanus (Urbanus) oplerorum Grishin, new species (Hidalgo Co., Mission/Madero),
Telegonus tsongae Grishin, new species (Starr Co., Roma),
Autochton caballo Grishin, new species (Hidalgo Co., 6 mi W of Hidalgo),
Epargyreus fractigutta Grishin, new species (Hidalgo Co., McAllen),
Aguna mcguirei Grishin, new species (Cameron Co., Brownsville),
Polygonus pardus Grishin, new species (Hidalgo Co., McAllen),
Arteurotia artistella Grishin, new species (Hidalgo Co., Mission),
Heliopetes elonmuski Grishin, new species (Cameron Co., Boca Chica),
Hesperia balcones Grishin, new species (Travis Co., Volente),
Troyus fabulosus Grishin, new species (Hidalgo Co., Peñitas), and
Lerema ochrius Grishin, new species (Hidalgo Co., nr. Relampago).

Most of these species are known in the US almost exclusively from the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Nine of the holotypes were collected in 1971-1975, a banner period for butterfly species newly recorded from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas; five of them collected by William W. McGuire, and one by Nadine M. McGuire. At the time, these new species have been recorded under the names of their close relatives. A Neotype is designated for Papilio fulminator Sepp, [1841] (Suriname). Lectotypes are designated for Goniurus teleus Hübner, 1821 (unknown, likely in South America), Goniloba azul Reakirt, [1867] (Mexico: Veracruz) and Eudamus misitra Plötz, 1881 (Mexico).

Several taxonomic changes are proposed. The following taxa are species (not subspecies):

Spicauda zalanthus (Plötz, 1880), reinstated status (not Spicauda teleus (Hübner, 1821)),
Telegonus fulminator (Sepp, [1841]), reinstated status (not Telegonus fulgerator (Walch, 1775),
Telegonus misitra (Plötz, 1881), reinstated status (not Telegonus azul (Reakirt, [1867])),
Autochton reducta (Mabille and Boullet, 1919), new status (not Autochton potrillo (Lucas, 1857)),
Epargyreus gaumeri Godman and Salvin, 1893, reinstated status (not Epargyreus clavicornis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1869)), and
Polygonus punctus E. Bell and W. Comstock, 1948, new status (not Polygonus savigny (Latreille, [1824])).

Urbanus ehakernae Burns, 2014 and Epargyreus socus chota Evans, 1952 are junior subjective synonyms of Urbanus alva Evans, 1952 and Epargyreus clavicornis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1869), respectively, and Epargyreus gaumeri tenda Evans, 1955, new combination is not a subspecies of E. clavicornis.

Key words. Cryptic species, biodiversity, skipper butterflies, genomics, speciation, nomenclature, taxonomy.