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Species Petrophila santafealis - Santa Fe River Petrophila - Hodges#4778

Petrophila fulicalis - Petrophila santafealis Petrophila fulicalis - Petrophila santafealis Petrophila sanatafealis - Petrophila santafealis Petrophila sanatafealis - Petrophila santafealis Petrophila sanatafealis - Petrophila santafealis P. santafealis - Petrophila santafealis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea (Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths)
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Acentropinae
Tribe Argyractini
Genus Petrophila
Species santafealis (Santa Fe River Petrophila - Hodges#4778)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Petrophila santafealis (Heppner, 1976)
Parargyractis santafealis Heppner, 1976
* phylogenetic sequence #144075
Explanation of Names
Named for the type location on Florida's Santa Fe River (1)
Forewing length:(2) β™‚ 5.2-7 mm; ♀ 6.5-9 mm.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Previoulsy, many examples of Petrophila from OK, TX, AZ, and westward had been labeled as "santafealis"--a name refering to a Florida endemic species--due to some mislabeled museum specimens which were barcoded. Subsequent uploads of "santafealis" on BG from southwestern states apparently followed the two BOLD-labeled examples. As of 8/10/2019, all of the previously-labeled "santafealis" from the southwestern states have been moved to jaliscalis.
Here are good examples of true P. santafealis photographed not far from Heppner's Florida type locality. Ben Schwarz's original posting of these images can also be viewed on iNaturalist:

Critical elements which readily separate P. jaliscalis from P. santafealis are summarized as follows:
-- Color patches on FW and HW of jaliscalis typically of a reddish hue; those on santafealis yellow or yellow-orange.
-- Reddish spot usually evident in brown AM band on FW of jaliscalis; analogous yellow spot on AM band of santafealis inconspicuous to absent.
-- Basal brown area of FW partially separated from the AM band by a fairly conspicuous white bar on santafealis; this white area diffuse to absent on jaliscalis.
-- Medial white line on FW of jaliscalis slightly sinuous; that of santafealis notably zig-zag near costa.
-- PM area of FW on jaliscalis mostly uniformly irrorated with dark brown; same area of santafealis usually with pale patches and a dark oval loop with narrow yellow center.
-- Reddish terminal band on FW of jaliscalis not connected to diagonal reddish tornal wedge; yellow-orange terminal band on santafealis continuous with tornal wedge.
-- Inner black eyespot on HW of santafealis capped with narrow black line; line absent on jaliscalis.
-- White band on HW preceding subterminal black spots is narrowed by black irroration near the innermost spot on jaliscalis; on santafealis, this white band is equal width across all black spots.
-- Abdomenal segments more obviously banded on santafealis; rarely or less conspicuously so on jaliscalis.
The more interesting and difficult ID challenge is distinguishing santafealis from it’s closest relative, P. canadensis of the Northeast U.S. and Canada.
Described from central Florida; photographic records and specimens from panhandle and peninsular Florida. Very similar examples have been documented in Bibb Co., Alabama, but further research is needed to confirm the species' presence there.
Larvae are aquatic.
Adults have been recorded on wing year round. (1)
Larvae are aquatic and feed on algae. (1)
Santa Fe Petrophila is the southeastern representative of the "fulicalis-species group" in the genus Petrophila.(3) It is extremely similar to Canadian Petrophila. It is also similar to true fulicalis ("Feather-edged" Petrophila) but the ranges apparently do not overlap. Other representatives of the species group include Hodges or Ozark Petrophila (P. hodgesi) in the Ozark ecoregion, Heppner's Petrophila (P. heppneri) in Texas, and Confusing Petrophila (P. confusalis) on the West Coast.
Previously confused with Petrophila jaliscalis but the two are not similar and have widely disjunct ranges.(4)
Print References
Heppner, J.B. 1976. Synopsis of the genus Parargyracytis (Lepidoptera: Pyralydae: Nymphulinae) in Florida. The Florida Entomologist 59(1): 12 (PDF)
Sexton, C. 2019. Clarification of the status of Petrophila jaliscalis and Petrophila santafealis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in North America. So. Lep. News 41(3):216-225.
Sexton, C. 2021. Identification and Distribution of the Petrophila fulicalis species group (Crambidae): Taking Advantage of Citizen Science Data. J. Lep. Soc. 75(2):113-127.(3)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group – images of live and pinned adults (5)
BOLD Systems - images of DNA supported specimens (6)
Wikipedia - brief description (1)