Epipleoneura spatulata Rácenis, 1960,

Vilela, Diogo Silva, Neiss, Ulisses Gaspar, Koroiva, Ricardo, Guillermo-Ferreira, Rhainer & Hamada, Neusa, 2020, The female of Epipleoneura spatulata Rácenis, 1960 (Odonata: Protoneurinae), Zootaxa 4803 (2), pp. 381-387: 382-387

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Epipleoneura spatulata Rácenis, 1960


Description of Epipleoneura spatulata Rácenis, 1960  female

Figs. 1cView FIGURE 1 (hab), 2g–h (ptx), 3d (pmp)

Material examined. 2♀♀ (1♀ collected in tandem and compared with the additional examined females), Brazil, Amazonas, Barcelos, Igarapé nº15, U.G. Neiss leg. ( INPA)  ; 1♀ (described here) Brazil, Amazonas , Barcelos, Rio Aracá, 28.vii.2009, C. Monteiro leg. ( INPA)  ; 1♀ Brazil, Amazonas , Serra do Aracá (Barco), 16.vii.2009, U.G. Neiss leg. ( INPA)  .

Head ( Figs. 1cView FIGURE 1, 2View FIGURE 2 g–h). Metallic green dorsally, postocular area light green; antennifer with distal half brown, basal half pale; frons slightly angulate; antefrons pale with two lateral brown spots; postclypeus metallic green, anteclypeus pale with small brown areas on posterior margin; upper half of labrum light brown with three darker spots, basal half pale; genae pale; rear of head light brown bordering eyes, remainder pale; labrum and maxilla pale light brown.

Thorax ( Figs. 2View FIGURE 2 g–h, 3d). Prothorax metallic green dorsally with a black stripe immediately below notopleural suture becoming paler ventrally; posterior margin of prothorax entire, medial portion flat, with two erect lateral projections. Mesepisternum metallic green; mesinfraepisternum pale with a dark central area; mesepimeron metallic green with a pale thin stripe dorsally and pale areas ventrally; metepisternum pale with a thin dark stripe ventrally; metepimeron and pterothoracic venter pale.

Legs ( Fig. 1cView FIGURE 1). Coxae and trochanters pale; remainder of legs pale, except for dark areas on apical femora.

Wings ( Fig. 1cView FIGURE 1). Hyaline, venation dark brown; MP ending 1/3 cell distally from the vein descending from subnodus; IR2 and RP3 separated by a short crossvein three cells posteriorly to their origin; divergence of RP1-RA (arculus) slightly distal to Ax 2 in FW and HW; IR1 beginning at Px 7; RP2 beginning at Px 4 in FW and at Px 3 in HW; pt brown, about 4/5 length of underlying cell in FW, the same size of underlying cell in HW; 9 Px in FW, 7 in HW.

Abdomen ( Fig. 1cView FIGURE 1). S1–10 dorsally brown, gradually pale ventrally; S1–2 with a dark distal ring; S3–7 with a light yellow basal ring and a distal brown ring, S7 with basal ring darker; S8–9 dorsal 2/3 brown, ventral 1/3 pale/ light yellow; S10, cerci and epiproct dark brown. Ovipositor apex slightly surpassing S10 distal margin, styli yellow, genital valves with ventral crenulation.

Measurements. Total 26.5; abdomen 22; FW 16; HW 15.

Variation among examined females: coloration with variation on amount of thoracic pale areas, and body morphology identical; total length 24.3–28; abdomen 21–23; FW 16–16.2; HW 15–15.4. One female with 8 Px in FW and 7 in HW.

Diagnostic characters. The female of E. spatulata  can be distinguished from known congeneric females by the following characters: medial portion of posterior margin of prothorax posteriorly oriented, flat ( Fig. 2hView FIGURE 2), and lateral portions forming two smoothly erect projections ( Figs. 2 hView FIGURE 2, 3dView FIGURE 3).

Habitat and ecology. Habitat of E. spatulata  is similar to other congeneric species: shaded areas in riparian vegetation along slow lotic environments ( Rácenis 1960).

Remarks. Among the females in Group 1 ( Table 1), the female of E. spatulata  is morphologically similar to that of E. williamsoni  , although they can be easily distinguished. In the female of E. williamsoni  , the posterior margin of prothorax forms two erect horn-like structures laterally in contrast with its flat middle portion ( Fig. 3eView FIGURE 3). Females of Epipleoneura spatulata  have the lateral portions only smoothly erected and it’s the only species of this genus thus far known to show this unique morphology ( Fig. 3dView FIGURE 3). The female of E. manauensis  is the only member of Group 1 with a V-shaped cleft on the posterior margin of prothorax ( Fig. 3cView FIGURE 3) thus bisecting the two rounded erect lateral lobes. In contrast, females of E. angeloi  ( Fig. 3aView FIGURE 3) and E. haroldoi  ( Fig. 3bView FIGURE 3) have posterior margins of prothorax not erect, differing from each other by the smoothly curved margin of E. angeloi  ( Fig. 3aView FIGURE 3) and the nearly straight margin in E. haroldoi  ( Fig. 3bView FIGURE 3). The female of E. angeloi  was described by association; therefore, the examined female was not included among the types by Pessacq & Costa (2010). In a survey in Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso state (type locality) DSV, RGF, Thais Almeida and Adolfo Cordero-Rivera (ACR) collected several Epipleoneura  specimens, among those, ACR collected two mating couples of E. angeloi  . The male and female pairs agreed completely with Pessacq & Costa’s description thus confirming their association. Some slight differences in coloration patterns were observed in E. angeloi  ( Figs. 1aView FIGURE 1 and 2a, bView FIGURE 2) but females of all five species exhibit a similar coloration ( Figs. 1View FIGURE 1 a–d, 2a–j), and some intraspecific color variation exists among the examined material, indicating that they may go through ontogenetic color changes. Based on literature ( Lencioni 2005, 2017; Pessacq & Costa 2010; Pessacq et al. 2012; Pessacq 2014), species of Group 1 are distributed throughout all of Brazil, except for the Southern region ( Fig. 4View FIGURE 4): E. spatulata  , E. haroldoi  and E. manauensis  also occur outside Brazil ( Rácenis 1960; De Marmels 1989; Ussa & Realpe 2016; von Ellenrieder et al. 2017), and E. williamsoni  is the most widespread species within Brazil, occurring in at least six states within four regions. Finally, E. angeloi  is restricted to the Center- Western region of Brazil.

Additional material examined. Epipleoneura angeloi  : 2♀♀. Brazil, Mato Grosso, Chapada dos Guimarães (-15.2846, -55.9972), 26.x.2015, A. Cordero-Rivera leg. ( ECOEVO)GoogleMaps  ; Epipleoneura haroldoi  : 2♀♀ Brazil, Ama- zonas, Manacapuru , 25.iii.2008, U.G. Neiss leg. ( INPA)  ; 1♀ Brazil, Amazonas, Manaus (suspended trap), 21– 24.v.2008, U.G. Neiss leg. ( INPA)  ; Epipleoneura manauensis  : 1♀ Brazil, Pará, Tailândia, Agropalma Property (-2.6183, -48.8301), 31.x.2016, D.S. Vilela, A. Rivas-Torres, A. Cordero-Rivera leg. ( LESTES)GoogleMaps  ; 1♀ Brazil, Amazo- nas, Manaus , vi.2017, S. Bybee, R. Guillermo-Ferreira leg, ( LESTES)  ; 1♀ Brazil, Amazonas, Manacapuru (malaise trap), 27.iii.2008, U.G. Neiss leg. ( INPA)  ; 1♀ Brazil, Amazonas, Barcelos, Igarapé Cuieiras , 27.vii.2009, C. Mon- teiro leg. ( INPA)  ; Epipleoneura williamsoni  : 1♀ Brazil, Pará, Tailândia (-2.4794, -48.7063), 20.x.2016, D.S. Vilela, I. Amorim, A. Rivas-Torres, A. Cordero-Rivera leg. ( ECOEVO)GoogleMaps  ; 1♀ Brazil, Minas Gerais, Uberlândia , CCPIU (-18.9833, -48.2955), ii.2008, F. Camelo leg. ( LESTES)GoogleMaps  .

Final considerations. Pablo Pessacq (pers. comm.) is conducting a morphological phylogenetic study on Epipleoneura  . The results of which may enable us to better understand the relationships within the genus, and perhaps whether the species groups of Pessacq (2014), such as the hereby studied Group 1, are monophyletic or artificial constructs.


Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile