Synpalamides phalaris (Fabricius, 1793),

Ríos, Sergio D. & González, Jorge M., 2011, A synopsis of the Castniidae (Lepidoptera) of Paraguay, Zootaxa 3055, pp. 43-61: 47

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Synpalamides phalaris (Fabricius, 1793)


Synpalamides phalaris (Fabricius, 1793) 

( Fig. 3View FIGURES 2 – 9)

Papilio phalaris Fabricius, 1793 

Taxonomic history. Druce (1896) described Castnia sora  separating it from Castnia mygdon Dalman, 1824  (a junior subjective synonym of phalaris  ) basically by being darker. The description of the species is based on two specimens collected in San José, Caaguazú department, Paraguay. Strand (1913) clearly follows Druce (1896) and keeps the species as valid. Houlbert (1918) place Castnia sora  in the genus Sympalamide s[sic]. Talbot (1919) mentions that the type of Sympalamides [sic] sora  is “a red form of mimon Hübner”. Lathy (1922) reports the species, as Sympalamides [sic] phalaris  sora  from Sapucay, Paraguay, in Fournier’s collection. Jörgensen (1930) reports the rare presence of Castnia (Sympalamides)[sic] phalaris  sora  from Trinidad (Central Department), Sapucay (Paraguarí Department), Molino Cué, 120 km north of Villarrica (Guairá Department). He also mentions that the species was observed in large numbers by Schade ( Jörgensen, 1930). Miller (1986, 1995) keeps the species as Synpalamides sora  while Lamas (1995) placed sora  as a synonym of phalaris  . Benítez (1988, 2002) mentions the presence of the species, as Castnia sara  [sic], in the Collection of the Department of Entomology at Universidad Nacional de Asunción. Back in November 2009, A. Contreras (pers. comm.) photographed a single specimen from Arroyo Las Hermanas, Ñeembucú Department, flying low and slowly alongside several Castnia invaria penelope  , in an open area, densely covered with Bromelia  spp. Even though Miller (1986) mentions that this is a highly variable species, she keeps several taxa as valid ( Miller 1995) which were later synonymized by Lamas (1995). We suggest that Synpalamides orestes (Walker)  , Synpalamides phalaris (Fabricius)  and Synpalamides rubrophalaris (Houlbert)  could possibly represent stages of a morphological cline. Lamas (pers. comm.) agrees with us in this respect. However, only an in depth morphological study of large series of the many “forms” of those three species will allow to discern if there is a geographic correlation with the several known phenotypes.

Distribution. It has been reported from Brazil. Uruguay, and Paraguay, and specimens are known suposedly collected in Argentina ( González & Cock 2004; González & Stünning 2007; González et al. 2010; Lamas 1995; Lathy 1922, 1923; Miller 1986, 1995).

Biology and behavior. Benítez (2002) mentions this species associated with pineapple ( Ananas  sp.? or Pseudananas  sp.?) and bananas ( Musa  sp.). Jörgensen (1930) states that the species flies during November and December around plants of “ Caraguatá  ” [ Bromelia balansae Mez  and Pseudananas sagenarius  var. macrodontes (E. Morren) Camargo  ]. There is not much known about the life history of this species, however, females have been observed laying eggs on Guzmania  sp. and Bromelia  sp. ( Bromeliaceae  ) ( Miller 1986). It has been seen flying in forest clearings during January and February in certain areas of Brazil ( Biezanko 1961 b).

Material examined. PARAGUARÍ: 13, Cerro Acahay. 2.XI. 1991. Coll. C. Aguilar [collected in lowland Forest] (MNHNPY); 13, “ Castnia sora Druce  ”, “ Sympalamides [sic] sora Druce  ”, “ Paraguay, Sapucay, 2.XII. 1903, W.Foster, 1903 – 138 ”, “Collection Wm. Schaus” ( MGCL). CENTRAL: 13, Asunción. Stma. Trinidad. 23.XII. 1940 (FCA/ DE); 1 Ƥ, [Asunción], Jardín Botánico, 28.XI. 1955 ( MFS). CAAGUAZÚ: 13, [Type of Castnia sora  ], “ Type ”, “ Castnia sora Druce  ”, “ Castnia sora  3 type Druce”, “San José, Paraguay, R. Perrens”, “Ex. Coll. Herbert Druce 1913 ”, “Joicey Bequest., Brit. Mus. 1934 – 120.” (NHM, from a photograph provided by Dr. G. Lamas).


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