Argia calverti Garrison & von Ellenrieder,

Garrison, Rosser W. & Ellenrieder, Natalia Von, 2017, New species of the damselfly genus Argia from Mexico, Central America and Ecuador with an emphasis on Costa Rica (Insecta: Odonata: Coenagrionidae), Zootaxa 4235 (1), pp. 1-93: 6-10

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.322062

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Argia calverti Garrison & von Ellenrieder

n. sp.

Argia calverti Garrison & von Ellenrieder  , n. sp.

Figs. 1View FIGURES 1 – 8 (head ♂), 5 (labrum ♀), 13 (head, thorax, S1–4 ♂); 35 (head, thorax, S1–4 ♀); 56 (S7–10 ♂), 80 (S7–10 ♀), 106 (hind margin of prothorax ♀), 107 (mesostigmal plates ♀); 148 (appendages ♂); 165 (map); 172 (field picture of ♂); Table 2 (measurements).

Etymology. Named calverti  (Latinized name) in honor of the late Philip Powell Calvert (1871–1961), in recognition to his valuable contributions to the knowledge of Central American Odonata  culminating in his contribution to the Neuroptera volume of the Biologia Centrali-Americana (1901–1908).

Specimens examined. 35 ♂, 14 ♀. Types. Holotype ♂: COSTA RICA  , Cartago Prov., Reserva Tapantí , 1,310 m, 6 vii 1963, F. G. Thompson leg. [ FSCA]  . Paratypes: COSTA RICA  , Alajuela Prov.: 1 ♂, Peñas Blancas River Valley, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Refugio Alemán , small tributary down trail from Refugio (10°18'28'' N, 84°44'25'' W, 1,037 m), 1 viii 2007, W. A. Haber & L. Ramirez leg. [RWG]GoogleMaps  ; Cartago Prov.: 2 ♂, Río Chiriquí, just N of Peralta (9°58'49'' N, 83°36'25'' W, 348 m), 25 iii 1910, P. P. Calvert leg. [ FSCA]GoogleMaps  ; 2 ♂, 1 ♀, A.C. Amistad, Turrialba, Tayutic, Grano de Oro , Chirripo (9°49'6'' N, 83°27'33'' W, 1,120 m), 19–30 vi 1993, P. Campos leg. [ INBIO]GoogleMaps  ; 2 ♂, 1 ♀, Tapantí {9°43' N, 83°46' W}, 1,310 m, 6 vii 1963, F. G. Thompson leg. [ FSCA]GoogleMaps  ; 1 ♂, same data but [RWG]GoogleMaps  ; Guanacaste Prov.: 1 ♂, 1 ♀ [in tandem]  , Guanacaste National Park, Estación Cacao, SE side of Volcán Cacao (10°55'53'' N, 85°27'43'' W, 1,299 m), 21–29 v 1992, M. A. Zumbado leg. [ INBIO]GoogleMaps  ; 1 ♂, 1 ♀ [in tandem], same data but Estación Biológica Maritza, trail to Cacao Station , river in secondary forest, perching on rocks near water in rapids (10°57'25'' N, 85°29'42'' W, 590 m), 31 viii 1990, M. A. Zumbado leg. [ INBIO]GoogleMaps  ; 1 ♂, 1 ♀ [in copula], same data but Quebrada Tempisquito (10°57' N, 85°30' W, 600 m), 25 viii 1990, G. Varela leg. [ INBIO]GoogleMaps  ; 1 ♂ same data but 29 viii 1990, M. A. Zumbado leg. [ INBIO]GoogleMaps  ; 1 ♂, 1 ♀ [in tandem], same data but 6 v 1991, J. Zloty leg. [RWG]GoogleMaps  ; 1 ♂, 1 ♀, Río Góngora , on stones in the river and along river margins (10°52'44'' N, 85°32'19'' W, 600 m), 8 v 1989, CEH leg. [CEH]GoogleMaps  ; Heredia Prov.: 2 ♂, 2 ♀ [in copula], La Selva Biological Station , 10 km SW of Horquetas (10°18' N, 84°3' W, 600 m), 24–26 iii 1995, TWD & A. Ramírez leg. [TWD]GoogleMaps  ; 3 ♂, 1 ♀, La Selva altitudinal transect, 1,070 m, 11 iv 2001, R. Vargas leg. [CEH]  ; 1 ♂, 1 ♀, Sarapiquí, Magsasay (10°24'6'' N, 84°3'18'' W), 20 ix 1993, J. Benstead leg. [CEH]GoogleMaps  ; Limón Prov., 1 ♂, 11 km SSW of Pocora, Finca Las Brisas, on main river channel among boulders and rocks, Río Parismina and tributaries (10°4'10'' N, 83°37'58'' W, 821 m), 31 i 2007, WAH, D. Wagner & M. Thomas leg. [RWG]GoogleMaps  ; San José Prov., 1 ♂, 15 km WNW of San Isidro de El General, on large river below Yoga Ashram of Tamara Budowski, small tributary of Río División , Quebrada Grande (9°24'36' N, 83°49'53'' W, 1,124 m), 2 v 2010, WAH leg. [RWG]  ; 1 ♂, 1 ♀, Braulio Carrillo National Park (10°9'44'' N, 83°56'18'' W, 472 m), 24 iv 1983, K. D. leg. [RWG]GoogleMaps  ; 2 ♂, 1 ♀, Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo, Quebrada Sanguijuela (10°9'36'' N, 83°57'47'' W, 800 m), 6 vii 1989, CEH leg. [CEH]GoogleMaps  ; Puntarenas Prov.: 2 ♂, Finca Las Cruces , 4 mi S of San Vito de Java {8°46'11'' N, 82°57'35'' W, 1,220 m}, 21 ii 1975, DRP leg. [RWG]GoogleMaps  ; 2 ♂, 1 ♀ [one pair in tandem], Monteverde, Río San Luis Arriba, Río San Luis , along river below waterfall (10°16'42'' N, 84°47'3'' W, 1,180 m), 7 viii 2013, L. Ramírez leg. [RWG]GoogleMaps  ; 1 ♂, same data but 20 ix 2013 [RWG]GoogleMaps  ; 1 ♂, 1 ♀ [in tandem], same data but [ CSCA]. PANAMAGoogleMaps  , Chiriquí Prov.: 2 ♂, Potrerillos (8°39' N, 82°29' W, 664 m), 18 ii 1935, J. W. MacSwain leg. [ UMMZ]GoogleMaps  ; Veraguas Prov.: 1 ♂, near Santa Fe, Quebrada Alto de la Piedra (8°30'53'' N, 81°7'19'' W, 850 m), 18 vi 2011, A. Donnelly leg. [ FSCA]GoogleMaps  ; 1 ♂, 1♀ (in tandem) about 3 km NW of Alto de Piedra on N.P. Santa Fe Road, tributary to Río Maluba , branches 1 & 2 (8°31'32'' N, 81°7'48'' W, 610 m), 25 v 2016, W. Mauffray leg. [ FSCA]GoogleMaps  .

A large red-eyed species with a brilliant cupreous thoracic dorsum and with dorsum of S1–7 largely blue, similar to pattern observed in Argia cupraurea Calvert. 

Description of male holotype. Head: Entire face with metallic cupreous-red reflections except for the following: narrow apical margin of labrum, anteclypeus, base of mandibles and genae dark orange, small postocular spots blue, small pale spot anterolateral to lateral ocellus (similar to Fig. 1View FIGURES 1 – 8); antennae black, rear of head including margin except for narrow pale border along eye margin.

Prothorax entirely metallic cupreous-red except for blue anterior lobe. Mesothorax with mesepisternum brilliant cupreous-red, mesepimeron and mesinfraepisternum metallic dark purple; metepisternum and metepimeron blue interrupted by dark stripe along metapleural suture (as in Figs. 13View FIGURES 13 – 16, 172View FIGURES 172 – 174). Wings slightly smoky with venation black; pterostigma trapezoidal, dark brown, surmounting 1.5 cell in left Fw, 1.0 cells in right Fw, 1 cell in left Hw wing, 1.5 cells in right Hw; postnodals Fw 18/18, Hw 15/16; postquadrangular cells Fw 5/5, Hw 4/ 5; RP2 at Fw 8/8, Hw 7/7. Coxae and trochanters brown anteriorly becoming blue posteriorly; femora, tarsi and armature black, tibiae black, pale externally.

Abdomen (as in Figs. 13View FIGURES 13 – 16, 56View FIGURES 53 – 62, 172View FIGURES 172 – 174) mostly blue; S1 black at basal 0.40 with ventrolateral extension laterally, remainder blue; S2 blue dorsally, laterally with a black stripe with pointed extension almost meeting dorsally at apical 0.20, below with a complete narrow, largely parallel blue stripe followed by black along ventral margin of tergite, annulus black; S3 blue with a narrow black stripe ventrally with a dorsal pointed extension at apical 0.05 but not meeting above, annulus black; S4–6 similar to S3 but posterior portion of black stripe more extensive; S7 blue with narrow ventral black stripe joining black annulus apically (as in Fig. 56View FIGURES 53 – 62); S8–10, blue dorsally with black stripe laterally, on S10 this stripe extending dorsally along posterior margin; torus pale, appendages black.

Genital ligula as in Argia cuprea  ( Figs. 126, 127View FIGURES 126 – 128), with a pair of small laterally extended lobes at base near flexure (these hidden by membranous terminal fold) followed by a pair of flexible chitinized branches, each arising from a narrow stem at distal segment base extending laterad of the ligula; distal portion with narrow digit-like hood slightly inflated distally and extending over coiled digit-like paired flagella, the latter fused along a common stem basally and arching entally toward first segment.

Torus small, transversely oval, occupying entire ventral margin of torifer and not overlapping bilobed epiproct ( Fig. 148View FIGURES 148 – 150 c); base of epiproct and area around base black, apical portion of epiproct pale; cercus ( Fig. 148View FIGURES 148 – 150) robust, longer than wide, about subequal to paraproct, strongly convex dorsally, branched apically with distal margin of shorter outer branch ending at approximate right angle to longer decumbent inner branch; medial margin strongly convex; cercus ventrally strongly concave with a basal lobe externobasally ( Fig. 148View FIGURES 148 – 150 d); paraproct bilobed, its ventral branch narrow, bluntly pointed, its base at about 120° from acutely pointed anteriorly directed dorsal branch.

Dimensions. Hw 26.4, abdomen 33.8, total length 44.1.

Description of female paratype ( Costa Rica: Puntarenas Prov., Monteverde, Río San Luis Arriba, Río San Luis, along river below cataract; ♀ H 9123– 4 in tandem with male). Head ( Fig. 35View FIGURES 35 – 38): labrum with distal half ochre (as in Fig. 5View FIGURES 1 – 8), basal half metallic cupreous-red; anteclypeus ochre; postclypeus metallic cupreous; antefrons, genae and base of mandibles pale ochre; postfrons and remainder of epicranium metallic cupreous with pair of small spots anterolateral to lateral ocelli and small postocular spots pale bluish green; rear of head including margin except for narrow pale border along eye margin.

Prothorax metallic cupreous, anterior lobe pale blue, lateral 0.20 of posterior margin of hind lobe and propleuron pale ochre; pterothoracic dorsum ( Fig. 35View FIGURES 35 – 38) black with cupreous reflections and with a pale ochre antehumeral stripe widening slightly ventrally; entire metepimeron metallic cupreous, divided at upper 0.20 with branches enclosing an irregular elongate pale ochre spot, mesinfraepisternum with anterior half black, remainder ochre; metathorax ochre except for narrow black stripe at metapleural suture; venter of thorax ochre; S1 pale olive with basal ring of black and with narrow posterior black ring; S2 largely black with cupreous metallic reflections with narrow pale middorsal line abruptly widening at apical 0.20 and followed below by a narrower pale longitudinal stripe laterally and bordered ventrally with black, annulus black; S3–7 similar but with a pale basal ring not connected above and with a further narrowing of pale middorsal and lateral stripes (similar to Fig. 87View FIGURES 80 – 88); S8 like S7 but with dorsal black expanding laterally and enclosing a pale middorsal spot at apical 0.20 and with additional pale stripe ventrally, posterior portion of sternum pale; S9 similar to S8 but with dorsal black divided middorsally forming a pair of lobes ending at apical 0.40 and with pale blue area connecting with pale lateral stripe, S10 largely black with pale blue spot dorsally; cerci black, ovipositor pale except for black ventral margin ( Fig. 80View FIGURES 80 – 88).

Mesostigmal lobe ( Fig. 107View FIGURES 106 – 108 b) forming a small stubby upright lobe occupying medial 0.40 of slightly raised plate, medial margin of lobe well separated from branching middorsal carina by a low carina extending from medial base of lobe, medial margin of lobe strongly recurved in posterior view ( Fig. 107View FIGURES 106 – 108 e); mesostigmal lobe accompanied by a slight mesepisternal tubercle postero-distal to outer margin of erect lobe ( Fig. 107View FIGURES 106 – 108 c).

Variation in paratypes. On one male the pale postocular spot is absent on the right side and present as a small spot on the left side ( Fig. 1View FIGURES 1 – 8). The holotype male is more heavily marked with black than majority of other specimens; S2 on most males has a lateral blue stripe extending full length (similar to Fig. 15View FIGURES 13 – 16) and in some, posteriorly connecting with dorsal blue; in others, there is a greater lateral extension of dorsal blue on S10. Females show little variation but some have the majority of S10 blue and the degree of metallic coloration on the thorax is tempered by age; older females tend to be less metallic. One female (Estación Cacao) has a greatly reduced dark humeral stripe similar to Fig. 34View FIGURES 30 – 34. Pterostigma surmounting 1–2 cells in males and females; postnodals: Fw 14–19, Hw 14–16 in males, Fw 15–19, Hw 13–17 in females; postquadrangular cells Fw 5, Hw 4–5 in males, Fw 4–6, Hw 4–5 in females; RP2 at Fw 7–9, Hw 6–8 in males, Fw 7–8, Hw 6–7 in females. Dimensions. ♂: Hw 25.8 ± 1.52 [23.8–27.6], abdomen 33.8 ± 1.71 [31.2–36.1], total length 43.9 ± 2.27 [40.8–47]. ♀: Hw 26.4 ± 1.32 [23.5–28.2], abdomen 31.4 ± 1.77 [29–34], total length 41.3 ± 2.15 [38.2–44.5].

Diagnosis. Male belongs to a distinctive group of species possessing an entirely metallic cupreous thoracic dorsum and, in life, dorsal half of compound eyes red, although postmortem preservation may preclude the practical use of the latter as a diagnostic character. Within its range ( Costa Rica, Panama, Fig. 165View FIGURES 165 – 166) male can be distinguished from similar metallic red species with largely blue S2–6 ( A. cupraurea  , A. oenea  ) by large size (Hw 23.8–27.2 mm; total length 40.8–47.0 mm; N = 10) compared to A. cupraurea  (Hw 20.2–22.5 mm; total length 36.1–40.0 mm; N = 10) and A. oenea  (Hw 18.5–22.6 mm; total length 33.8–39.7 mm; N = 10) and by the robust and strongly curved cercus ( Fig. 148View FIGURES 148 – 150 a) versus the almost linear ( Fig. 149View FIGURES 148 – 150 a) and slightly arched ( Fig. 150View FIGURES 148 – 150 a) cercus in A. cupraurea  and A. oenea  respectively. The paraproct of A. oenea  in lateral view ( Fig. 150View FIGURES 148 – 150 b) is almost linear with both branches small and of about the same size, almost bilobate; the dorsal or ventral branches of the paraproct of A. calverti  ( Fig. 148View FIGURES 148 – 150 b) and A. cupraurea  ( Fig. 149View FIGURES 148 – 150 b) are more robust and are strongly divergent. The labrum in A. oenea  is largely pale ( Fig. 3View FIGURES 1 – 8) but mostly metallic in A. calverti  ( Fig. 1View FIGURES 1 – 8) and A. cupraurea  (as in Fig. 2View FIGURES 1 – 8). The hood of the genital ligula in A. oenea  ( Fig. 131View FIGURES 129 – 131) is quadrate, not linear and digit-like as in A. calverti  and A. cupraurea  (as in Figs. 126, 127View FIGURES 126 – 128).

A cuprea  -like dark morph of Argia fulgida  known from Costa Rica, western Panama, and Ecuador ( Fig. 165View FIGURES 165 – 166) occurs within the range of A. calverti  . Male of this color morph is unique among metallic species within the distribution range of A. calverti  in having dorsum of S2–6 entirely black except for a narrow basal blue ring ( Fig. 10View FIGURES 9 – 12); in the three other sympatric metallic species, A. calverti  ( Fig. 13View FIGURES 13 – 16), A. cupraurea  ( Fig. 14View FIGURES 13 – 16), and A. oenea  ( Figs. 15–16View FIGURES 13 – 16), the dorsum of S2–6 has at least basal half or more blue ( Figs. 13–15View FIGURES 13 – 16) or violet ( Fig. 16View FIGURES 13 – 16). S 8 in A. fulgida  is blue with the posterior half to third black ( Fig. 54View FIGURES 53 – 62), differing from the entirely blue S 8 in A. calverti  ( Fig. 56View FIGURES 53 – 62), A. cupraurea  ( Figs. 57–59View FIGURES 53 – 62) and A. oenea  ( Figs. 61–62View FIGURES 53 – 62). The broad explanate hood of the apical segment of the genital ligula in A. fulgida  ( Figs. 128–130View FIGURES 126 – 128View FIGURES 129 – 131) is shared with that of A. oenea  ( Fig. 131View FIGURES 129 – 131), and both differ from the largely long linear hood present in A. calverti  and A. cupraurea  (as in Figs. 126–127View FIGURES 126 – 128). The genital ligula of A. fulgida  and A. oenea  are similar in possessing a broad campanulate ( A. fulgida  , Figs. 128–130View FIGURES 126 – 128View FIGURES 129 – 131) to quadrate ( A. oenea  , Figs. 131View FIGURES 129 – 131 b, c) hood but differ as follows: in A. fulgida  the thickened flagella are not fused at base and they do not arch entally toward first segment ( Fig. 128View FIGURES 126 – 128 c); in A. oenea  , the bifurcate flagella are fused into a common stem that arches entally toward first segment ( Figs. 131View FIGURES 129 – 131 a, c).

The male appendage, genital ligula, and female mesostigmal plate morphology of dark and pale S2–6 morphs of A. fulgida  are essentially the same. Argia fulgida  was described from a single male from Muzo, Colombia, which belongs to the pale morph with dorsum of S2–6 with at least the basal half or more blue ( Figs. 11–12View FIGURES 9 – 12). Its appendages and genital ligula are illustrated here for comparative purposes ( Figs. 129View FIGURES 129 – 131, 147View FIGURES 145 – 147). We have seen only one other specimen representing the pale morph from Colombia (Valle del Cauca Dept., San Jose, Río Dagua), but pale morphs of A. fulgida  occur on the western side of the Andes of Ecuador (Bolivar, Los Ríos, Manabi, Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas Provinces, Fig. 165View FIGURES 165 – 166). William Haber and Fred Morrison collected a pair of A. fulgida  at a shallow forest stream in Ecuador (Pichincha Prov., road from highway to Silanche Bird Sanctuary, 10 km NW of Pedro Maldonado) whose male has a largely dark S2–6 as figured for Central American A. fulgida  ( Fig. 10View FIGURES 9 – 12). Additionally, a molecular analysis comparing mt DNA 16S sequences from one Costa Rican, two Panamanian, and four Ecuadorean specimens of Argia fulgida  (including the Pichincha pair) shows that specimens displaying the two color morphs do not segregate into two groups based on this ribosomal gene ( Table 5, Fig. 191View FIGURE 191), which was used to separate Argia  species and to measure genetic divergence in previous studies ( Caesar & Wenzel 2009; Nava Bolaños et al. 2016). All sequenced dark specimens from Panama are identical to several pale specimens from Ecuador, and the other sequenced specimens differ from them by 2 to up to 6% of the about 500 mtDNA 16S base pairs sequenced. At the present time we have found no evidence—morphological or molecular—that justifies treating these two color morphs as separate species, although future studies involving other genetic markers might prove otherwise.

Female of A. calverti  can be easily distinguished from other similar species by the short, stubby mesostigmal lobe ( Fig. 107View FIGURES 106 – 108) compared to the longer more foliate lobe in A. fulgida  ( Fig. 103View FIGURES 103 – 105), A. cuprea  ( Figs. 104, 105View FIGURES 103 – 105), A. cupraurea  ( Fig. 108View FIGURES 106 – 108), and A. oenea  ( Figs. 109, 110View FIGURES 109 – 110). Thoracic and abdominal coloration for females of all five species are similar ( Figs. 30–38View FIGURES 30 – 34View FIGURES 35 – 38, 80–85View FIGURES 80 – 88).

Males of A. calverti  and A. fulgida  are two of the five species from North and Central America possessing an entirely metallic cupreous thoracic dorsum. In both of them a pair of chitinized branches arises from a narrow stem at the base genital ligula distal segment. Each branch arches dorsally (ectally), and becomes broader at tip where its outer margin is armed with an irregular series of small spines. These branches, which are best seen in dorsal (ectal) view, are flexible and extend laterally to dorsolaterally depending on preservation ( Figs. 128–130View FIGURES 126 – 128View FIGURES 129 – 131). We have not found the armature of these structures to be species specific. Females also have a degree of metallic thoracic coloration, but this is confined to the medial half of the mesepisternum. In addition to their metallic thoracic coloration, they can usually be identified also by the presence of a pair of tuberculate processes or swellings each mediolaterally along the hind lobe of the prothorax, which gives a trilobate appearance to the hind margin ( Fig. 106View FIGURES 106 – 108), although this condition may not be so pronounced in some females.

The keys below should allow for the identification of both sexes of these five species, although examination of the male genital ligula and details of the mesostigmal plates and associated mesepisternal tubercles coupled with overall body pattern may be necessary to confirm some identifications.


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology


California State Collection of Arthropods


University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology


Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport