Synechodes tamila, Kallies, Axel, 2013

Kallies, Axel, 2013, New and little known Brachodidae from tropical Asia and Papua New Guinea (Lepidoptera, Cossoidea), Zootaxa 3641 (3), pp. 241-259: 244-246

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Synechodes tamila

sp. nov.

Synechodes tamila  sp. nov.

( Figs 2View FIGURES 1 – 8, 10View FIGURES 9 – 10)

Holotype: 3, “South India, Tamil Nadu, Tirunellvilly [Tirunelveli] Dist., Singhumputti Hills, 4200 ft., 21.– 24.4. 1972, C.J.H. Pruett / Brit. Mus. 1975.590 ” (BMNH).

Etymology. This species is dedicated to the Tamil people of southern India and northern Sri Lanka.

Description (holotype, male, Fig. 2View FIGURES 1 – 8). Alar expanse 23.5 mm, body 11.5 mm. Head: black to brown, with some yellow scales (antenna broken off in type specimen). Thorax: dark brown. Forewing: dark brown to black, with scattered individual light grey scales, with small diffuse patch of yellow scales at end of cell. Hindwing: black, with large deep yellow subbasal area, divided by black streak in posterior section; fringe yellow, black towards apex and anal area. Abdomen: black, tergites 1 and 4–7 with yellow posterior margins, sternites 2–7 with yellow margins, ventral base of anal plate with yellow spot.

Genitalia. Male (Gen. prep. AK 602 / BMNH 31615, Fig. 10View FIGURES 9 – 10). Valva relatively narrow, uncus wide, gnathos fish-hook-like, vinculum relatively wide and rounded apically ( Fig. 10View FIGURES 9 – 10 a); phallus tapering towards apex, with low ridge subapically and distinct pointed process close to apex ( Fig. 10View FIGURES 9 – 10 c); juxta with pronounced lateral processes ( Fig. 10View FIGURES 9 – 10 b). Apical abdominal sternite with two small asymmetrical processes at distal edge and distinct two-lobed plate reaching below subapical sternite at proximal edge ( Fig. 10View FIGURES 9 – 10 d).

Diagnosis. This species is similar to Synechodes sumatrana Kallies, 2000  ; however, it lacks the large yellow patch below the centre of the forewing. The two species also differ in their genitalia: in S. sumatrana  the phallus has three apical thorns (one in S. tamila  ), and the valva is narrower and longer.

Remarks. This species and S. sumatrana  are different from typical representatives of the genus. Both show a highly specialized structure of sternite 7 including asymmetrical distal extensions and a distinct proximal, twolobed plate that reaches below the subapical sternite. They further display some unusual structures of the phallus, including a short coecum penis and apical thorn-like process(es). Both species appear to lack the conspicuous bicolored scales (typically dark with a light tip) on their forewings seen in other species of Synechodes  ; instead they have dark wings with scattered individual light scales throughout. A modified terminal segment is also present in Synechodes rotanicola Kallies, 2004  , and specialized phallus morphology is seen in Synechodes megaloptera Kallies, 1998  , Synechodes ruboris Kallies, 1998  , and Synechodes fulvoris Kallies, 1998  . It is possible that these five species represent a genus distinct from Synechodes  ; however, due to the morphological diversity observed in this species group and the lack of clearly definable autapomorphic characters, proposing a new genus is premature.