Ethmia lesliesaulae Phillips

Phillips-Rodriguez, Eugenie, Powell, Jerry A., Hallwachs, Winnie & Janzen, Daniel H., 2014, A synopsis of the genus Ethmia Huebner in Costa Rica: biology, distribution, and description of 22 new species (Lepidoptera, Gelechioidea, Depressariidae, Ethmiinae), with emphasis on the 42 s, ZooKeys 461, pp. 1-86: 35-36

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scientific name

Ethmia lesliesaulae Phillips

sp. n.

Taxon classification Animalia Lepidoptera Depressariidae

Ethmia lesliesaulae Phillips  sp. n. Figures 32, 77, 122, 143, 163


Ethmia lesliesaulae  can be distinguished from Ethmia turnerorum  , its most similar species, by a heavier marked, pre-medial diagonal band in the FW. In the male genitalia there is a small projection at 0.3 × of “plume” base, and distal margin of sacculus slightly emarginated; signum without a notch in the female genitalia.


Male: FW length 8.4-10.3 mm (n = 3). Head: Labial palpus elongated, reaching collar anteriorly, white with dark rings medial and subapical in II segment, basal and subapical in III segment; proboscis, front and crown white, occipital tuft black at mid-dorsum. Thorax: Ground color whitish, four large black spots near apices of tegula and at sides of scutellum. FW ground color whitish, markings blackish, two distinct spots at base, inner one smaller; an oblique dark blotch from before middle in costa connecting with an elongated mark dark from middle to termen. HW ground color whitish, darker at margins, costal fold narrow with blackish long fringe and thin white pencil. Abdomen: Dorsal pale brownish, genital scaling pale ochreous. Genitalia (Fig. 77) uncus membranous; basal processes narrow, broadened basally; distal margin of valva with four flat spines; small projection posteriorly at 0.3 × of “plume” base; sacculus narrow, emarginated at 0.6 × from base.

Female: FW length 8.9-10.4 mm (n = 3). Head and thorax: As described for male except HW unmodified. Abdomen: Genitalia (Fig. 122) with sterigma narrow; antrum sclerotized; posterior base of ductus enlarged; signum without a notch.


Male: 11-SRNP-1973, DNA Barcoded, Costa Rica: Guanacaste, Área de Conservación Guanacaste, Sector San Cristobal, Tajo Angeles 540 m, 13.v.2011, Elda Araya. Reared on Drymonia macrophilla  ( Gesneriaceae  ) ( Janzen and Hallwachs 2013). Deposited in INBio. Paratypes: Costa Rica: Guanacaste, Sector del Oro, Quebrada Lajosa 400m, 1M 9.xii.2004, Lucia Ríos, Sendero Puertas 400 m, 1 F 4.i.2010, L. Ríos; Sector Pitilla, Pasmompa 440 m, 1M 1F 7/19.xii.2004, C. Moraga, 1M 3.viii.2005, L. Ríos; Sector San Cristobal, 527 m, 9.xi.2009, Gloria Sihezar (INBio, EME, USNM).

Distribution and biology.

This species has been collected in Costa Rica (Fig. 163) at both sides of Cordillera Volcánica de Guanacaste from 300 to 645 m, in ACG rain forest.

Food plant records.

Ethmia lesliesaulae  has been reared from larvae feeding on Gesneriaceae  : Drymonia macrophylla  (Oerst.) H. E. Moore, Drymonia serrulata  (Jacq.) Mart., Drymonia warszewicziana  Hanst. and Drymonia alloplectoides  .

Immature stages

(Fig. 143). Dorsum: Head black, thoracic shield ochreous, T2 black, T3 white with thin and irregular dark line, A1 white with short lateral black line, A2-A5 black, A6 black whitish posteriorly, A7 white, A8-A9 black, A10 whitish with few small dots at dorsum. Lateral: As in dorsum, except by segments A3-A6 with white patches.

Parasitoids. Hymenoptera  : Braconidae  : Microgastrinae  (n = 1); Eulophidae  : Eulophinae  : Elachertus  Hansson03 (n = 1).


Ethmia lesliesaulae  is named in honor of Leslie Saul of San Francisco, California, one of the two motors and electricity that invented the Conservation Parking Meter, the traveling insect zoo, and, and has hustled for two decades on behalf of ACG rain forest land purchase for permanent wildland conservation.