Ethmia nicholsonorum 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: 38-39

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scientific name

Ethmia nicholsonorum Phillips

sp. n.

Taxon classification Animalia Lepidoptera Depressariidae

Ethmia nicholsonorum Phillips  sp. n. Figures 35, 80, 125, 164


Ethmia nicholsonorum  can be distinguished from Ethmia normgershenzi  , its most similar species, by a blade-like ovipositor formed by papillae anales flattened laterally in female genitalia.


Male: FW length 10.6-10.8 mm (n = 3). Head: Labial palpus elongated, reaching collar anteriorly, white with dark rings basal, medial in II segment, basal and apical 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; two oblique irregular dark blotches at middle and before directed to but unattached to an elongated mark line from middle to termen. HW ground color whitish darker at margins, a narrow costal fold with blackish long fringe at ventral, with a thin white scale-pencil. Abdomen: Dorsal pale brownish, genital scaling pale ochreous. Genitalia (Fig. 80) with uncus membranous; basal processes narrow, broadened basally; distal margin of valva with four short spines enlarged at base; sacculus narrow, margin emarginated at 0.7 × from base.

Female: FW length 10.9-11 mm (n = 2). Head and thorax: As described for male except HW unmodified. Abdomen: Genitalia (Fig. 125) with papillae anales elongated and pointed; sterigma narrow; antrum sclerotized; base of ductus wide with a long sclerotized band; signum barely notched.


Male: 09-SRNP-1051, DNA barcoded, Costa Rica: Aajuela: ACG: Sector San Cristobal, Puente Palma 460 m, 15.iv.2009, Elda Araya. Reared from Cordia panamensis  ( Boraginaceae  ) ( Janzen and Hallwachs 2013). Deposited in INBio. Paratypes: Costa Rica: Alajuela: ACG: Sector San Cristobal, Puente Palma 460 m, 2M 2F 15-19.iv.2009, Elda Araya (INBio, EME, USNM).

Distribution and biology.

Ethmia nicholsonorum  has just been obtained by rearing from rain forest in Sector San Cristobal of the ACG in northern Costa Rica at 460 m (Fig. 164).

Food plant records.

Ethmia nicholsonorum  have been reared from larvae feeding on Boraginaceae  : Cordia panamensis  . Immature stages were not described or photographed.


Ethmia nicholsonorum  is named in honor of Ford and Catherine Nicholson of Dellwood, Minnesota, for their timely support of ACG rain forest land purchase, of Costa Rica as a country, and of Carroll Henderson’s conservation activities on behalf of birds, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and ACG.