Philonome nigrescens Sohn & Davis

Sohn, Jae-Cheon, Davis, Donald R. & Lopez-Vaamonde, Carlos, 2015, Revision of the genus Philonome Chambers and its proposed reassignment to the family Tineidae (Lepidoptera, Tineoidea), ZooKeys 494, pp. 69-106: 69

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Philonome nigrescens Sohn & Davis

sp. n.

Taxon classification Animalia Lepidoptera Lyonetiidae

Philonome nigrescens Sohn & Davis  sp. n. Figs 4, 31-33, 57-58


This species is easily distinguished from all other congeners in possessing a black ground-color of the forewing and an elongate process on the transtila of the male genitalia.


(Fig. 4). Head: Scales on vertex dark reddish brown, as long as antennal scape, directed forward; semicircular, dome-like scale cap on anterior vertex between antennal scapes, slightly concave anteriomedially, lustrous, pale yellowish gray; frons lustrous, yellowish gray. Antenna 3/5 as long as forewing; scape dark brown dorsally, reddish brown laterally, pale brownish gray ventrally, with flabellate, pale brownish gray scape cap anteroventrally and pecten; flagellomeres dark brown dorsally, pale brownish gray ventrally. Labial palpus straight, slender, conical, obtuse apically, small, 1/2 as long as antennal scape, lustrous, pale yellowish gray.

Thorax: Patagium white on distal half, dark brown on basal half; tegula white, tinged with dark brown basally; mesonotum dark brown with coppery luster. Foreleg with coxa to tarsomeres lustrous orange-white, narrowly tinged with gray dorsally. Midleg with coxa to tibia lustrous orange-white; femur with broad pale reddish brown patch dorsally; tibia broadly dark gray dorsally; tarsomeres dark gray, paler ventrally. Hindleg with coxa lustrous pale orange, tinged with brown basally; femur lustrous pale orange; tibia and tarsomeres dark gray dorsally, lustrous pale orange ventrally; tibia spinose dorsally, with hair tufts ventrally. Forewing length 2.1-3.2 mm (n = 7), dark brown with coppery luster; longitudinal fascia white, extending from base to basal 1/3 of forewing; costal fascia white, straight, broadened at costa; dorsal bar white; subapical, apical and tornal spots white; fringe gray. Hindwing gray, paler to base; fringe gray.

Abdomen: Terga lustrous, dark grayish brown; sterna lustrous, yellowish gray ventrally.

Male genitalia (Figs 31-33): Tegumen trapezoidal, with digitate process posterolaterally; teguminal process 1/3 as long as valva, sparsely setose on dorsoapical 1/2; tuba analis arising between teguminal processes. Valva subtrapezoidal on basal half, digitate on distal half, densely setose apically and at middle, sparsely setose on distal half; sacculus broadly swollen and granulate at basal 1/3, convex and setose at distal end. Transtilla with elongate process 3/4 as long as phallus. Juxta with semicircular bulge, connected to anellus.Vinculum broad, subquadrate; saccus quadrate, 1/2 as long as lateral process of tegumen. Phallus slightly curved, enlarged posteriorly; apex with linguiform carina.

Female genitalia (Figs 57-58): Apophyses posteriores 1.8 × longer than apophyses anteriores. Lamella anteveginalis dome-shaped, slanted to ostium bursae. Sclerotized protrusion bearing ostium cylindrical, surrounded with conical membranous area. Ductus bursae as long as corpus bursae, narrow; inception of ductus seminalis at posterior 1/3 with a cylindrical sclerotization. Corpus bursae obovate.


Holotype: male, "ARIZONA: Cochise Co. Sierra Vista 5131 Bannock 18 IX 1988", "R Wielgus Collector", "Attracted to 1988 Farchan (Z, Z)-3, 13 ODDA@1620hrs. in pheromone trap" [hand-written], USNM. Paratypes (8♂, 1♀): USA: Arizona: Cochise Co.: Same locality as holotype: 1♂, 13 May 1988, attracted to pheromone trap; 3♂, 28 August 1988 (R S Wielgus), attracted to pheromone trap; 1♂, 17 September 1988, all USNM. Pima Co.: Station Catalina: 1♂, [ “iss”] 13 June 1913 (Hopk.), "from trunk of evergreen Oak", [GSN] USNM 16406, USNM. Santa Cruz Co.: Peña Blanca Campground: 2♂, 22 August 1988, attracted to pheromone trap, [WSN] USNM wing 29949, USNM. New Mexico: Grant Co.: Silver City: 1♀, 5 June 1974 (PM Jump), [GSN] USNM 34355, USNM.


The species name is derived from the Latin verb ‘nigrescere’ meaning "verging on black" and refers to the black ground color of the forewing of this species.


Southwestern United States (Arizona, New Mexico).