Ethmia petersterlingi 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: 34-35

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scientific name

Ethmia petersterlingi Phillips

sp. n.

Taxon classification Animalia Lepidoptera Depressariidae

Ethmia petersterlingi Phillips  sp. n. Figures 31, 76, 121, 162


This species is most similar to Ethmia catapeltica  and can be discriminated by thin FW markings, and sacculus without emargination distally in the male genitalia. The female genitalia with signum deeply notched.


Male: FW length 9-9.4 mm (n = 3). Head: Labial palpus elongated, exceeding base of antenna; proboscis brown, front and crown whitish, 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, one distinct spot at base. An oblique, thin, dark mark from before mid costa connecting with a longitudinal blotch from middle to termen. HW ground color whitish, darker at margins, narrow costal fold with blackish long fringe at ventral, with a thin white pencil. Abdomen: Dorsal and ventral pale brownish, genital scaling pale. Genitalia (Fig. 76) with uncus membranous; basal processes narrow; distal margin of valva with a small projection, adjunct to a group of three or four flat spines.

Female: FW length 9.3-9.5 mm (n = 3). Head and thorax: As described for male except HW unmodified. Abdomen: Genitalia (Fig. 121) with sterigma narrow; antrum sclerotized; signum notched.


Male: 09-SRNP-109881, DNA Barcoded, Costa Rica: Guanacaste: ACG: Mundo Nuevo, Manta Canon 700 m, 18.x.2009 H. Cambronero & F. Quesada. Deposited in INBio. Paratypes: Costa Rica: Guanacaste: ACG: Sector Mundo Nuevo, Pozo #3, 634 m, 1M 16.x.2009, H. Cambronero & F. Quesada, Punta Plancha 420 m, 1F, M. Pereira; Sector Pailas, Manta Río Blanco 790 m, 1F 10.viii.2010, H. Cambronero & S. Ríos; Sector Horizontes, Bajo Sombra 181 m, 1M 24.x.2011, H. Cambronero & S. Ríos (INBio, EME, USNM).

Distribution and biology.

This species has been collected in Costa Rica (Fig. 162) on both sides of Cordillera Volcánica de Guanacaste (180-790 m) in ACG rain forest.

Food plant records.

Ethmia petersterlingi  has been reared from larvae feeding on Boraginaceae  : Cordia alliodora  .


Ethmia petersterlingi  is named in honor of Peter Sterling, professor emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania and resident of Panamá, for his coaching and encouragement of the early days of ACG growth, and for his support of the blossoming of school children biodiversity education in Panamá.