Phyllocnistis xylopiella Brito & Becker

Brito, Rosângela, Lopez-Vaamonde, Carlos, Gonçalves, Gislene L., Becker, Vitor O., Mielke, Olaf H. H. & Moreira, Gilson R. P., 2017, Taxonomic revision of Neotropical Phyllocnistis Zeller, 1848 (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), with descriptions of seven new species and host plant associations, Zootaxa 4341 (3), pp. 301-352: 330-332

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Phyllocnistis xylopiella Brito & Becker

sp. nov.

Phyllocnistis xylopiella Brito & Becker   , sp. nov.

Figs. 3 View FIGURE 3 AA, 4AA, 5, 6D, 6E, 6I, S1; Tab. 2

Type material. Brazil: Planaltina, Federal District, Brasília , 15º35’ S, 47º42’ W, 1000 m elevation. All preserved dried and pinned. V.O. Becker leg., 6.VII.1978 (228–43); 5.X.1982 (228–48); 25.IV.1983 (228–49); 15.VII.1985 (228–51). HOLOTYPE: #m ( LMCI 228–48), with genitalia on slide ( GRPM 50–136 View Materials ), deposited at VOB (40.388). PARATYPES: 2#m ( LMCI 228–43 and 49), with genitalia on slide ( GRPM 50–137 View Materials and 138, respectively), deposited at VOB (34.769 and 40.950, respectively), 1 #f ( LMCI 228–51), with genitalia on slide ( GRPM 50–139 View Materials ), deposited at VOB (57.703, respectively). GoogleMaps  

Diagnosis. Dorsal forewing: lf deeply faded; tf 1 located on the costal margin, emerging narrow at the base and progressively widening towards apex, where it weakly merges to the c-shaped, completely developed tf 2. As previously mentioned, this species is similar to P. citrella   and P. petronellii   , differentiated from these by the faded lf.

Description ( Figs. 3 View FIGURE 3 AA, S1; Tab. 2). Forewing length: 2.25 mm (n=4). Head: with light gray scales, antennae with the same coloration, filiform, longer than forewing. Labial palpus ~ 0.3 mm, covered with light gray scales. Thorax: forewing ground color light gray. lf thin and faded, light brown, as a line that runs straight to middle wing (region II). tf 1 pale yellow with darkened border, located on the costal margin, emerging narrow at the base and progressively widening towards apex; in the middle region (II), it turns to middle, connecting to tf 2. The latter pale yellow, delimited distally by dark brown scales, slightly c-shaped, crossing the wing entirely. tf 3 and tf 4 completely merged, forming with the basal portion of inner fringes a large pale yellow blotch on the distal region of the wing. A narrow light gray band precedes as (region III). Costal strigula (a) irradiates from tf 2, and the last two costal strigulae (b –c) emerge from the pale yellow distal blotch. Apical strigulae irradiate (d –g) from the as, (III). Inner margin fringes with light gray distal apex. Hindwing reduced, with fringes long formed by light gray scales. Abdomen: light gray.

Male genitalia ( Fig. 6D View FIGURE 6 ): pair of coremata formed by a group of flattened scales with ~1/2 the length of valva. Uncus absent. Tegumen membranous, slightly sclerotized towards the apex, strongly narrowed at the base, bearing several medium size setae; tegumen apex rounded and wider than the base, slightly longer than valva. Saccus similar to other Phyllocnistis   species described here, u-shaped and ~0.6 x the length of valvae. The latter narrow and digitiform, with a small spine on the apex facing the tegumen; this spine surrounded by a group of small setae; along the distal portion of the valva, median sized setae randomly arranged. Aedeagus cylindrical and robust; weakly sclerotized and wrinkled at the base, and longer than valva. Cornutus absent.

Female genitalia ( Figs. 6E, 6I View FIGURE 6 ): VII abdominal segment slightly rectangular, VIII reduced. Anterior and posterior apophyses similar in size, ~0.7 x the length of anal papilla; anterior and posterior apophyses reach, respectively, VII and VIII abdominal segments. Anal papilla covered with setae of different sizes, randomly arranged mostly distally ( Fig. 6E View FIGURE 6 ). Ductus bursae thin and slender. Corpus bursae membranous, elongated and saculiform. Pair of spine-shaped signa of different sizes, one half the size of the other, both located at the interior of the bursae ( Fig. 6I View FIGURE 6 ).

Geographical distribution ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 ). Records are restricted to the type locality, Planaltina municipality, Federal District (Brasília), Brazil.  

Natural history. Some of the adults examined here were reared from field-collected mines, and two specimens were collected during daytime by the species co-author (V.O.B.) using a butterfly net. The larvae of P. xylopiella   build a serpentine mine on the adaxial leaf surface of the host plant. The cocoon is constructed in the final portion of the mine, causing wrinkling of the leaf, typical of most Neotropical Phyllocnistis   .

Host plant(s). Xylopia aromatica (Lam.) Mart.   ( Annonaceae   ). The genus Xylopia   L. has ca. 33 species recorded for Brazil; 15 of these are endemic. X. aromatica   is a shrub, widely distributed in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes (Flora do Brasil 2016).

Etymology. The specific name is derived from the host plant genus Xylopia   .