Bebearia oshogbo Pyrcz & Sáfián, 2016

Sáfián, Szabolcs, Pyrcz, Tomasz & Brattström, Oskar, 2016, Two new species of Bebearia Hemming, 1960, as further evidence of centre of endemism of butterflies in Western Nigeria (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Limenitinae), Zootaxa 4175 (5), pp. 449-462 : 451-454

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Bebearia oshogbo Pyrcz & Sáfián

sp. nov.

Bebearia oshogbo Pyrcz & Sáfián sp. nov.

FIGS.: 1A, D; 2A; 3A, D; 4B; 5

Holotype: ♂ NIGERIA, Oshogbo Sacred Forest, Osun State 07.XII.1999. Coordinates : 7°45’15”N 4°32’60”E. Elevation: 320 m asl. leg.: Tomasz Pyrcz. Deposited in the MZUJ collection. GoogleMaps

Paratypes: 1♂ NIGERIA Oshogbo Sacred Forest , Osun State 01.XI.1999 gen. prep.: MZUJ-JL-001 ; 3♂♂ NIGERIA, Oshogbo Sacred Forest , Osun State 01.XI.1999, 11.XI.1999, 07.XII.1999 ; 1♀ NIGERIA Oshogbo Sacred Forest , Osun State 07.XII.1999 gen. prep.: MZUJ-JL-002 ; 1♀ NIGERIA Oshogbo Sacred Forest , Osun State 01.XI. 1999 gen. prep.: MZUJ-JL-003 ; 1 ♂ NIGERIA, Ajebandele , Ondo State 21.XI.1999 All leg.: Tomasz Pyrcz. All deposited in MZUJ collection.

Description of the holotype. Forewing: 25.5 mm. Wingspan: 54 mm. The upperside is reddish-brown with the usual mottled Bebearia pattern: on the forewing the pattern is formed by dark brown, irregular wavy streaks and a figure-of-eight spot in the discoidal cell, a dark brown median band extending from the inner margin across veins 1, 2, 3, the base of 4 and continuing to the costa, a dark brown post-median transverse band, interrupted by the veins, and a row of sub-marginal dark brown spots, the size of which lessen from the tornus to the apex. The margin is also dark brown. On the hindwing the pattern is formed by dark brown shades on the ground colour at the base, two rings and a sub-elliptic ringspot in the discoidal cell, a dark brown transverse band across the cell, which also touches the sub-elliptic ringspot, an ill-defined dark transverse post-median band, which is formed more of shades of spots (rather than real spots), a row of dark brown sub-marginal spots and a well-defined, zigzagging sub-marginal line. The margin also has some dark brown shading. The forewing between the base and the postmedian transverse band is flushed with a metallic light green iridescent colour, which is visible from all angles. The hindwing also has the same coloured sheen, but it is restricted to the area between the base and the median transverse band, only slightly penetrating beyond the band in spaces between veins 4 and 5 at the end of the unclosed discoidal cell. The underside is rather light greyish-tan with the shade of the upperside pattern. It has a small, black sub-basal spot next to a black figure-of-eight ring-spot in the discoidal cell. A prominent white rectangular spot with toothed inner edge is also present between veins 7 and 8.

Male genitalia. As normal for Bebearia , the male genitalia are rather large (1.3 mm dorsoventrally and 1.4 mm laterally) and strongly sclerotised. The tegumen is rather broad and T-shaped on the lateral view, curving below to the anterior tip. The uncus is of the same length as the tegumen and gently curving downward, strongly resembling a renaissance carnival mask with a long, bird-bill shaped structure. The gnathos is twin-lobed, the lobes are slender, gently curved and almost as long as the uncus, unusually turning down parallel to the stem of the tegumen. The valvae are rather long, fan-shaped, plain and without projections. They are slightly bent upwards and their tips are rather blunt, ending in a right angle ventrally. The valves are sparsely covered with short setae. The saccus is small and gently curved upwards with a narrow tip. The aedeagus is rather short, very broad at the anterior end, tapering down at the posterior end into a very short upward-curving cuneus. A very short cornutus is visible in the vesica (not everted).

Description of female. Forewing: 29 mm. Wingspan: 62 mm. The upperside is dark brown with a creamyyellow pattern formed by a band on both wings. It widens from the inner margin of the forewing across veins 1 to 2 but it continues as rings edging a row of brown sub-marginal round spots and a zigzagging median line beyond vein 2. There is also scattered creamy-yellowish scaling along veins 3, 4, 5 and 6 and in the discoidal cell, outlining the usual Bebearia pattern (figure of eight and the zigzagging streaks). The creamy-yellow band across the hindwing broadens towards the apex but it stops before reaching it, leaving an approximately 3 mm brown margin. Its inner edge bends sharply towards the costa.

Female genitalia. The von Sieblod’s organ is very large, almost the size of bursa copulatrix. The papillae anales are rather short. The apophyses posteriores are long and thin. The lamellae are weakly sclerotized, the ductus bursae is very short and constricted before the opening of bursa. The bursa copulatrix is large and elongated.

Diagnosis. Males of B. oshogbo can be distinguished without difficulty from those of B. tentyris and B. osyris on the basis of the colour and the extent of the iridescent sheen on both wings. B. tentyris has a deep violet-blue sheen, which extends beyond the post-median band on the forewing. On the hindwing, when present, the sheen is restricted to the base. B. osyris has a deeper bluish-green sheen on both wings, which extends beyond the postmedian transverse band on the forewing, also beyond the median transverse band on the hindwing. Although there are visible differences between the male genitalia in the B. tentyris -group, they proved rather variable even within a single species and we therefore chose not to use these characters for the diagnosis. The females of the three species cannot be distinguished on the basis of marco-morphological characters, but there are distinctive differences in the female genitalia. In. B. oshogbo the papillae anales are shorter in lateral view than in B. osiris and B. tentyris and also less flattened. The ductus bursae is more constricted before the opening of bursa compared to the allied species.

Discussion. The type series of B. oshogbo was collected in a sacred forest in Oshogbo city, which is a unique locality both ecologically and biogeographically. It is situated on the northern edge of the once extensive forest zone of western Nigeria, or rather in the forest-savannah transition zone, where forest probably was not continuous and was largely restricted to floodlands or water courses. Oshogbo is among the very few patches which survived deforestation due to its sacred status and the inclusion of the shrine in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The forest is old grown secondary and the higher canopy is constituted by a single tree species, possibly Brachystegia eurycoma , but the undergrowth still supports a rich butterfly fauna.

Etymology. The species is named after its type locality, the forests of the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove in Oshogbo (Osogbo) city. The forest is a famous cultural heritage of the Yoruba people and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The forest of Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove also deserves protection from a conservation point of view as it is probably the only remaining rainforest habitat in relatively good condition in the northern edge of the forest zone in the western Nigeria sub-region.