Phyllonorycter lantanae ( Vári, 1961 )

Prins, Jurate De & Kawahara, Akito Y., 2012, Systematics, revisionary taxonomy, and biodiversity of Afrotropical Lithocolletinae (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), Zootaxa 3594 (1), pp. 1-283 : 72-74

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Phyllonorycter lantanae ( Vári, 1961 )


19. Phyllonorycter lantanae ( Vári, 1961)

( Figs 45, 46 View FIGURES 45–50 , 127 View FIGURES 123–131 , 309 View FIGURES 308–309 , 310 View FIGURES 310–311 , 373 View FIGURES 367–378 )

Lithocolletis lantanae — Vári (1961: 214–215; pl. 23, fig. 1; pl. 104, fig. 5).

Phyllonorycter lantanae — Vári & Kroon (1986: 48, 136, 157), Kroon (1999: 42, 107), Dall’Asta et al. (2001: 34), Vári et al. (2002: 26), De Prins & De Prins (2005: 311).

Diagnosis. Phyllonorycter lantanae is closely related to P. encaeria and P. kazuri , but can often be diagnosed by the white costal dot at 1/4 of forewing, broad costal part of first fascia and dark brownish patch between first costal and second dorsal strigulae. Thorax in P. lantanae is entirely ochreous, whereas in P. kazuri it is white laterally. Very long and slender posterior apophyses, longer than anterior apophyses in P. lantanae and smaller cuticle fold of sterigma can separate this species from P. encaeria , but not from P. kazuri .

Material examined. Holotype: ♀, [1] [ South Africa] ‘ Louis Trichardt / 20.iv.1955 / L.[ajos] Vári / Ac.[quisition] no: 1575’; [2] ‘15’; [3] ‘G.[enitalia] / 7548’; [4] ‘ Lithocolletis / lantanae Vári / ♀ HOLOTYPE No 6377’, in TMSA.

Additional material: 1♀ (including 1♀ genitalia preparation). Kenya: 1♀, Rift Valley, Gilgil, 2100 m, 00°32’S 36°22’E, 26.xi.2005, leg. D. J. L. Agassiz, gen. prep. De Prins 3703♀, in BMNH; DNA voucher CLV15907, in CCDB.

Redescription. Adult ( Fig. 45, 46 View FIGURES 45–50 , 127 View FIGURES 123–131 ). Forewing length: 1.9 mm.

Head: Vertex tufted with ochreous, piliform scales; frons pale fuscous golden. Labial palpus pale greyish. Antenna slightly shorter than forewing, flagellomeres with apical dark fuscous halves dorsally, and greyish ventrally; scape whitish anteriorly and fuscous posteriorly, pecten whitish.

Thorax: Thorax and tegula ochreous golden. Forewings ochreous golden with following white mrkings: costal dot, one fascia, 2 costal strigulae, 2 dorsal strigulae and some black scales in apical area; first dorsal strigula at 1/4, oblique toward apex, reaching midline of forewing, indistinct; costal dot at 1/3, edged with blackish scales; angulated fascia at 1/2, sharp angle anterior to middle of forewing, twice as broad at costal sector than at dorsal sector, finely edged along both margins; first costal strigula at 3/4 triangular shape, not reaching midline of forewing, finally edged basally; second dorsal strigula opposite first costal strigula, slightly curved toward apex, not reaching midline of forewing, edged basally, second costal strigula at apex; white dot at tornus; a small patch of blackish scales present between first costal and second dorsal strigulae; a few black-tipped scales dispersed in apical area; fringe pale ochreous around apex, termen to tornus, pale fuscous along dorsal margin. Hindwing and fringe pale fuscous. Fore leg dark fuscous, tibia with a tiny, white postmedian and apical dot on outer side, tarsomeres I–II fuscous with white bases, tarsomere III dark fuscous, tarsomere IV dirty white, tarsomere V fuscous; mid-tibia whitish with basal halves dark fuscous and a subapical dark fuscous patch, tarsomeres I–II with dark fuscous apices, tarsomere III with dark fuscous base, tarsomeres IV–V entirely dark fuscous; hind femur with faint median fuscous patch, hind tibia with a fine fuscous line subbasally and a dark fuscous patch from middle to near apex on outer side, hind tarsomere I with subbasal and subapical dark fuscous patches, tarsomere II with dark fuscous apical half, tarsomere III with dark fuscous basal half, tarsomere IV dirty white, tarsomere V entirely dark fuscous.

Abdomen: Greyish fuscous dorsally and whitish ventrally.

Male genitalia. Unknown.

Female genitalia ( Figs 309 View FIGURES 308–309 , 310 View FIGURES 310–311 ). Papillae anales triangular, almost twice as long as wide, ca. 75 µm, connected laterally with their bases and free at apical part, finely setose externally, with long lateral and apical setae (ca.115 µm long) and shorter setae (ca. 80 µm long) randomly scattered in middle portion of papillae anales; basal bar not sclerotized, a slender, needle-like, weakly, sclerotized projection ca. 145 µm long extending from posterior margin of segment VIII to middle of segment VIII. Posterior apophyses with small and strongly sclerotized triangular bases, very long (440 µm), slender, slightly broadenened at middle, shaply narrowing towards apices, almost parallel, gently approaching to each other at apical part, strongly sclerotized, sharply pointed, running well into anterior sector of segment VII. Anterior apophyses 1.2× (in holotype) and 1.4× (in additional specimen) shorter than posterior apophyses (298 µm in length), almost reaching anterior margin of segment VII. Ostium bursae circular, located at posterior margin of segment VII. Antrum thickly sclerotized posteriorly as thick wall tube; sterigma occupies median part of segment VII, as sclerotized triangular shaped fold. Ductus bursae weakly melanized. Corpus bursae small, mebraneous, without signum ( Vári 1961: 215), but not perceptible in holotype slide 7548♀ of holotype preparation. In additional specimen ductus bursae slender elongate, with smoothly transition from ductus bursae to narrow sack shaped corpus, rounded caudally. Bulla seminalis nearly as large as corpus bursae, slender similar shaped as corpus bursae, ductus seminalis long, narrow, broadened at junction with ductus bursae. Ductus spermathecae as broad, one curve situating tube for about half its length, terminating in 11–13 small convolutions; vesicle round ballshaped, relatively large.

Variation. We have noticed a difference in ratio of length of posterior apophyses / anterior apophyses, proportional size of sterigmatic fold, less sclerotized antrum, presence of small sclerotized ring on outer margin of ostium bursae and some other slight differences in female genitalia comparing to the females from South Africa and the female RMCA ENT 000003292 collected in Kenya. It might be a new species from the encaeria group, but until males of P. lantanae from the type locality and from Kenya are unknown, and the DNA barcode of the P. lantanae holotype is not studied, we consider that the observed slight morphological differences fall into the intraspecific variation range of the P. lantanae species due to the significant geographical distantance between the populations.

DNA sequences. A COI barcode is available (Molecular sample code: Plan [JX888188]; Table S1 View TABLE 1 ).

Habitat. The mine of P. lantanae was collected in the bushland area in South Africa. The second specimen was attracted to light at 2100 m.

Host plant(s). Verbenaceae : Lantana , presumably L. rugosa Thunb. — Vári 1961: 215; Dall’Asta et al. 2001: 34.

Lantana sp. — Kroon 1999: 42, De Prins & De Prins 2005: 311.

Mine. A moderate, irregular, oblong semi-transparent, tentiform underside mine with three folds; fine black frass are loose throughout the mine, part of it are used to cover the pale ochreous whitish cocoon; exuvium protrudes epidermis of a leaf before adult emerges ( Vári 1961: 218, De Prins & De Prins 2005: 331). The mining period is ca. 16 days (Vári’s note No 1575 in the manuscript notebook of 04/04/1955).

Flight period. Two specimens are known hitherto. The holotype was reared from a mine collected on 04 April 1955 and the second specimen was attracted to light 50 years later, on 26 November 2005. Adults fly presumably in mid-April in southern Africa and in late November in the areas round the equator.

Distribution. ( Fig. 373 View FIGURES 367–378 ). Recorded from one locality in South Africa ( Vári 1961: 215) and one locality in Kenya (new record).


South Africa, Gauteng, Pretoria, Transvaal Museum


Transvaal Museum


Crustacean Collection of the Department of Biology


Royal Museum for Central Africa














Phyllonorycter lantanae ( Vári, 1961 )

Prins, Jurate De & Kawahara, Akito Y. 2012

Lantana sp.

De Prins, W. & De Prins, J. 2005: 311
Kroon, D. M. 1999: 42

Phyllonorycter lantanae

De Prins, W. & De Prins, J. 2005: 311
Vari, L. & Kroon, D. M. & Kruger, M. 2002: 26
Dall'Asta, U. & De Prins, J. & De Prins, W. 2001: 34
Kroon, D. M. 1999: 42
Vari, L. & Kroon, D. 1986: 48

Lithocolletis lantanae

Vari, L. 1961: 214