Athis palatinus palatinus ( Cramer 1777 ),

González, Jorge M. & Cock, Matthew J. W., 2004, A synopsis of the Castniidae (Lepidoptera) of Trinidad and Tobago, Zootaxa 762, pp. 1-19: 4-5

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.158237

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Athis palatinus palatinus ( Cramer 1777 )


Athis palatinus palatinus ( Cramer 1777)  (Fig. 3)

Castnia (Aciloa) palatinus (Cramer)  : Rothschild (1919). Aciloa palatinus pallida  Lathy 1922, syn. nov.: Lathy (1923). Castnia palatinus pallidus (Lathy)  : Kaye & Lamont (1927). Castnia palatinus pallida ( Lathy)  : Lathy (1925).

This species is distributed from Mexico south to Perú and Brazil ( González 2004). Several specimens are known from Trinidad ( González & Salazar 2003). Lathy (1922) described the subspecies pallida from Trinidad based entirely on the whiter median band of the hindwing, and subsequently reconfirmed this assessment after examining 14 males and two females ( Lathy 1923, 1925). JMG compared specimens from various South American localities with Trinidad specimens and found that the “whitish” area varies between specimens and tends to be larger in males ( González 2004). We do not see any justification for recognizing the Trinidad population of A. palatinus  as a different subspecies based on a color form that can be found outside the island.

Rothschild (1919) listed a female from Trinidad with no specific locality. The species has been reported as not uncommon in the Northern Range of Trinidad in June and July based on the collecting of R. Dick ( Kaye & Lamont 1927). In fact, all of R. Dick’s material in the BMNH is from St. Ann’s, and includes the two males comprising the type series of pallida Lathy, as well as seven other males and two females. In view of MJWC’s observations below, the actual locality is likely to be St. Ann’s Peak (609 m) – a well known butterfly collecting locality above St. Ann’s Valley, close to Port of Spain, or St. Ann’s Ridge, the ridge running west from St. Ann’s Peak ( Barcant 1970). “St. Ann’s” is the correct spelling for this locality, although “St. Anne’s” is frequently seen on specimen labels and in published literature.

MJWC has observed this species on the ridges of the Northern Range, but it is not common. Adults have been observed feeding at flowers of chaconia ( Warscewiczia coccinea  ; Rubiaceae  ) on Lalaja Ridge. This small tree grows to 4–6 m and occurs mostly at lower elevations on the island ( Williams & Cheesman 1928). Its small flowers are in spikes of more than one meter and conspicuous due to scarlet enlarged sepals on some flowers ( Freeman & Williams 1928).

Material examined: ST. GEORGE: 1 ɗ, Hololo, Jun­Aug 1922, R. Dick (AME); 1 ɗ, Hololo, 1000 m, R. Dick (AME); 1 Ψ, Maracas Bay, Dead plants by road side, 5 Sep 1975, E. Fuller (AME); 1 ɗ, 1 Ψ, Morne Bleu – Morne Brule Ridge, ¼ mile S of Lalaja South Road, Apr 1979, M.J.W. Cock (ɗ BMNH, Ψ MJWC); 2 ɗɗ (type series of pallida), 7 ɗɗ, 2 ΨΨ, St. Anne’s, R. Dick, ( BMNH); 1 ɗ, St. Anne, Port of Spain, 5 Sep 1958, M. Nieves ( CUIC); 1?, St. Augustine, 11 Aug 1972, D.J. Stradling (UWI); TRINIDAD: 1 Ψ, A.S. Pinkus ( CUIC); 1 Ψ, Lowsley ( BMNH).


Cornell University Insect Collection














Athis palatinus palatinus ( Cramer 1777 )

González, Jorge M. & Cock, Matthew J. W. 2004

palatinus pallida

Lathy 1922