Coleophora ensifera Baldizzone & van der Wolf

Baldizzone, Giorgio & Van Der Wolf, Hugo W., 2020, On the taxonomy of Afrotropical Coleophoridae (III). New or little known species from Central and Oriental Africa (Lepidoptera, Coleophoridae), Zootaxa 4763 (2), pp. 151-174: 166

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.4763.2.1

publication LSID


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scientific name

Coleophora ensifera Baldizzone & van der Wolf

sp. nov.

Coleophora ensifera Baldizzone & van der Wolf   , sp. nov.

( Fig. 11 View FIGURES 9–14 )

Holotype ♂ ( GP Wf 9251) “ Coll. Mus. Tervuren | KENYA Nakuru National Park | Makalia Falls Camp Site | 00°25’S 036°24’E | 1830 m | 11.X.2001 | leg. J. De Prins ”, coll. RMCA. GoogleMaps  

Paratype: 1 ♂ ( GP Wf 8435) “ KENYA Rift Valley | Lake Nakuru Park, 6000ft. | 10.v.1999 | D.J.L. Agassiz”, coll. NHMUK.

Diagnosis. This species has a dark brown appearance. The male genitalia resemble those of some Palearctic species related to C. trochilella (Duponchel, 1843)   with obvious differences, but they are not similar to any Afrotropical species currently known. The most distinguishing characteristic is the long pointed protuberance in the ventral corner of the sacculus.

Description. Wingspan 11–12 mm. Head brown, lighter over eye. Antenna brown, ringed dirty-white on under side, scape without tuft of erect scales. Labial palpus white on internal side, brown on outerside; second segment twice as long as third. Thorax brown. Tegula brown, lighter on internal edge. Forewing brown with an orange-rust tinge, slightly streaked with light-brown along subcostal veins; fringes brown. Hindwing and fringes brown. Abdomen brown.

Male genitalia ( Figs. 45–47 View FIGURES 45–48 ): Gnathos knob globular. Tegumen narrow in middle, pedunculus dilated. Transtilla small, short, triangular. Valvula small, oval, not very evident. Cucullus short and stout, wider in central part. Sacculus curved on ventral edge with a long pointed protuberance in ventral corner and a shorter horn-like protuberance in dorsal corner. Phallotheca long and thin with two juxta rods, longer one ends with a small tooth at the apex. A single cornutus formed by small spines fused together.

Female genitalia: Unknown.

Abdominal structures ( Fig. 48 View FIGURES 45–48 ): No posterior lateral struts. Transverse strut, slightly curved, thicker on distal edge. Tergal disk about 4 times longer than wide, covered with around 20 conical spines.

Bionomy. The early stages and the foodplant are unknown.

Distribution. The species is known only from Kenya.

Etymology. The species name is from the Latin ensiferus = “sword bearer”, and refers to the characteristic sharp protuberance of the edge of the sacculus.


Royal Museum for Central Africa


Instituto de Geociencias, Universidade de Sao Paulo


Natural History Museum, London