Viperinus orbiosus Park & Koo

Park, Kyu-Tek & Koo, Jun-Mo, 2021, A new genus Viperinus Park with descriptions of two new species, and two new species of the genus Protolychnis Meyrick, 1925 (Lepidoptera, Gelechioidea, Lecithoceridae) in Kenya and Tanzania, with a checklist of the world species, Zootaxa 4985 (3), pp. 359-370: 360-361

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Viperinus orbiosus Park & Koo

sp. nov.

Viperinus orbiosus Park & Koo   , sp. nov.


( Figs 1A–H View FIGURE 1 )

Type specimens. • Holotype: male, Kenya, Rift Valley Province , Rumuruti, Ol Maisor S 1,840 m, 37NBA 3616 3993, 25–26.xi.2008, L. Aarvik, D. Agassiz & A. Kingston, gen. slide no. CIS-7155, in NHMO.  

Paratypes 5♂, 2♀: • 1♂, Rift Valley, Rumuruti , 1,840 m, 0°21′57″N 36°7′41″E, 25 xi 2008, D. Agassiz, L. Aarvik & A. J. Kingston GoogleMaps   ; • 1♂, Rift Valley, Rumuruti , 1,760 m, 0°24′32″N 36°40′9″E, 24 xi 2008, D. Agassiz, L. Aarvik & A. J. Kingston GoogleMaps   ; • 2♂, Laikipia, Mpala R. C., 1,700 m, 0°17′27″N 36°53′52″E, 7.xi.2012, Agassiz, Beavan, Heckford, & Ngugi, gen. slide no. CIS-7438, wing slide no. CIS-7443, COI barcode CBNU259, CBNU214 GoogleMaps   ; • 2♀, Laikipia, Mpala Res. Centre , 0°17′27″N 36°53′52″E, 1,700 m, 13.iv.2010, Agassiz, Kioko, Mugambi & Ngugi, gen. slide no. CIS-7439 (♀), wing slide no. CIS-7477 GoogleMaps   ; • 1♂, Laikipia, Mpala R. C., 1,700 m, 0°17′27″N 36°53′52″E, 9.xi.2012, Agassiz, Beavan, Heckford & Ngugi. All paratypes are deposited in NHMUK GoogleMaps   .

Diagnosis. This species is superficially very similar to Protolychnis species   , but the male genitalia of the new species distinctly differ by having a pair of uniquely specialized, upwardly curved processes arising from base of each valva ( Figs 1D, F View FIGURE 1 ). A polygonal signal plate in the female genitalia can also be a diagnostic character when compared to Protolychnis species   having a crescent signal plate ( Fig. 1G View FIGURE 1 ). It can also be separated from the following new species, Viperinus pyknoistus   by the shape of cucullus and processes at base of the valva: 1) the cucullus is broader than that of V. pyknoistus   ; 2) the process has a snake head-shaped distal part, whereas in V. pyknoistus   , it has a broadened distal part.

Description. Male and female ( Figs 1A–C View FIGURE 1 ). Wingspan 17.5–18.5 mm.

Head: Vertex dark brown with orange-white erect scales laterally.Antenna orange white, about 0.7 times shorter than the forewing length. Labial palpus strongly upturned; 2 nd segment thickened, covered with dark brown scales in basal 2/3, then gradually turning orange white toward apex on outer surface; 3 rd segment slender with sharply pointed apex, nearly same length as 2 nd segment, orange white in 2/3, then gradually turning dark brown toward apex.

Thorax: Thorax and tegula dark brown. Forewing slightly broadened distally; ground color dark fuscous uniformly, with a distinct orange-white spot surrounded by blackish scales at apical end of discal cell; blackish elliptical spots well-developed at basal 2/5 across the wing medially, instead of antemedian fascia; costa slightly arched beyond 3/4; apex obtuse; fringe concolorous with ground color; venation ( Fig. 1B View FIGURE 1 ) with R 1 arising from before middle of discal cell; distance between origins of R 1 and R 2 about 1.6 times longer than that of R 2 and R 3; R 3 shortly stalked with R 4+5; R 4 and R 5 stalked beyond 1/2, R 5 reaching near apex; M 1 remote from R 3+4 at base; M 2 well-developed, nearly parallel to M 1; M 3 arising from near lower corner of discal cell; CuA 1 and CuA 2 shortly stalked for about basal 1/7; 1A+2A narrowly forked at base; cell closed. Hindwing broader than forewing, brownish gray; termen slightly concave medially; venation with M 2 absent; M 3 and CuA 1 stalked for basal 1/5; CuP weakly developed, arising from near base of hindwing.

Abdomen: Dark brown, spinous zones forming a row along posterior margin of each segment dorsally ( Fig. 1H View FIGURE 1 ).

Male genitalia ( Figs 1D–F View FIGURE 1 ). Uncus broad at base, gradually narrowed distally, slightly bent beyond 3/4; apex more or less pointed. Basal plate of gnathos produced distally; median process small, narrow, gently curved downwardly beyond 2/3. Tegumen concave into inverted wide V-shaped, with heavily sclerotized anterior margin. Valva with short basal part; slightly convex dorsally near base of costa; cucullus long, with nearly straight costal margin and arched ventral margin, strongly upturned, apex narrowly produced; a pair of large, uniquely specialized, arched processes arising one from each base of valva, snake head-shaped distal part, with dense setae. Juxta poorly developed. Aedeagus rather small, shorter than valva, narrow, slightly arched in basal 2/5, slightly broadened beyond, with a large, semi-ovate lobe medially on ventral margin; cornutus absent.

Female genitalia ( Fig. 1G View FIGURE 1 ). Eighth sternite slightly emarginated medially on posterior margin, emarginated medially in wide V-shaped on anterior margin. Apophyses posteriores about 2 times longer than apophyses anteriores. Antrum long, nearly same length as ductus bursae, narrower than ductus bursae, heavily sclerotized, gradually broadened slightly toward posterior end. Ductus bursae wider than antrum, membranous; ductus seminalis arising from near posterior end. Corpus bursae elliptical, about 3 times longer than ductus bursae; signal plate polygonal, positioned in basal 1/3 of corpus bursae.

Distribution. Kenya.

Etymology. The species name is derived from the Latin, orbis (= circle) with a Latin suffix, - osus, referring to the arched process at the base of valva in the male genitalia.


Natural History Museum, University of Oslo


Natural History Museum, London