Syngamia florella (Stoll, 1781)

Bernard Landry, 2016, Taxonomic revision of the Spilomelinae (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae s. l.) of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, Revue suisse de Zoologie 123 (2), pp. 315-399 : 389-391

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.155309

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Syngamia florella (Stoll, 1781)


Syngamia florella (Stoll, 1781)

Figs 64 View Figs 57 - 64 , 132 View Figs 131 - 133 , 178 View Figs 178 - 183

Tinea florella Stoll in Cramer & Stoll, 1781: 114 , pl. 348 fig. L.

Syngamia florella (Stoll) : Peck et al. 1998: 227. ‒ Causton et al., 2006: 141. ‒ Roque-Albelo & Landry, 2015.

Material examined: 9 ♂, 11 ♀, 46 of undetermined sex from the Galápagos Islands: – Floreana: Charles [no precise locality]; Punta Cormoran; close to Loberia, GPS: elev[ation]. 6 m, S 01° 17.002’, W 90° 29.460’. – Genovesa: Bahía Darwin. – Isabela: Alcedo, lado NE, low arid zone bosq[ue]. palo santo; V[olcan]. Darwin, 300 m elev.; 1 km W P[uer]to Villamil; 2 km Puerto Villamil; 8.5 km N Pto Villamil; ± 15 km N Pto Villamil; Sierra Negra, 1000 m alt[itude]. – San Cristóbal: Chatham [no precise locality]; 1 km S El Progreso; El Junco, east side, GPS: 654 m elev., S 00° 53.734’, W 89° 28.727’; pampa zone. – Santa Cruz: Agr[iculture]. Zone; Tortuga Res[erve]. W S[an]ta Rosa; Horneman Farm, 220 m elev.; agriculture zone, near (NNW) Bella Vista, GPS: 223 m elev., S 00° 41.297’, W 90° 19.670’; NNW Bella Vista, GPS: 225 m elev., S 00° 41.293’, W 90° 19.665’; Finca Vilema, 2 km W Bella Vista; 2 km W Bella Vista; Los Gemelos; Media Luna, pampa zone. – Santiago: Bahía Espumilla ; La Bomba, 6 m elev., S 00° 11.151’, W 90° 42.052’; 200 m elev.; Aguacate [camp], 520 m elev.; Central [camp], 700 m; Jaboncillo [camp], ± 850 m elev. Deposited in BMNH, CAS, CDRS, CNC, MCZ, and MHNG.

Diagnosis: The diminutive Syngamia florella (Stoll) is one of the most strikingly patterned and coloured species of Spilomelinae in the Galápagos ( Fig. 64 View Figs 57 - 64 ). The broad orange yellow markings of the thorax and both wings over a dark brown ground colour as well as the bright orange abdomen with patches of shining blue scales are not found in any other species. The wingspan is between 15 and 19 mm.

Biology: The known host plants of this species are in the Rubiaceae genera Borreria and Spermacoce ( Heppner, 2003; Robinson et al., 2014). In the Galápagos specimens have been collected from the littoral zone to higher zones up to about 1000 m, in cultivated as well as pristine habitats, and from February until June and October.

Distribution: Described from Surinam this species is widespread in the Western Hemisphere as attest the countries recorded from the labels of specimens in the BMNH: USA, Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, St Vincent, Dominica, Cuba, Santo Domingo, Grenada, Tobago, Trinidad, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Venezuela, British Guiana, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina. In addition, the MHNG has specimens from Martinique and French Guiana. Patterson et al. (2015) report it from several US States of the south east, with most records from Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Already in 1854, Guenée wrote that this species was very common in all of Meridional America. In the Galápagos specimens were collected on several islands as noted above in the Material examined. In addition, a CDRS specimen labelled simply ‘92’ refers to notes in a notebook in the CDRS adding the localities of Cerro Azul on Isabela and Media Luna on Santa Cruz.

Remarks: The original description was checked to identify the Galapagos specimens, but there is no real description, rather an illustration that is not very convincing. Stoll (1781) mentioned that he was told that this species was found in Surinam on many different sorts of flowers and in great abundance. My Galápagos specimens match the specimens identified as this species in the BMNH.


California Academy of Sciences


Invertebrate Collection


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Museum of Comparative Zoology


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle














Syngamia florella (Stoll, 1781)

Bernard Landry 2016

Tinea florella

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