Pseudotinea gagarini Callaghan and Hall

HALL, JASON P. W. & CALLAGHAN, CURTIS J., 2003, A revision of the new riodinid butterfly genus Pseudotinea (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae), Journal of Natural History 37 (7), pp. 821-837: 832-833

publication ID 10.1080/00222930110096771

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Pseudotinea gagarini Callaghan and Hall

sp. n.

Pseudotinea gagarini Callaghan and Hall   , sp. n.

(figures 3A, B, 8A, B)



Fore wing length 15 mm.

Wing shape and pattern. See figure 3A, B.

Head. Labial palpi brown on dorsal surface and ventral surface of segment three, ventral surface of segment two grey, second and third segments elongate; eyes brown and bare, cream scaling at margins; frons brown with grey-brown at margins; antennal length approximately 60% of fore wing length, segments brown with prominent white scaling at base; clubs long and flat, dorsal surface brown, ventral surface grey-brown.

Body. Dorsal surface of thorax and abdomen brown, ventral surface dirty dark grey; legs pale brown.

Genitalia (figure 8A, B). Uncus rectangular; vinculum narrow, ‘S’-shaped and slightly wider medially, produced into tiny saccus ventrally with triangular posterior section; valvae with rounded right-angled lower posterior corner, bulbous ventral margin and relatively long angular projection from upper posterior corner; posteriorly aedeagus has large dorsal opening, ventral tip narrow and elongate, aedeagus contains one elongate sclerotized triangular structure at right with pointed teeth at tip and along left side, and one rounded lightly sclerotized structure at left with spiny surface; pedicel narrow and strap-like.

Female Unknown.


H  : W, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Independencia, Petrópolis , 900 m, 16 February 1936 (Gagarin)   (MNRJ).

P : 1 W, same data as HT. 1 W, same locality data as HT, 9 December 1936 (Gagarin) ( MNRJ). 1 W, same locality data as HT, 17 November 1936 (Gagarin) ( MNRJ). 1 W, same data as HT, November (Gagarin) ( CJC). 1 W, Espírito Santo, Fazenda Jerusalem, 14 September 1912 ( MNRJ)   .


This species is named in memory of Paulo Gagarin, who formed an important collection of Brazilian butterflies during the early part of the 20th century, including most of the type series.


The male of Pseudotinea gagarini   sp. n. is similar only to that of P. hemis   , but it has considerably broader orange patches on the dorsal and ventral fore wing and dorsal hind wing, less prominent submarginal spots on both ventral wings, a prominent diagonal black postdiscal band on the hind wing, with whitish scaling distally that is restricted to the anal half of the wing, and lacks a dark brown patch in the apex of the ventral hind wing. The upper portion of the valvae of the male genitalia is elongate, as in P. caprina   , although the uncus is produced into a small blunt point dorsally.

Pseudotinea gagarini   apparently exhibits some geographic variation in wing pattern. The specimen figured by Brown (1992) from São Paulo state has a more yellowish brown ventral ground colour than the illustrated holotype with more strongly contrasted black pattern elements, especially on the fore wing; the fore wing postdiscal black band is separated into anal and costal elements and there is a prominent black square at the distal margin of cell Cu1, and the basal hind wing band is more clearly divided into basal and costal spots.


This very rare species has been encountered only in coastal mountainous regions between 900 and 1100 m, predominantly on hilltops. The vegetation in these sites is subtropical, ranging from semi-deciduous mesophytic forest in Serra do Japi (Leitão- Filho, 1992) to wetter forest at the type locality, where there are abundant tree ferns and Chusquea   bamboo. Since P. gagarini   partially inhabits seasonal forest, like other riodinids in this region it is probably most abundant during the southern summer months and perhaps absent during the coldest and driest months; it has been recorded from September to February. The type locality has now been encroached upon by a shanty town and is practically devoid of natural vegetation, and no specimens of P. gagarini   were found there on numerous visits by the second author. Although P. gagarini   is present in the heavily forested Serra do Japi, this area is not officially protected (Joly, 1992), and thus this species, like all those in this genus from south-east Brazil, must be regarded as highly vulnerable to extinction.


This species is only known from a small area in the south-east Brazilian states of Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (see figure 14). In addition to the type series, Brown (1992, 1993) illustrates recently collected specimens from Serra do Japi, near Jundiaí , in São Paulo state   . The species may also occur in the Serra da Mantiqueira in southern Minas Gerais state   .

Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics


Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro