Traumatomutilla vitelligera ( Gerstaecker, 1874 )

Bartholomay, Pedro R., Williams, Kevin A., Luz, David R., Cambra, Roberto A. & Oliveira, Márcio Luiz de, 2019, Traumatomutilla André miscellanea: Revision of the bellica, bifurca, diabolica, and vitelligera species groups, and a new group for the new species T. pilkingtoni Bartholomay and Williams (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae: Sphaeropthalminae: Dasymutillini), Insecta Mundi 709 (709), pp. 1-37 : 3-11

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Traumatomutilla vitelligera ( Gerstaecker, 1874 )


Traumatomutilla vitelligera ( Gerstaecker, 1874)  

( Fig. 1–25 View Figures 1–2 View Figures 3–6 View Figures 7–8 View Figures 9–13 View Figures 14–15 View Figures 16–17 View Figures 18–25 )

Mutilla vitelligera Gerstaecker 1874: 71   . Holotype (by monotypy) female, Peru (ZMB), examined.

Mutilla diligens Smith 1879: 214   . Holotype female, Venezuela (BMNH). Synonymized by Mickel 1964: 171.

Mutilla fascinata Smith 1879: 217   . Holotype (by monotypy) male, Peru (BMNH), examined, syn. nov.

Ephuta (Traumatomutilla) vitelligera André 1902: 57   , taxonomic position.

Mutilla fascinata André 1902: 73   , incertae sedis.

Ephuta (Traumatomutilla) comata André 1906: 67   . Lectotype (designated here) male, Ecuador, Guayaquil (MNHN), examined, syn. nov.

Sphaeropthalma salaverensis Rohwer 1913: 449   (holotype female, coast of Peru, Desert of Salaverry, 15 vi 1911 (USNM 15115), examined. Synonymized by Mickel 1964: 171.

Traumatomutilla fascinata: Mickel 1964: 169   , new combination

Traumatomutilla vitelligera: Mickel 1964: 171   , new combination.

Diagnosis. Female. In addition to structural characters referenced in the species groups diagnosis, T. vitelligera   can be diagnosed by the following: head mostly clothed with silvery-white setae, mesosomal setae almost entirely black. Sculptured area on mesopleural ridge broad, densely and coarsely areolatepunctate. Male. Males of T. vitelligera   can be diagnosed by their unique color pattern: having entirely black integument with head mostly and T3–5 completely clothed with dense silvery-white setae as well as blunt tubercles on dorsal half of mesopleuron, truncate axillar projections, and elongate hypopygium.

Description. Female. Body length 15–18 mm. Head. Posterior margin straight, occipital carina slightly swollen apicolaterally. Head width 0.75 × pronotal width. Eye almost circular; its length in frontal view 0.9 × distance between its lower margin and mandibular condyle. Frons and gena densely and coarsely areolate-punctate; vertex sculpture concealed by dense setae. Genal carina present, short, uneven, poorly defined. Mandible with small subapical tooth, unarmed dorsally and ventrally. Antennal scrobe dorsal carina present, well-defined, narrowly separated from antennal tubercles and reduced lateral scrobal. Antennal tubercle vestigially rugose. Flagellomere 1 2.7 × pedicel length; flagellomere 2 1.6 × pedicel length. Mesosoma. Mesosomal length 0.85 × width; pronotum as wide as mesothorax. Mesosomal dorsum densely and finely areolate-punctate. Anterior face of pronotum well-defined, vestigially longitudinally striate basally and sparse coarse punctate apically. Humeral carina well developed, terminating well before epaulet; projected apically; anterolateral corners of pronotum angulate in dorsal view. Pronotal spiracle virtually flat against lateral margin of pronotum. Lateral face of pronotum finely, shallowly foveate-punctate with interspersed micropunctures and inconspicuous impunctate swelling anteroventral to pronotal spiracle. Mesopleuron micropunctate throughout, except along mesopleural ridge dense coarse areolate punctate. Metapleuron sculpture mostly concealed by dense setae, except basal fourth coarsely and densely reticulate and apical fourth impunctate. Lateral face of propodeum sparsely, coarsely and shallowly foveate-punctate, more densely, coarsely and deeply so posterad. Ratios of width of humeral angles, pronotal spiracles, widest point of mesonotum, narrowest point of mesonotum and propodeum posterior to propodeal spiracles, 50:58:57:45:40. Lateral margin of mesothorax slightly constricted anterior to propodeal spiracle. Scutellar scale well-defined; anterolateral carinae connected to each other forming a single transverse carina narrowly reaching propodeal spiracles laterally and wider than scutellar scale; anterolateral carinae and narrowly connected to scutellar scale sublaterally; scabrous intervals absent. Propodeal spiracles moderately projected from lateral margin of mesosoma. Propodeum convex in lateral view, posterior face longer than dorsal face; post-spiracular area undefined. Legs. Mid and hind femora truncate apico-externally, truncation slightly sulcate. Metasoma. Ratios of width of T1, width of T2 and length of T2, 33:69:68. T2 with maximum width posterior to mid length. Disc of T2 densely and coarsely foveolate-punctate throughout, more densely, coarsely and confusedly so mediad; sculpture shallower and sparser on integumental spots. T3–5 densely foveolate-punctate with interspersed fine punctures. S1 with pronounced longitudinal carina equally high throughout. S2 coarsely and densely foveolate-punctate, more sparsely and finely so postero-mediad; S3–5 densely foveolate-punctate; anteromedial crest-fold present on S2; subapical slope on S2 reduced, nearly absent medially. Pygidium broad, sub-ovate, defined by lateral carinae, except at basal third; with fine dense irregular rugosities; interstice coarsely granulose.

Male. Body length 11.0–16.0 mm. Head. Lateral margins not parallel behind eyes, posterolateral angles rounded. Head width 0.7 × pronotal width. Eye almost circular. Ocelli small; OOD 3.8 × DLO, IOD virtually equal to DLO. Vertex and gena densely, finely and partially confusedly foveate-punctate; frons sculpture concealed by dense setae. Gena ecarinate. Dorsal carina of antennal scrobe prominent, transverse, starting at eye margin and ending before antennal tubercle. Clypeus weakly convex medially, concave laterally immediately below antennal insertion; finely and densely punctate; with a pair of small tooth-like projections medially on apical margin. Scape bicarinate, inner carina less prominent. Flagellomere 1 1.7 × pedicel length; flagellomere 2 2 × pedicel length. Mandible obliquely tridentate apically, inner tooth slightly larger than middle tooth; lacking dorsal or ventral projections. Mesosoma. Epaulets inconspicuous, poorly defined, reduced to a narrow micropunctate area starting at anterior face of pronotum and ending on small rounded area on anterior margin of dorsal face of pronotum, disconnected from humeral carina. Sculpture of anterior face of pronotum finely and densely punctate, less densely so medially and micropunctate anterior to epaulets; lateral and dorsal faces coarsely and confusedly areolate-punctate to foveolate-punctate. Tegula convex, mostly glabrous and impunctate, except densely punctate anterior third. Mesoscutum densely, coarsely and confusedly areolate-punctate to foveolate-punctate, notaulus and parapsis absent. Scutellum convex, densely, coarsely and confusedly areolate-punctate. Axilla produced posterolaterally as truncate projection, coarsely, densely and confusedly foveolate-punctate, except impunctate posterior margin. Metanotum narrower medially, with lateral oblique micropunctate areas immediately posterior to hindwing insertion; sculpture densely and coarsely reticulate medially. Propodeum convex, densely and coarsely areolate; sculpture less defined along anterior margin of lateral face; dorsal face of propodeum slightly depressed sublaterally and with longitudinal irregular carina medially; posterolateral corners of dorsal face slightly pronounced, slightly angulate; dorsal and posterior face subequal in length. Mesopleuron densely and coarsely areolatepunctate to foveolate-punctate, with conspicuous blunt medial projection on dorsal half. Metapleuron virtually smooth, with sparse inconspicuous micropunctures, except ventral fourth, immediately above hind coxa, dense and coarse areolate-punctate. Wings. Forewing with moderate elongate sclerotized pterostigma; marginal cell elongated, truncate apically; three submarginal cells, apical veins of third cell weak. Metasoma. T1 0.4 × as wide as T2. T2 length 0.9 × its width. T1–2 densely, finely and confusedly foveolate-punctate, more sparsely so anterad on T1; sculpture of T3–6 concealed by dense setae, T7 with pygidial area irregularly rugose and weakly defined by carinae apicolaterally. S1densely, coarsely and confusedly areolate-punctate to foveolate-punctate; with longitudinal uneven and medially pronounced carina. S2 sparsely and irregularly foveolate-punctate with interspersed micropunctures along lateral margins, weakly swollen longitudinally at base, with small posteromedian pit densely filled with setae. S3–6 densely and coarsely foveolate-punctate to punctate, less densely so on S7. S7 trapezoidal, longer than broad, with a pair of closely spaced tooth-like projections on apical margin. Genitalia. Parapenial lobe inconspicuously pronounced apically. Ratios of free length of paramere, cuspis and digitus, 73:62:20. Paramere conspicuously sinuous throughout in dorsal view, slightly upcurved apically in lateral view; ventrally with dense medial tuft of long setae in addition to scattered, inconspicuous, short and thin setae throughout. Cuspis slightly sinuous in dorsal view and virtually straight in lateral view; slightly expanded apically in dorsal and lateral views; with small apical tuft of setae. Digitus short, weakly curved inward in dorsal view and upcurved in lateral view; with short setae dorsally, setae more numerous at base. Penis valve strongly concave on internal surface, with two sharp apical teeth on ventral margin apical distance between teeth 0.1 × length of valve; few strong short setae along apical margin and subapically on external surface.

Coloration and variations. Female. Integumental coloration is predominantly black with mandibles and antennal flagellomeres partially reddish-brown; T2 with four yellow to orange integumental spots. Head setae predominantly black with the vertex clothed with silvery-white setae. Mesosomal setae predominantly black, except most of mesopleuron, most of metapleuron, lateral face of propodeum, ventral half of posterior face of propodeum with silvery-white setae varying in density. Legs setae silvery-white, tibial spurs yellowish-white. Metasomal setae predominantly black except for part of T1, lateral felt line and lateral setae of T2, fringe of T2–4, most of T5–6 and most of S1–6 with silverywhite setae varying in density. Some females differ by having more extensive silvery-white setae on the head or on the size of the integumental spots of T2 which can be conspicuously larger and much more closely spaced. The extent of white setae areas on the metasoma may also vary, especially on S2–4 on which it may be greatly reduced to the point of lacking on the fringes of S 2–3 in some cases. Male. Body integument color entirely black, Forewing always dark fuscous with basal third and small medial spots brownish-hyaline, veins brown; hindwing overall lighter than forewing with basal third hyaline. Head setae predominantly silvery-white, with gena, malar space and posterior margin of vertex having black setae. Mesosomal setae predominantly black with silvery-white setae varying in density medially on metanotum, posterior and lateral face of propodeum, and basal third of mesosomal pleurae. Legs setae predominantly black except few silvery-white setae on femora and dense silvery-white setae on internal surface of hind tibia. Metasomal setae predominantly black except with most of T1, T2 basolaterally, felt lines, fringe of T3–5 and S3–5, posteromedian pit of S2 and disc of S2 partially, with silvery-white setae varying in density.

Material examined. 57♀, 19♂ Type material. Holotype of Traumatomutilla vitelligera   , ♀, PERU, ( ZMB).   Holotype of Traumatomutilla fascinata   , ♂, PERU, ( BMNH). Holotype of Traumatomutilla salaverensis   , ♀, Peru.   Lectotype of Traumatomutilla comata   , ♂, ECUADOR, Guayaquil, 1901, Buchwald ( MNHN).   Paralectotype of Traumatomutilla comata   , ♂, same label data as lectotype ( MNHN).   Other material. CHILE: Tacna, Tacna, 1♀, D.S. Bullock ( USNM).   ECUADOR: Esmeraldas, San Mateo, 1♀, 143202, ( MNCN)   ; South America , 1♀, ii–vii.1911, S.N. Roads ( ANSP)   ; 1♀, ( ZMUC)   ; Manabi, Portoviejo , 1♂, 22.xii.1971, M. Cooper ( BMNH)   ; Jama , 100 m., 2♀,, D. Curoe ( MIUP)   ; [Guayas], Guayaquil , 1♂, Buchwald ( MNHN)   ; El Oro, 2 miles north of Santa Rosa , 1♂, 24.i.1955 ( AMNH)   ; Guayas, Daule , 1♀, x.1981, G. Onore ( MIUP). PERU: 3♀, ( EMUS)   ; 1♂, 1919, J. De Gaulle ( USNM)   ; 2♂, ( EMUS)   ; Toznamela [sic!], 1♀ ( USNM)   ; Piura: Amotopa Mts. [Cerros de Amotape], 1♀, 28.ix.1941, H.E.F. ( AMNH)   ; Sullana , 2♀, 02.ix.1944, P.A. Berry ( USNM)   ; 2♀, 15.viii.1943, P.A. Berry ( USNM)   ; Lambayeque: Lambayeque , 1♀, 03.iii.1981, M.E. Irwin ( INHS)   ; Pampa northwest of Oyotun [Pampa de Chumbenique], 1♀, 15.i.1985, J.M. Carpenter ( USNM)   ; Chiklaya [Chiclayo], 2♂, 06.ii.1931, H.A. Jaynes ( USNM)   ; 10 km south of Olmos , 1♂, 27.iii.2005, M.E. Irwin ( EMUS)   ; 10km S Olmos, km52 Olmos road marker, malaise in deciduous dry forest, 06°01.55’S 79°40.82’W, 265m, 1♀, 27–31.iii.2005, M.E. Irwin & F.D. Parker ( EMUS) GoogleMaps   ; Amazonas, [Utcubamba], 8 km west of Bagua Grande , 1♂, 08.iii.2005, M.E. Irwin ( EMUS)   ; 8km W Bagua Grande, 05°43’.02’S 78°31.68’W, km216 on Bagua rd, malaise across damp wash, 530m, 1♀, 08–31.iii.2005, M.E. Irwin & F.D. Parker ( EMUS)   ; Cajamarca: [San Miguel], Nanchoc Quebrada , 1♀, 1–17.i.1985, J.M. Carpenter ( USNM)   ; 6 km north of Chamaya , 1#, 14.xi.2007, Irwin & Parker ( EMUS)   ; 6km N Chamaya, 2km W Mochenta on rd to Valillo , 850m, 05°47.95’S 78°47’84’W, 1♂, 14–17.xi.2007, M.E. Irwin & F.D. Parker ( EMUS)   ; San Martin: 23 km south of Picota , 1♂, 09.xi.2007, M.E. Irwin ( EMUS)   ; [La Libertad], Trujillo , 1♀, 17.xi.1936, H.A. Jaynes ( DGMC)   ; [Ancash], Casma, San Rafael , 2♀, 01.iv.1912, C.J. Townsend ( USNM)   ; Pasco, Pozizo [Pozuzo], 1♀, P. Vaquero ( CMNH)   ; Lima: Cartavio , 9♀, 17.iii.1935, E.G. Smyth ( EMUS)   ; 1♀, 21.iii.1935, E.G. Smyth ( EMUS)   ; 1♀, 15.iii.1937, E.G. Smyth ( EMUS)   ; 1♀, 15.i.1937, E.G. Smyth ( EMUS)   ; 1♀, 08.iii.1937, E.G. Smyth ( EMUS)   ; 3♂, 03.iii.1935, E.G. Smyth ( EMUS)   ; 4♀, 03.iii.1935, E.G. Smyth ( EMUS)   ; 1♀, 03.iv.1935, E.G. Smyth ( EMUS)   ; 3♀, 13.iii.1935, E.G. Smyth ( EMUS)   ; 1♀, 03.iii.1937, E.G. Smyth ( EMUS)   ; Lima , 1♀, 01.i.1939, Weyrauch ( CMNH)   ; 1♀, 02.ii.1939, C.J. Drake ( USNM)   ; Verrugas , 1♀, 07.iv.1928, R. C. Shannon ( USNM)   ; Chosica [railstation east of Lima], 1♂, P. Vaquero ( UMSP)   ; North Central coast, 1♀, 01.iv.1951 ( AMNH)   ;; San Miguel , 1♀, 08.iii.1955, W. Markl ( MNCN)   ; Ica: Huacachina , 2♀, E. Escomal ( AMNH)   .

Distribution. Ecuador, Peru, Chile.

Host. Unknown.

Remarks. The distinctive setae pattern in T. vitelligera   can be approximated by other species that have their bright mesosomal setae patches lost or obscured due to specimen wear or condition. According to Nonveiller (1990), this species has been recorded from Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Paraguay and Chile. However, we have only seen valid records of T. vitelligera   from Ecuador, Peru and Chile and hypothesize the historical records from other countries are based on misidentified or mislabeled specimens. Examination of the types of T. fascinata   and T. comata   , as well as dissection of the genitalia of both species, indicate that they are virtually identical, except that the silvery-white setae areas on T. comata   are less extensive and conspicuous than on T. fascinata   . Additionally, both the lectotype and paralectotype of T. comata   have an incomplete vein arising from the rs vein at the first submarginal cell ending halfway towards the base of the pterostigma. Given that the remaining characteristics of these specimens are virtually identical to specimens of T. fascinata   , this abnormal vein is possibly some sort of malformation or teratoma, or a case of intraspecific variation. Additionally, variations in the venation of the right and left forewing of a mutillid may occur in the same specimen ( Quintero and Cambra 2005). With the exception of a few species from the inermis and indica species groups in northwestern Colombia, T. vitelligera   , T. fascinata   and T. comata   are the only species of Traumatomutilla to occur west of the Andes. Therefore, we associate T. vitelligera   with T. fascinata   syn. nov. and T. comata   syn. nov. based on their overlapping geographical distribution and congruence of taxonomically important characters.


Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Zoological Collections)


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales


Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia


Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen


American Museum of Natural History


Illinois Natural History Survey


The Cleveland Museum of Natural History


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


University of Minnesota Insect Collection














Traumatomutilla vitelligera ( Gerstaecker, 1874 )

Bartholomay, Pedro R., Williams, Kevin A., Luz, David R., Cambra, Roberto A. & Oliveira, Márcio Luiz de 2019

Traumatomutilla fascinata: Mickel 1964: 169

Mickel, C. E. 1964: 169

Traumatomutilla vitelligera: Mickel 1964: 171

Mickel, C. E. 1964: 171

Sphaeropthalma salaverensis

Mickel, C. E. 1964: 171
Rohwer, S. A. 1913: 449

Ephuta (Traumatomutilla) comata André 1906: 67

Andre, E. 1906: 67

Ephuta (Traumatomutilla) vitelligera André 1902: 57

Andre, E. 1902: 57

Mutilla fascinata André 1902: 73

Andre, E. 1902: 73

Mutilla diligens

Mickel, C. E. 1964: 171
Smith, F. 1879: 214

Mutilla fascinata

Smith, F. 1879: 217

Mutilla vitelligera

Gerstaecker, A. 1874: 71