Wallacella guianensis ( Schaus, 1940 ),

Mielke, Carlos G. C., Grehan, John R. & Cock, Matthew J. W., 2020, Ghost-moths of Trinidad and Tobago with description of a new genus and a new species (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae), Zootaxa 4758 (1), pp. 181-190: 184-186

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Wallacella guianensis ( Schaus, 1940 )

comb. nov.

Wallacella guianensis ( Schaus, 1940)  , comb. nov.

( Figs 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6View FIGURES 1−6, 10, 11, 12, 13a, 13b, 13c, 14, 15View FIGURES 10−15)

Diagnosis. The single known species may be recognized using diagnostic attributes of the genus. However, it is also easily recognized by the distinctive posterior abdomen and male genitalia: i) tergal lobe spatulate on the left and digitiform on the right; ii) ventral projection of the saccus pocket-like with posterior edge serrate; iii) number of antenomeres in the male ~67. These characters are unique among all known Neotropical species.

Redescription. Male ( Figs 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4, 6View FIGURES 1−6, 10, 11, 12, 14View FIGURES 10−15). Head. Frons dark orangish-brown to brown. Antenna with ~67 antenomeres.

Thorax. Coloured as the head. Legs ( Fig. 10View FIGURES 10−15). Epiphysis and arolium absent. Forewing length: 22–31 mm; wingspan: 44–60 mm. Forewing dorsally. Elongated, tornus not distinguished; costal margin straight, apex angle sub-obtuse [almost right angled], outer and inner margins convex. Ground colour orangish-brown to brown with four light gray transverse lines ( Fig. 3View FIGURES 1−6): i) proximal antemedial line almost straight; ii) distal antemedial line oblique (the most oblique one); iii) proximal postmedial line almost in parallel to the proximal antemedial line, and; iv) premarginal line straight or concave which angles outward from M 2 to costal margin; lighter areas present proximally to all the lines. Stigma concolourus with lines, but not always present. Hindwing dorsally. Orangish-brown to brown, generally lighter than forewing. Forewing and hindwing ventrally. Uniformly coloured, light orangish-brown to brown, but paler and without markings. Abdomen ( Figs 11, 12, 14View FIGURES 10−15). Dorsally as the thorax, ventrally lighter. Tergum VIII with left lobe pronounced and tapered; sternum VIII lunulate and deeply concave anteriorly, with an irregular sclerotized plate of each side posteriorly.

Male genitalia ( Figs 13a, 13b, 13c, 15View FIGURES 10−15). Tegumen (= intermediate plate) rectangular and slightly curved inward, fused to pseudotegumen. Saccus U–shaped with robust lateral arms and with a conspicuous pocket-like posterior projection; posterior edge of the pocket V-shaped, strongly sclerotized with serrate borders. Left tergal lobe spatulate, right lobe digitiform. Pseudotegumen laterally rectangular, but forming a ring around the phallocrypt that is unfused dorso-posteriorly and strongly fused antero-ventrally, producing a tapered and projected backwards process, serrated antero-ventrally. Fultura inferior (= juxta) subrectangular, enlarged at its base. Fultura superior (= trulleum) subsquare. Valva L-shaped, digitiform, but enlarged at base; tip, base and anterior margin setose. Phallus membranous, as long the height of the genitalia when everted, with several spine-like cornuti.

Female ( Fig. 4View FIGURES 1−6). Same pattern as the male, but with paler and longer forewing. Forewing length: 49 mm; wingspan: 101 mm.

Geographical distribution. Wallacella guianensis  is known from Trinidad, southern Venezuela, Guyana, and French Guiana ( Fig. 20View FIGURE 20).

Ethology. Specimens were attracted to light at dusk.

Host plant. Unknown.

Etymology. It is likely that Schaus (1940) proposed the specific name after the locality of the holotype specimen, Guyana.

Examined material (19 males, 1 female). Trinidad and Tobago. 3 males, Trinidad, Off Saunders Rd, Inniss Field , 50m, MV light: 17.V.1999, M. J. W. Cock leg. ( CGCM 35.217, 35.356 ( MJWC))GoogleMaps  ; 1 male, Trinidad , F. Birch leg. ( NHMUK)  . Venezuela: 1 male, Amazonas, Rio Mavaca Cp. 65°06’ W, 2°2’ N, 150 m, 16.–27.III.1989, D. Grimaldi leg., Exp. Phipps-Fudeci ( AMNH)GoogleMaps  . Guyana. 1 male ( Fig. 4View FIGURES 1−6; holotype), Bartica, Kartabo , 22.IX.1922 ( USNM)  . French Guiana. 1 male, Rd. Paul Insard , 94 m, 5°17’02’’ N, 53°58’00’’ W: 6.X.2015, D. Herbin leg.GoogleMaps 

(CGCM 33.107; CGCM); 5 males, Rd. de la Montagne de Fer , 106 m 5°18’51’’ N, 53°32’00’’ W: 3.X.2015, D. Herbin, M. Laguerre & Felis leg. ( CGCM 32.951, 32.997, 33.340, 33.398, 33.526; CGCM)GoogleMaps  ; 1 male, Saül , Crique Limonade, 210 m, 4°32’42’’ N, 52°09’10’’ W: 19.X.2013 ( CGCM 32.943; CGCM)GoogleMaps  ; 1 male, Plateau des Mines , 5°20’42’’ N, 54°4’31’’ W: 4.X.2015, D. Herbin, M. Laguerre & Felis leg. ( CGCM 33.159; CGCM)GoogleMaps  ; 1 male, Rd. Belizon Km. 7, 67 m, 4°19’28’’ N, 52°20’7’’ W: 10.X.2015, D. Herbin & M. Laguerre leg. ( CGCM 33.392)GoogleMaps  ; 1 male, Rd. Apatou-Layons Km. 26, 99 m, 5°14’46’’ N, 54°11’52’’ W: 2.X.2013, D. Herbin, M. Laguerre & Felis leg. ( CGCM 29.958; CGCM)GoogleMaps  ; 1 male, Rd. Coralie , 46 m, 4°29’41’’ N, 52°23’41’’ W: 13.X.2013, D. Herbin leg. ( CGCM 30.042; CGCM)GoogleMaps  ; 1 male, Cariocou , 4°51’30’’ N, 52°17’ W: 4.X.1996, B. Hermier leg. ( CGCM 30.672; CGCM)GoogleMaps  ; 1 male, Grand-Santi , 100 m, 4°17’05’’ N, 54°21’06’’ W: 14–18.X.2017, Vincent, Lévêque & Barbut leg. ( CGCM 35.366; CGCM)GoogleMaps  ; 1 male, Rd. Kaw , 286 m, 4°32’57’’ N, 52°08’52’’ W: 27.X.2013, D. Herbin leg. ( CGCM 30.158; CGCM)GoogleMaps  ; 1 female ( MNHN)  .

Remarks. In Trinidad and Tobago, this species has been recorded only in Trinidad. Inniss Field is a low altitude area of disturbed forest with scattered oil wells in the South of Trinidad.


Natural History Museum, London


American Museum of Natural History


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle