Catasticta philoscia,

Bollino, Maurizio & Costa, Mauro, 2007, An illustrated annotated check-list of the species of Catasticta (s. l.) Butler (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) of Venezuela, Zootaxa 1469, pp. 1-42: 7

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.176651

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Catasticta philoscia


7 Catasticta philoscia  (C. & R. Felder, 1861) (TL: Venezuela, [Aragua, Colonia] Tovar)

(= Catasticta subtoca Röber, 1924  , TL: Venezuela, Mérida) (fig. 6: c-h; fig. 18)

Catasticta philoscia  was described by C. & R. Felder (1861) from male and female specimens collected by Moritz in Colonia Tovar. Subsequently, Röber (1924) described Catasticta subtoca  from a single female from Mérida, apparently not realizing that his specimen matched the description of philoscia  . Lamas (1993) synonymized subtoca Röber  with philoscia philoscia  .

Colonia Tovar is a problematical type locality for Catasticta philoscia  . Although Colonia Tovar is a wellknown butterfly collecting locality in Venezuela, no specimens of C. philoscia  other than the type series are known from there. We do not know if the type specimens were mislabeled or if there was local extinction of this species. Moritz collected in Colonia Tovar and Mérida ( Viloria et al., 2001), and no specimens of this usually common species are known from the Cordillera de La Costa and the North-Eastern part of Cordillera de Mérida. On the other hand, populations of Catasticta seitzi  have become noticeably scarcer in the Colonia Tovar area in recent decades. We provisionally retain Colonia Tovar as the type locality of C. philoscia  . The current distribution of Catasticta philoscia  in Venezuela is the Central and South-western portions of the Cordillera de Mérida from 1900 to 2400 meters.

Females of Catasticta philoscia  are extremely rare. A few females from El Tamá have dorsal brownish bands and spots on the FW and HW in contrast to nominotypical females (and one female from Cundinamarca, Colombia), which have the corresponding bands and spots white. Even though various Catasticta  species have recently been found to have dimorphic females ( Bollino, Greeney & Vitale, 2002; Bollino, Boyer & Vitale, 2003; Bollino & Boyer, in prep., and cf. Catasticta gelba  , C. troezene  , C. seitzi  here below), no species related to philoscia  is dimorphic. Since the dark females of C. philoscia philoscia  appear to form a geographical entity, we describe these populations as a new subspecies.