Raphia frater coloradensis Putnam-Cramer, 2014

Schmidt, B. Christian & Anweiler, Gary G., 2014, Taxonomy and biogeography of the Nearctic Raphia Huebner (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Raphiinae), ZooKeys 421, pp. 91-113 : 104-105

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Raphia frater coloradensis Putnam-Cramer

stat. r.

Raphia frater coloradensis Putnam-Cramer stat. r. Figs 1j-m View Figure 1 , 1o View Figure 1 , 3 View Figure 3

Raphia frater var. coloradensis Putnam-Cramer, 1886

Raphia pallula H. Edwards, 1886, syn. nov.

Type material.

Raphia frater var. coloradensis - Neotype female, here designated [CNC]. Type locality: Deer Creek Cyn. Park, 39°33.18'N, 105°08.49'W, 5950', SW Littleton, Jefferson Co., Colorado. None of the original types, three males and four females "taken in Colorado by D. Bruce," could be located and are presumed lost. The primary type of Xylena thoracica Putnam-Cramer, the only other noctuid named by Putnam-Cramer, is housed at USNM. Prior to 1886, D. Bruce collected in the mountains and foothills near Denver ( Brown 1966), and we accordingly select a specimen from the same region to designate as neotype: "Colorado: Jefferson Co. / 39°33.18'N, 105°08.49'W / Deer Creek Cyn. Park / SW Littleton, w of hogback / 16-17 June 2008, 5950' elev / riparian area s. of road / leg: Chuck Harp uv trap"; "Neotype / Raphia frater var. / coloradensis Putnam-Cramer / Schmidt and Anweiler 2014."

Raphia pallula - Holotype female [AMNH]. Type locality: Siskiyou Co., California [USA]. Published several months after coloradensis Putnam-Cramer, Edwards was apparently not aware of Putnam-Cramer’s name as it is not mentioned in his description.

Diagnosis and description.

Within the range of coloradensis, specimens identical to the typical boreal Raphia frater frater are often present; in the most arid parts of the range of coloradensis in the southern Great Basin, coloradensis is more consistently pale ochre yellow with obsolete transverse lines and diffuse black costal/reniform blotches, overall very similar to elbea, but with less pronounced costal and reniform dark patches. Average forewing length is 14.9 mm (n = 9) in males, 16.8 mm in females (n = 6).

Biology and distribution.

This subspecies occurs from southernmost British Columbia / Alberta to New Mexico, Utah, and California. It is most commonly associated with riparian, low-elevation habitats. Northern populations fly from late May to July in a single generation. Flight dates spanning from May into August in the Great Basin and Southern Rocky mountain region indicate a second or partial second generation.


Raphia frater coloradensis is the most weakly-differentiated subspecies, and may simply be an ecologically induced phenotype of Raphia frater frater that occurs in the warmer, drier regions of the West. Several populations, spanning a large geographical area, have been identified that exhibit a large range of phenotypic variation, as discussed above in the ‘Morphology’ section. Specimens from Siskiyou Co., California and the east slope of the northern Sierra Nevada (Sierra Co.) are phenotypically very similar to Great Basin coloradensis, and we therefore treat pallula as a junior subjective synonym. DNA barcodes of two specimens from the northern Sierra Nevada (Sierra Co.) belonged to the frater-coloradensis-abrupta haplogroup ( Fig. 4 View Figure 4 ).














Raphia frater coloradensis Putnam-Cramer

Schmidt, B. Christian & Anweiler, Gary G. 2014

Raphia frater

Schmidt & Anweiler 2014

Raphia pallula

Schmidt & Anweiler 2014