Cicinnus falcoargenteus St. Laurent & McCabe,

Laurent, Ryan A. St. & Mccabe, Timothy L., 2016, The Mimallonidae (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea) of the Caribbean Basin, with the descriptions of two new species, Zootaxa 4084 (4), pp. 557-571: 566-570

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Cicinnus falcoargenteus St. Laurent & McCabe

sp. n.

Cicinnus falcoargenteus St. Laurent & McCabe  , sp. n.

( Figs 16–18View FIGURES 16 – 17View FIGURE 18, 21View FIGURES 19 – 21)

Type material. Holotype, ♂: VENEZUELA: San Estaban, Carabobo, Venez., Dec. 1–20, 1939, Pablo J. Anduze/ “ Eadmuna  paloa Schaus 1931”/ St. Laurent diss.  : 9-7-14:1/ HOLOTYPE male Cicinnus falcoargenteus St Laurent and McCabe, 2016  [handwritten red label]/ (CUIC). No paratypes.

Additional specimens examined. [not to be included in type series] (2 ♀ total) VENEZUELA: Palma Sola [Carabobo]: Joicey Coll. Brit. Mus, 1925–157, BMNH (E) 1377212 ( NHMUK).

Diagnosis. Cicinnus falcoargenteus  can be distinguished from all other described Mimallonidae  by the combination of the following characters: silvery, sharply falcate forewings with black scaling at the apical tip, an almost indistinguishable postmedial line, absent antemedial line, and B-shaped hyaline patch. Genitalia are most similar to the above species but differ in that the juxta is much more robust, with the invaginated portion much broader. Additionally, the sclerotized portion of the valve is larger, with thicker processes, the sclerotized band leading from the valve processes to the valve edge is more strongly curved, and the tegumen is broader without a deep indentation mesally.

Description. Male. Head: Small, scales on frons swept ventrad, pale gray [grease on the holotype makes the head and thorax appear light brown], eyes very large comprising roughly half of head area, eyes bordered posteriorly by dark brown collar of scales reaching labial palpi, labial palpi small, segments weakly defined ventrally due to ventral tufts, segments smaller distally, dorsally with darker scales contrasting with overall straw coloration. Antenna bipectinate to tip, scape and pedicel weakly tufted.

Thorax: Gray, densely covered in scales of varying widths, generously sprinkled with darker petiolate scales.

Legs: Vestiture thick, scales long, coloration as for thorax darker petiolate scales present. Tibial spurs short, triangular.

Forewing dorsum: Forewing length: 19.5, n=1. Triangular, apical quarter of outer margin deeply concave, convex mesally, apex falcate. Ground color pale, silvery gray, overall generously speckled by dark petiolate scales, especially antemedially. Discal spot marked by small, fused B-shaped hyaline area, bisected by M2, outlined by darker gray scales. Postmedial line very faint, nearly absent. Antemedial line absent. Postmedial area tan-gray mesally, especially along wing margin. Fringe contrasting, cream colored.

Forewing venter: As in forewing dorsum but more heavily speckled, pinkish suffusion present medially and near wing margin, postmedial and antemedial lines absent.

Hindwing dorsum: Subtriangular, similar coloration and patterning as forewings but hyaline discal mark absent, replaced by faint gray mark.

Hindwing venter: Following similar pattern as forewing venter but lines absent, pinkish suffusion absent, frenulum absent. Holotype with thick glue applied to base of wing, obscuring this region.

Abdomen: Short, vaguely triangular, reaching just barely beyond anal margin of hindwing, depth equal to that of thorax, truncated to slightly upturned posterior tip, coloration a continuation of gray thoracic color.

Genitalia: ( Fig. 21View FIGURES 19 – 21) n=1. Very complex; uncus elongate, somewhat triangular, apex rounded. Tegumen broadly ovoid. Gnathos absent. Valves mostly membranous, relatively short, bent upwards at base of uncus, sclerotized mesally as two somewhat pointed, thick, cupped processes; thick, curved, sclerotized band extend from mesal processes to ventral valve edge. Vinculum box-like, ventral corners of vinculum accentuated as rounded knobs. Saccus quadrate, indented mesally. Moderately elongated, inward curving tusks originating at base of vinculum reach just below tegumen. Juxta fused to both phallus and vinculum; pair of robust, complicated, invaginated structures extend from juxta dorsally over phallus, forming connection with vinculum. Phallus short, broad, somewhat rectangular when viewed ventrally, proximal end with small, flattened lobes, phallus cannot be excised from genitalia capsule without damaging juxta-vinculum complex. Vesica bag-like, without cornuti.

Female. [description based on two females from NHMUK that probably belong to this species, but were not included in the type series due to lack of males from same series] Head: As in male, but light brown. 

Thorax: As in male.

Legs: As in male.

Forewing dorsum: Forewing length: ~ 27 mm, avg. 27 mm, n=2. As in male but broader, much less falcate, postmedial line about as faint or fainter. B-shaped hyaline discal spot with dark gray scales along M2 separating hyaline patch into two distinct halves.

Forewing venter: As in forewing dorsum but more heavily speckled, lines absent, light brown suffusion medially and near margin.

Hindwing dorsum: As in male but broader, more rounded, postmedial line darker.

Hindwing venter: Following similar pattern as forewing venter but more heavily speckled, postmedial line absent.

Abdomen: As in male but stouter.

Genitalia: Not examined.

Distribution ( Fig. 18View FIGURE 18). This new species is known only from two locations separated by about 40 km, in the state of Carabobo, Venezuela.

Etymology. Cicinnus falcoargenteus  sp. n. is named for the highly falcate (falcis Latin) forewings of the male, combined with the silvery (argenteus Latin) ground color.

Remarks. This new species is apparently very restricted in distribution, and very poorly represented in collections. We chose to include this species in the present work because of its clear affiliation with the Caribbean island species based on genitalia and external characters, as well as the biogeographic region in which it inhabits. Coastal Venezuela is part of the Caribbean Basin and thus C. falcoargenteus  sp. n., C. bahamensis  sp. n., and C. packardii  likely share an evolutionary history. As mentioned earlier, the morphological similarities among these species may eventually provide grounds for placing them in a separate genus along with other “ Cicinnus  ” species displaying similar traits.


Natural History Museum, London