Raphia frater abrupta Grote, 2014

Schmidt, B. Christian & Anweiler, Gary G., 2014, Taxonomy and biogeography of the Nearctic Raphia Huebner (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Raphiinae), ZooKeys 421, pp. 91-113 : 103

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Raphia frater abrupta Grote

stat. n.

Raphia frater abrupta Grote stat. n. Figs 1b-e View Figure 1 , 2 View Figure 2

Raphia abrupta Grote, 1864

Certila flexuosa Walker, 1865

Type material.

Raphia abrupta - female holotype # 7675 [ANSP]. Type locality: not given; here restricted to Sycamore Landing, Seneca, Montgomery Co., Maryland. The female type bears no locality or collector label data, and since this is a widespread, geographically variable taxon, we restrict the type locality to Sycamore Landing, Seneca, Montgomery Co., Maryland; a series in USNM from this locality, collected by D. C. Ferguson, is phenotypically more similar to the female type than specimens from the Great Plains; it is also more likley that the holotype originated from the eastern US rather than the Great Plains, which were not well collected in the mid 1800's.

Certila flexuosa Walker - [BMNH; not examined]. Type locality: North America.

Diagnosis and description.

Raphia frater abrupta replaces Raphia frater frater from the central Great Plains eastward to the mid-Atlantic seaboard, and southward to eastern Texas and Florida. It is on average smaller with a more evenly-coloured forewing, a more linear, angulate antemedial band and a fuscous hindwing. Average forewing length is 13.7 mm (n = 9) in males, 15.2 mm in females (n = 9). The thoracic collar is often darker than the dorsal thorax, not concolorous as in Raphia frater frater . The wing facies of subspecies abrupta is in many ways intermediate between Raphia frater piazzi of central and southern Texas and Raphia frater frater to the north, but the exact nature of the interface between abrupta and piazzi in Texas remains unstudied.

Biology and distribution.

Subspecies abrupta occurs south of the range of the aspen species favoured by Raphia frater frater larvae, and its riparian haunts suggest it feeds on eastern cottonwood ( Populus deltoides ), the only Populus species in much of its range. Swamp cottonwood ( Populus heterophylla ) and willows ( Salix spp.) may also be suitable hosts. This subspecies is apparently rare on the Atlantic seaboard and absent altogether in the Appalachians. We examined only a single historical specimen from New Jersey (Trenton), with records north of there assignable to Raphia frater frater . All Ohio records were attributed to Raphia frater frater by Rings et al. (1992), although specimens with a pale grey forewing and dusky hindwing, traits of the abrupta phenotype, rarely occur as far north as southernmost Ontario (Toronto) and southeastern Minnesota (Fillmore Co.).














Raphia frater abrupta Grote

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

Raphia abrupta

Schmidt & Anweiler 2014

Certila flexuosa

Schmidt & Anweiler 2014