Catascythris kebirella Amsel, 1935,

Nupponen, Kari & Saldaitis, Aidas, 2013, Recent records of scythridids from the islands of Socotra and Maldives in the Indian Ocean, with descriptions of two new species (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea, Scythrididae), Zootaxa 3626 (2), pp. 288-294: 289-290

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Catascythris kebirella Amsel, 1935


Catascythris kebirella Amsel, 1935 

( Fig. 9View FIGURES 1 – 9)

E Socotra, Dishaall loc., 16.I. 2010, 2 3, A. Saldaitis leg.

N Socotra, Wadi Kam, 13.I. 2010, 1 Ƥ, A. Saldaitis leg.

C Socotra, Wadi Diksam, 14.I. 2010, 7 3, 16 Ƥ, A. Saldaitis leg.

S Socotra, S side of Wadi Difarroha, 15.I. 2010, 2 3, A. Saldaitis leg.

Socotra, Di Hamri loc., 20.- 21. XI. 2008, 1 3, R. Saldaitiene & A. Saldaitis leg. (Slide No. KN 3 / 23.I. 2010) N Socotra, Qadab loc., 25.III. 2009, 1 3, A. Saldaitis leg.

W Socotra, Shuab, coast line, mangroves, 22.- 26. XI. 2010, 2 3, 2 Ƥ, M. Butkevicius leg.

Distribution. Israel, Iran, Jordan, Oman, Saudi-Arabia, U.A.E., N Africa, Namibia, India. Remark. First record from Socotra.

Scythris digitibasella Nupponen & Saldaitis  sp. nov. ( Figs. 4–7View FIGURES 1 – 9)

Type material. Holotype: 3 ( Fig. 4View FIGURES 1 – 9): S Socotra, S side of Wadi Difarroha, 15.I. 2010, A. Saldaitis leg. (deposited in coll. T. & K. Nupponen, ZMH); (Slide No. KN 1 / 24.II. 2012)

Paratype (1 3 ( Fig. 5View FIGURES 1 – 9)): N Socotra, Ayheft valley, 12.I. 2010, A. Saldaitis leg; (coll. T. & K. Nupponen, ZMH); (Slide No. KN 1 / 5.III. 2012)

Description. Wingspan 10.5 mm. Head fuscous with white scales around eye. Collar pale fuscous. Scape, neck tuft and thorax fuscous mixed with cream. Flagellum brown, ciliate, length of cilia equal to diameter of flagellum. Haustellum base cream-coloured. Labial palp: segment I white, II and III pale fuscous. Legs with mixed pale fuscous and cream-colour, tibiae darker. Abdomen dorsally fuscous, ventrally dirty cream. Forewing fuscous, almost unicolorous with only sparsely scattered paler scales and an indistinct darker blotch at cell end. Hindwing fuscous.

Male genitalia ( Figs. 6-7View FIGURES 1 – 9). Uncus robust, bifurcate, prongs rectilinear, each prong with longitudinal flap from base to 0.55 and digitate basal projection. Gnathos with basal loop, distal arm straight, apical quarter tapered, tip bent. Valva robust, of even width, slightly bent at 2 / 3, apex medially extended; dorsally a longitudinal median ridge from 0.1 to 0.8; dorsal margin subapically folded, proximal 0.25 bristled. Phallus 0.8 × length of valva, almost straight and uniformly broad, subapically bent and slightly swollen, at tip tapered and pointed; distal 0.6 with shallow lateral ridge. Sternum VIII subtriangular, margins reinforced; posteriorly a large semicircular projection. Tergum VIII subrectangular, anterior margin deeply and narrowly curved, posterior margin largely notched. The female is yet unknown.

Diagnosis. Externally Scythris digitibasella  sp. nov. is similar to several dark, small scythridids. It can be distinguished from other species known from Socotra by the dark and narrow wings. The cilia of flagellum is shorter than that of S. pectinicornis Walsingham, 1900  . The male genitalia resemble to some extent those of S. galeatella Bengtsson, 2002  and S. subgaleatella Bengtsson, 2002  , but the uncus of the two species is not bifurcate. S. digitibasella  is readily distinguished from other known scythridids by peculiar digitate basal processes of the uncus in the male genitalia.

Bionomics and distribution. Known only from the central part of Socotra Island. Scythris digitibasella  is likely endemic to Socotra Island. Two males were collected in mid-January; S. digitibasella  males were attracted to light and appear to have a very local distribution as the species was discovered only in the Difarroha Valley and Ayheft Valleys ( Fig. 11View FIGURES 10, 11). The new species was collected in oasis-type valleys dominated by various trees and shrubs species, like Jatropha unicostata, Lycium  socotranum, Gnidia socotrana, Buxus hildebrandtii, Croton socotranus, Punica protopunica, Ficus vasta, Euphorbia socotrana, Jathropha unicostata, Mitolepis  intricata, Aloe perryi and Adenium obesum (Miller and Cope 1996)  . Several other moths endemic to Socotra were recorded in the same locality, such as Meharia yakovlevi Saldaitis & Ivinskis, 2010  ( Cossidae  ), Pelosia sokotrensis (Hampson, 1900)  ( Arctiidae  ), Cerocala socotrensis Hampson, 1899  , Agrotis brachypecten Hampson, 1899  , Plecoptera butkevicii Hacker & Saldaitis, 2010  , Acantholipes canofusca Hacker & Saldaitis, 2010  , Stenosticta wiltshirei Hacker, Saldaitis & Ivinskis, 2010  ( Noctuidae  ). The early stages remain unknown.

Etymology. The species name refers to the peculiar digitate basal projections of the uncus in the male genitalia.

Remark. S. digitibasella  sp. nov. is tentatively placed in a heterogeneous pascuella species –group.