Panthea gigantea (French)

Anweiler, Gary G., 2009, Revision of the New World Panthea Hübner (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) with descriptions of 5 new species and 2 new subspecies, ZooKeys 9 (9), pp. 97-134 : 107-108

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.9.157

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Panthea gigantea (French)


Panthea gigantea (French)

Figs. 6-9 View Figures 1-11 , 48 View Figures 44-49 , 60 View Figures 58-68 , 70 View Fig

Platycerura gigantea French 1890: 134 .

Panthea gigantea (French) ; Smith 1891: 34; Franclemont and Todd 1963: 134. Diphthera gigantea (French) ; Draudt in Seitz 1924: 18.

Type material. Platycerura gigantea was described by French from a single male received from David Bruce from Colorado, where he is known to have traveled and collected widely ( Brown 1966). A search for the type, which was retained by French ( Smith 1893), has been unsuccessful and it is apparently lost, possibly in the fire that destroyed much of his collection in 1892 ( Southern Illinois University Carbondale 2009). As it appears the present concept of P. gigantea may encompass more than a single taxon, the following neotype is designated to establish stability of the name: Neotype male – “ CO [Colorado] / Larimer Co. [County]”; “Estes Park [40° 22.315' N 105° 31.645' W] / 15 July 1993 / R. A. Belmont / UV BL”; “ NEOTYPE / Platycerura / gigantea French / Anweiler 2009” [red label]; deposited in CNC. The neotype is a male missing the left antennae and showing minor greasing, but is otherwise in good condition. GoogleMaps

Diagnosis. Panthea gigantea is on average the largest New World species of Panthea with some females having a wingspan in excess of 6 cm. Only P. guatemala from southern Mexico and Guatemala and some populations of P. virginarius from the western USA overlap P. gigantea in size. The male of P. gigantea can be recognized by the combination of large size (FW length 22-27.5 mm), dark gray-black, or graybrown ( Mexico only) forewing and contrasting white hindwing, and can be separated from all other New World Panthea by the unique bifurcate uncus. The female of P. gigantea can be separated from that of P. guatemala by range ( Fig. 70 View Fig ) and by the much less extensively sclerotized ductus bursae of P. gigantea ( Fig. 60 View Figures 58-68 ) and from the female of P. virginarius ( Fig. 61 View Figures 58-68 ) by the much larger and more heavily sclerotized sterigma of P. gigantea .

Distribution and biology. Panthea gigantea is found throughout much of the warmer and drier regions of western North America from south-central British Columbia, Canada south to the state of Durango, Mexico and from the Black Hills of South Dakota, western Nebraska and the Texas Panhandle west to Washington, Oregon and the coast of California ( Fig. 70 View Fig ). Panthea gigantea is replaced in the cooler and more humid Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountain regions by P. virginarius . Panthea gigantea is associated with Ponderosa pine forest ( Pinus ponderosa Dougl. [ex Laws.]), and Ponderosa pine is the only known larval host. ( Duncan 2006; Anweiler unpub.). The larva of P. gigantea was illustrated in color by Duncan (2006).

Remarks. Compared to material from farther north and west, specimens of P. gigantea from Arizona and New Mexico show differences in the genitalia of both sexes, including in the proportions and shape of the valve in the male and the width and length of the ductus bursae in the female. DNA ‘barcode’ fragment data of cox1 mtD- NA for 6 specimens from Arizona and New Mexico show a mean difference of about 1.7 % from two specimens from Idaho and British Columbia, and sequence from a single specimen from west central California is about 1.8 % divergent from the Idaho- British Columbia samples and about 0.8 % divergent from the Arizona-New Mexico samples (Anweiler unpublished data). The forewings of the four Mexican specimens examined are gray brown instead of gray black with a less “powdery” appearance, so the antemedial, medial and postmedial lines contrast much more prominently than on non-Mexican material ( Figs. 8, 9 View Figures 1-11 ). Additional and more recent material is needed in order to evaluate the taxonomic status of these different P. gigantea populations.














Panthea gigantea (French)

Anweiler, Gary G. 2009

Panthea gigantea (French)

Smith JB 1891: 34

Platycerura gigantea French 1890: 134

French GH 1890: 134