provided by Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology
Ethmia charybdis Powell, 1971:31
A unique, gray, California species with very reduced mouthparts and extraordinarily elongate legs and wings.
MALE.–Length of forewing 10.6 mm. Head: Labial palpus very small, scarcely protruding beyond the clypeus; total length including first segment about 0.6 eye diameter, second and third segments subequal in length, each less than 0.15 eye diameter; scaling whitish. Antenna not dilated, width of shaft near base about 0.15 eye diameter; densely setate all around; sparsely scaled, gray. Tongue vestigial, unsealed. Scaling of front whitish ventrally, becoming dark gray-brown at crown. Thorax: Dorsal scaling mixed dark gray and whitish; metathoracic brushes sparse, not reaching the unsealed scutellum. Underside scaling shining pale gray. Legs extraordinarily long and thin; prothoracic leg with tibia + tarsi length: eye diameter ratio, about 6.2:1 (range about 2.9 to 4.6:1 in other Ethmia; mesothoracic and metathoracic legs not as disproportionately elongate, the differential between the three more than in other Ethmia). Forewing: Extremely narrow, length 4.2 times width; costa straight for most of its length, termen slightly convex, broadly curved to dorsum, tornal angle scarcely evident. Ground color gray, heavily overlaid with whitish, especially on dorsal half, the dividing line separating gray costal half not well defined; a slightly elongate white spot at end of cell; some blackish scaling tending to form longitudinal lines between the veins in distal half and a subterminal line in tornal area. Fringe pale grayish with a dark streak just below apex. Underside gray, the white mark at end of cell reproduced; fringe whitish. Hindwing: Slightly narrower than and proportionately as elongate as forewing; costal area simple, costal margin nearly straight, apex round, termen flattened, nearly straight to dorsum (shape similar to Holcocera or Borkhausenia). Ground color pale gray; fringe whitish. Underside similar. Abdomen: Dorsal scaling mixed grayish and whitish; ventral whitish. Genitalia as in Figure 58 (drawn from holotype, JAP prep. no. 2555; one preparation examined); similar to E. albitogata, gnathos dentate along entire length, basal processes small, membranous, setate; valva produced into a short, recurved spur apically.
TYPE.–Holotype male: California, Big Panoche Creek at San Benito-Fresno County line, April 20, 1967, reared from Amsinckia tessellata, emerged after September, 1967 (J. Powell and P. A. Rude, JAP 67D87); unique, in California Academy of Sciences.
REMARKS.–Although characteristics of the male genitalia ally this species with the Albitogata group and other members of the genus in western North America, the greatly modified morphological features of mouthparts, wings, and legs indicate a strong divergence by E. charybdis from its congeners. No doubt these characters would have given the moth a monotypic generic assignment had it been described prior to a study in which the male genitalia represent the emphasis on classification. The eyes are large, suggesting that the adults may be nocturnal, but whether they fly in late fall or early spring is unknown. Diurnal surveys in February and March have failed to reveal the moths’ presence. Colonies of this species may be expected along the western edge of the San Joaquin Valley and northern part of the Mojave Desert, according to the distribution of the food plant and of other insect species that occur at the type locality.
The Semilugens Group
Eye index 0.7–1.0. Maxillary palpus moderately large or large, 4 segments of subequal or 2:2:1:2 lengths. Labial palpus moderately elongate, II segment index 1.1–1.5, vestiture smooth. Antenna of male not dilated to dilated, index 0.18 to 0.28. Forewing moderately broad to narrow; pattern costal-dorsal. Hindwing of male with or without costal hair pencil, fold lacking. Abdomen yellow or gray; anal scaling undifferentiated. Uncus hoodlike; gnathos dentate anteriorly and posteriorly; basal processes membranous, rudimentary or broad; valva, fultura-manica, and vesica without armature. Papillae anales weakly or heavily sclerotized, setate; posterior apophyses not elongate; anterior apophyses broad; sterigma simple; antrum undifferentiated or enlarged with sclerotized band; ductus bursae membranous, 3–11 tight coils; signum a dentate bar or nondentate fold.
A somewhat diverse assemblage of 10 species in the western United States. Phenetic similarity values indicate that Ethmia apicipunctella and E. epileuca are marginal members; the latter is the only member with short palpi, narrow forewings, and nondilated antenna in the male. Phenetic results indicate a relationship for E. epileuca with the Albitogata group, but it has large eyes. Three species, E. albistrigella, E. nadia, and E. orestella have small eyes but in other respects show similarity to the E. semilugens group, and may be secondarily diurnal due to their occurrence at high elevations. Ethmia arctostaphylella has an intermediate eye size and appears to be primarily crepuscular (Powell, 1971).
This group is similar to and perhaps a component of the Palearctic Dodecella group of Sattler (1967).
Ethmia albistrigella (Walsingham)
Psecadia albistrigella Walsingham, 1880:89.
Ethmia albistrigella.–Dyar, 1902:203.–Busck, 1909b:184 [synonymy].–Barnes and Busck, 1920, pl. 26, 34.–Braun, 1921a:12.–McDunnough, 1939:82.–Clarke, 1950:161.–Powell, 1959:135; 1971:35 [biol.].
Breckenridgia (error) chrysurella Dietz, 1905:42.
Brackenridgia chrysocomella–Busck (not Dietz, 1905), 1906a, 8:348.
A moderately small moth having black wings and yellow abdomen, the forewings marked by a distinct white longitudinal streak. The typical race is widespread in the mountains of western North America.
MAP 18.–Geographical distribution of members of the Ethmia Albistrigella complex.
E. nadia Clarke E. a. albistrigella (Walsingham) E. orestella Powell
- bibliographic citation
- Powell, Jerry A. 1973. "A systematic monograph of New World Ethmiid moths (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea)." Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. 1-302. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810282.120
Ethmia charybdis: Brief Summary
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Ethmia charybdis is a moth in the family Depressariidae. It is found in California, United States.
The length of the forewings is about 10.6 mm (0.42 in). The ground color of the forewings is gray, heavily overlaid with whitish, especially on the dorsal half. The ground color of the hindwings is pale gray.
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