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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #409752

Research Project: Systematics of Beetles, Flies, Moths and Wasps with an Emphasis on Agricultural Pests, Invasive Species, Biological Control Agents, and Food Security

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Revision of the type species of Syllepte Hübner and other spilomeline genera recently synonymized (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)

item Solis, M Alma
item MALLY, RICHARD - Czech University Of Life Sciences Prague
item HAYDEN, J - Florida State Department Of Agriculture
item NUSS, M - Dresden University

Submitted to: Zootaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/29/2023
Publication Date: 12/20/2023
Citation: Solis, M.A., Mally, R., Hayden, J.E., Nuss, M. 2023. Revision of the type species of Syllepte Hübner and other spilomeline genera recently synonymized (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). Zootaxa. 343-361.

Interpretive Summary: One of the largest groups of snout moths with hundreds of species is widely known to be a “waste bin” group, mostly because the included species have never been subjected to a morphological or molecular analysis. The primary issue is the identity of the type species, described in the early 1800’s by Hübner, and known only from a couple of paintings, and so to begin to resolve issues associated with this group, we select a neotype, or a new type specimen, to clarify and validate its identity. We provide a diagnosis, a redescription, and a list of species that belong in this circumscribed group whose larvae are known to feed on the mallow plant family that includes okra, cotton, and cacao. We also provide morphological diagnoses and descriptions for other groups in the subfamily that have been confused with this “waste bin” group and show that they are natural groups and valid. Finally, we provide two lists of 196 species, New World and Old World, of still misplaced species and the country from where they were described to facilitate research worldwide. This publication will be utilized by researchers and U.S. quarantine personnel who are interested in the identity and validity of species that feed on economically important plants of the mallow family.

Technical Abstract: The identity of Syllepte Hübner, 1819–21 is revised by designating a neotype from Neomabra Dognin, 1905, rev. syn., for the type species S. incomptalis Hübner, 1819–21 because the original type material is lost and we consider it to be congeneric with Syllepte. We redescribe Syllepte based on S. incomptalis and S. nitidalis, rev. comb., and distinguish it from Hileithia Snellen, 1875 another member of the Herpetogrammatini. We elevate Syleptinae [sic] Swinhoe, 1900 to tribal level as Sylleptini, new stat., replacing the junior name Herpetogrammatini Mally, Hayden, Neinhuis, Jordal & Nuss, 2019, new syn. Pantographa Lederer, 1863 and Micromartinia Amsel, 1957 are redescribed, diagnosed, and restored to their status as valid genera, rev. stat., in the tribe Agroterini. We designate lectotypes for Neomabra nitidalis Dognin, new lectotype, rev. stat., and Pantographa scripturalis (Guenée, 1854), new lectotype, rev. stat., to stabilize the names of these species. Pantographa is compared to Haritalodes Warren, 1890. We newly combine Pantographa gorgonalis Druce, 1895, new comb., rev. stat., with Micromartinia. One hundred and ninety-six species are listed that remain misplaced in the polyphyletic Syllepte and need further revision to determine their identity and proper generic placement.