BULLETIN OF THE ALLYN MUSEUM
THE ALLYN MUSEUM OF ENTOMOLOGY
Number 4 26 May 1972
A NEW RIODINID FROM NORTHERN ARGENTINA
Lee D. Miller
Curator, Allyn Museum of Entomology
Jacqueline Y. Miller
Assistant Curator, Allyn Museum of Entomology
In the autumn of 1971 the Rev. Robert C. Eisele, a missionary stationed
in Pichanal in the Province of Salta, Argentina, stopped by the Museum with
some butterflies that he had been unable to determine. Among these was a
fascinating tawny and blackish specimen that Rev. Eisele stated had been
identified variously as a moth and as a butterfly. This specimen looked rather
like an exceedingly aberrant riodinid of some kind, but Eisele mentioned that
he had taken several specimens in his time at Pichanal and asked if we would
be interested in trying to place a definitive identification on the specimen. He
left the specimen with us, and close critical examination of the specimen
showed that it was a riodinid, as we had suspected, apparently representing a
new genus, as well as a new species. Subsequently he sent ten more specimens
of both sexes, and this series is the basis of the description which follows.
EISELEIA, new genus
Type species : Eiseleia pichanalensis, new species
Eyes naked. Palpi slender, porrect and parallel: third segment slender,
approximately one-third length of second (not as long as in Aricoris or
Orimba). Antennae of about 50 segments, slightly more than half length of
forewing with a very weak club.
Forewing (Fig. 1) rather similar to that of Aricoris (Stichel, 1911: pl.
22): cell about two-fifths length of wing; R, and R, arising somewhat more
proximad than in Aricoris or Orimba; M1 arising near to, but not connate
with, Rs; and M,-M3 more weakly developed than M1-M,. Hindwing rather
more similar to that of Orimba (Stichel, 1911: pl. 22) than to Aricoris: cell
about two-fifths length of wing; humeral vein curved distad: Rs arising near
Figs. 1-5: Eiseleia pichanalensis, all figures drawn from Paratypes. 1,
S venation. 2, 8 foreleg (drawn twice relative size to Fig. 3). 3, 9 fore-
leg. 4, S genitalia. 5, 9 genitalia.
to, but not connate with, M,; Cu, arising nearer base than end of cell; M2
arising nearer M, than M,; M2-M3 weaker than M1-M2; 3A shorter, as in
Male foreleg (Fig. 2) much aborted, stubbier than in either Orimba or
Aricoris: tibia very short, monomerous tarsus about half the length of tibia.
Female foreleg (Fig. 3) rather similar to those of Orimba and Aricoris, but
bearing spurs on first and fourth tarsal subsegments.
Male genitalia as figured (Fig. 4): rather closer to Aricoris and Audre
(St., 1911: pl. 22, as Hamearis) than to Orimba. The penis is long and
pointed as in Aricoris, but the valvae are more similar to those of Audre.
Female genitalia as figured (Fig. 5).
Eiseleia pichanalensis, new species
Male (Figs. 6, 7): Head tawny above, white around eyes. Antennae
black. Palpi black above, white below. Thorax brownish-black clothed with
tawny hairs above, white ones below. Legs black, white laterally. Abdomen
blackish-brown above, gray-brown below.
Forewing above tawny, broadly blackish-brown at apex narrowing along
outer margin to anal angle; blackish-brown apical area enclosing tawny spots
in R.-M, toward tornus; these spots gradually merging with tawny ground-
color posteriad (in one Paratype these tawny spots only vaguely indicated).
Hindwing above tawny with narrow dark border, prolonged proximad along
veins Rs and M,; dark marking of under surface showing through on this
surface. Fringes of both wings white checkered with black at ends of veins.
Forewing below tawny white between veins along costa, apex, outer
margin and all veins from Sc to Cux darkened (radial and medial veins
strongly blackened); a white spot at end of cell. Hindwing below white with
all veins strongly brownish-black, as in figure. Fringes below as on upper
Length of forewing of Holotype & 19.5 mm., those of the seven & Para-
types ranging from 18.5 to 20.5 mm., averaging 19.5 mm.
Male genitalia (Fig. 4) similar to those of members of the Aricoris-
Orimba-Audre somplex (Stichel, 1911: pl. 22).
Female (Figs. 9, 10): Head, thorax, abdomen, and appendages similar to
those of 3, but tawny hairs replaced by cream-colored ones. Upper surface
similar to that of 3, but ground color paler (pale tawny on forewing and
cream-colored on hindwing) and dark markings slightly more extensive, es-
pecially on hindwing. Under surface as in a.
Female genitalia (Fig. 5) as figured.
Lengths of forewings of the three 9 Paratypes ranging from 21.5 to
22.0 mm., averaging 21.8 mm.
Ultraviolet pattern (Figs. 8., 11): Male (Fig. 8) with low level of re-
flectance on pale portions of upper surface, especially strong on hindwing at
anal angle and on fringes. Antennae somewhat reflective. Female (Fig. 11),
by contrast, with pale part of upper surface highly reflective on both wings;
light portions of fringes also very reflective.
Described from eleven specimens, eight males and three females, from the
vicinity of Pichanal, Salta, Argentina, hence the specific name.
HOLOTYPE S: ARGENTINA: SALTA: 1 km. NE Pichanal, 28-x-1971
(R. C. Eisele).
PARATYPES: Same locality as Holotype: 1 19 10-x-1968; 2 10-iv-
1970; 1 26-x-1971; 1 6-xi-1971; 19 22-xi-1971; 19 29-x-1971; 1 km. NW
Pichanal: 1 S 10-x-1968 (all R. C. Eisele).
The holotype, three male and two female Paratypes will be deposited in
the Allyn Museum of Entomology. The remaining four male and one female
Paratypes are being returned to Rev. Eisele for eventual distribution by him.
Rev. Eisele (in. litt.) informs us that Eiseleia pichanalensis flies in rather
open, drier parts of the "chaco" or "monte" (thorn scrub). This is an area
dominated by quebracho and agarrobal trees and small shrubs with very
sparse ground cover. The butterfly is a weak flier, but its habit of flying in
and out of the thorny bushes make capture difficult. The habitat preference
of the present species suggests a closer affinity to Audre than to the forest
dwelling Orimba and Aricoris.
The ultraviolet pattern (Figs. 8, 11) of the present species is distinctive
and in direct contrast with those patterns shown in various Pieridae (Nekru-
tenko, 1964, in press; Silberglied, in preparation) in that the female is the
strongly reflective sex (Fig. 11). The male demonstrates very limited areas
of strong reflectance (Fig. 8), but definite ones, nevertheless. A possible ex-
planation involves mate-location as seems indicated in some pierid work. The
female may rest on the ground or in low herbage where her coloration would
blend with that of the dry earth in the "visual spectrum", but under ultra-
violet light she would become highly visible to the male. It is further postu-
lated that the male's ultraviolet-reflecting fringe spots and antennae may
serve as secondary recognition symbols in the courtship ritual.
We would, of course, like to thank Rev. Eisele for the opportunity to ex-
amine and describe this remarkable riodinid. Mr. Harry Clench was a great
help in comparing this species with other described ones. The photographs
were done by Mr. A. C. Allyn, who was also involved in the discussions which
led to the proposed explanation of the ultraviolet pattern.
Nekrutenko, Y. P., 1964. The hidden wing-pattern of some Palearctic species
of Gonepteryx and its taxonomic value. Jour. Res. Lep., 3: 65-68; ill.
Stichel, H., 1911. Fam. Riodinidae, in Wytsman, P., Genera Insectorum,
Brussels, P. Wytsman: 452 pp.; ill.
Figs. 6-11: Eiseleia pichanalensis. Figs. 6-8. Holotype 8 upper (6) and
under (7) surfaces under visible light; upper surface under ultraviolet light
(8). 9-11, Paratype 9 upper (9) and under (10) surfaces under visible light;
upper surface under ultraviolet light (11).