BULLETIN OF THE ALLYN MUSEUM
THE ALLYN MUSEUM OF ENTOMOLOGY
Number 34 17 February 1976
STUDIES IN THE CASTNIIDAE
II. Descriptions of Three New
Species of Castnia, s. 1.
Jacqueline Y. Miller
Assistant Curator, Allyn Museum of Entomology
Since my last paper, I have been working on a revision of the higher classifi-
cation of the family Castniidae. There are, however, three new species which have
been brought to my attention which I now will describe in order to make the names
available to my colleagues. A number of prospective genera are involved in these
new species and in one case, the species' closest relatives still remain in doubt.
Again, I will follow Rothschild (1919) and Talbot (1919) and refer to the entire
genus as Castnia rather than use the generic assignments of Houlbert (1918)
and Oiticica (1955).
Castnia allyni, new species
Plate I (a), Text Figures 4 (venation), 5 (&genitalia)
Male: Head, thorax above dark brown with sparse dark rust scales. Abdomen
fuscous with larger scales delineating abdominal segments; first two segments
of abdomen above with spatulate possibly pheromone releasing scales. Head,
thorax, legs and abdomen below fuscous with interspersed ashen-gray scales.
Hair tuft end abdomen red-fulvous. Palpi, basal and median segments tawny;
terminal segment with distal edge tawny and basal surface fuscous. Antennae
above and below reddish-brown.
Forewing above, fuscous basad from costal to anal margin. Inverted bi-
furcate marking (P1. I) extends across end cell from costal margin to Cu2-1A;
fuscous globular marking near apex extends from costa to M2-M3; area inside
lighter in R2-R3, R3-R4 and R4-R5. Fuscous with rust overscaling at apex and along
lateral margin to Cuib-Cu2.
Hindwing above, ground color fuscous with spatulate, possibly pheromone
releasing scales below cell between cubital and anal stems; bright reddish-
orange extradiscal marking along lateral margin with veins darkened inside
reddish-orange marking; separate bright reddish-orange extradiscal spots in
Figures 1-3, Castnia. 1-2, Castnia subvaria Walker, upper (1) and under (2)
sides; "Palur". 3, Castnia rubrophalaris Houlbert (after Houlbert, 1918), 8,
upper (right) and under (left) sides; BRASIL: BAHIA: S. Antonio do Barra.
~21 ---- 0
Figures 4-6, Castnia. 4, C. allyni, new species, 3 venation. 5, C. allyni, 3
genitalia (Slide M-1792, Jacqueline Y. Miller). C. subuaria Walker, genitalic
capsule without aedeagus (Slide M-1793, Jacqueline Y. Miller).
Ms-Cuia, Cuia-Cub and CuLb-CU2. Two specimens in series had additional
markings in M1-M3 and M3-Cu a.
Forewing below with markings as above (P1. I). Reddish-orange overscaling
basad in Cub-Cu2, Cu2-1A and at anal angle; areas between fuscous markings
tawny; rust brown at apex and along lateral margin to Cui-Cu2; blackish-brown
spotband along outer margin from M2-M3 to Cuia-Cuib. Fringes above and below
fuscous, tawny at anal angle.
Hindwing below light fuscous basad and along inner margin; two blackish-
brown discal spotbands: (1) basal spotband extends from Sc+R,-Rs to Cuib-
Cu2; (2) distal spotband extends from M,-M3 to Cu2-1A. Reddish overscaling gives
an indication of reddish-orange extradiscal marking above. Prominent bright
reddish-orange extradiscal markings in Cu2-1A and 1A-2A; faint reddish-orange
extradiscal markings in M1-M3, M3-Cua and Cu1b-CU2. Veins accentuated in
ashen-gray distal half wing to outer margin. Fringes above and below ashen-
gray with interspersed tawny scales along costa to outer margin; rust brown at
anal angle and fuscous along inner margin. Length of forewing of Holotype
a 41 mm.; length of the forewing of the three male Paratypes range from 38 mm.
to 43 mm. (mean 40.25 mm.)
Male genitalia (Fig. 5) as illustrated. The robust genitalia capsule and long
curved aedeagus are quite characteristic of the "Synpalamides" group.
Described from four males.
HOLOTYPE 3: BRASIL: PARANA: Iguassu; 5.xii.1921. a genitalia slide
no. M-1792 (Jacqueline Y. Miller).
PARATYPES: 3 6, all same locality as the Holotype with the following
dates: 28.xi.1921; 30.xi.1921; 2.xii.1921.
Holotype and two Paratypes are returned to the collection of the British
Museum of Natural History. Through the kindness of the British Museum and
Mr. Allan Watson, one Paratype will be deposited in the collection of the Allyn
The forewing pattern and genitalia place this new species in the basically
Brasilian complex "Synpalamides" Huebner (1823). Houlbert misspelled the genus
"Sympalamides" and other workers (Rothschild, 1919, Talbot, 1919 and Oiticica,
1955) followed. Hemming (1937, 1967) and Scudder (1875) cited the name correctly.
C. allyni is closely related to subvaria Walker (Figs. 1, 2) and rubrophalaris
Houlbert (Fig. 3), but it differs from both species in that the upper surface hindwing
markings are not identical to those of the under surface: in subvaria and
rubrophalaris the orange markings of the upper surface hindwing are repeated on
the under surface. In both species the discal blackish-brown spotbands of the
under surface hindwing intersect in M3-Cu, a whereas in C. allyni, the point of
intersection is Cu2-1A.
The genitalia of most of the "Synpalamides" complex are basically of the same
configuration with the rather robust saccus and valvae. The aedeagus is not only
recurved as is characteristic of the family Castniidae, but it is also gently curved
laterally. Genitalically C. allyni (Fig. 5) differs from C. subvaria (Fig. 6)
in that the valvae protrude posteriad and the uncus is elongated. In C. subvaria
the valvae are more square-cut and the uncus is shortened.
At the suggestion of Mr. Allan Watson, it is indeed a great pleasure to name this
species in honor of our Director and colleague, Mr. Arthur C. Allyn.
Castnia estherae, new species
Plate I; Text Figures 7 (venation), 8, 9 (y genitalia)
Female: Head ashen-gray with interspersed fuscous scales; tegulae and
prothorax covered with ashen-gray basal and fuscous distal scales; remainder
of thorax dark brown with few gray-fuscous scales as described above. Abdomen
Figures 7-9, Castnia estherae, new species. 7, 9 venation. 8, 9 genitalia
(genitalia preparation M-3040-V, J. Y. Miller), dorsal view. 9, 9 genitalia (same
preparation), ventral view.
grayish, darkened at terminal segments; antennal shaft reddish-brown above and
below; club and apiculus white above, dark brown below. Palpi missing. Proboscis
appears shortened and fused with labium. Thorax below and legs tawny; abdomen
below tawny, darkened at end segments.
Forewing above (Pl. I) marked by two semi-hyaline bands with interspersed
white and dark gray-fuscous scales; one band extends from costa across end cell
to inner margin; second band two-thirds up wing, extends from costal margin to
Cu, a; area in cell between two semi-hyaline bands and at apex brown to dark brown;
two dentate submarginal bands, basal band brown and distal band gray-brown;
both bands lighter in CUlb-Cu2; lower third of wing below cell basad and along
inner margin appears gray but actually dark brown with interspersed tawny
Hindwing above, ground color reddish-brown with spatulate basal ashen-
gray scales from CuIa-Culb to 1A-2A; two distinguishable extradiscal spotbands:
white semi-hyaline band from Sc+R,-Rs to Cu2-1A with a single marking in each
space, lateral edge of each marking outlined in dark brown except comma-
shaped marking in Cu2-1A, which is totally surrounded by dark brown; second
extradiscal spotband extends from Sc+Ri-Rs to 1A-2A with markings in Sc+R,-Rs,
Rs-Mi and MI-M3 reddish-brown; doubled spot in Cu2-1A with spot toward costal
margin tawny with interspersed reddish-brown scales and the second marking
tawny, encased in dark brown; inverted comma-shaped marking in 1A-2A with
marking encircled in dark brown toward 1A, shading to reddish brown at 2A;
outer margin dark brown; inner margin gray basad shading to reddish-brown and
dark brown at anal angle.
Forewing below, tawny basad and toward inner margin; markings same as
above; reddish-brown along costal and basal edge of basal semi-hyaline band;
area between semi-hyaline bands and toward apex dark brown with interspersed
reddish-brown scales; submarginal markings same as above with distal band
dark brown edged in fuscous, shading to reddish-brown at anal angle. Fringes
above, fuscous, shading to ashen-gray at anal angle; fringes below, light fuscous,
shading to tawny at anal angle.
Hindwing below, tawny at base and along costal margin; ground color, dull
reddish-brown with tawny and fuscous overscaling; markings as above; basal
white semi-hyaline extradiscal spotband outlined in bright reddish-brown with
interspersed dark brown scales; distal extradiscal spotband poorly indicated,
but as above with additional reddish-brown overscaling; outer margin darkened
with interspersed tawny, dark brown and ashen-gray scales. Fringes above and
Length of forewing of Holotype 9, 47 mm.
HOLOTYPE 9: MEXICO: MICHOACAN: Purua; 13.iv.1965: T. Escalante,
The Holotype will be deposited in the collection of the Allyn Museum of
This new species of Castnia is unique in many ways. Usually a common
forewing marking or pattern or an extradiscal hindwing pattern gives a clue to
the species' close relatives. The forewing markings of C. estherae resemble closely
those of the true Castnia (=Elina Houlbert), but the combination of the forewing
and hindwing markings does not give any indication of any particular known
group or complex at this time. Genitalically this female is similar to that of C.
penelope Schaufuss (=C. icarus Cramer) and to a lesser extent that of C. escalantei,
new species (described below). Again, there is no conclusive evidence as to the
species' closest relatives.
It is my pleasure to name this species for Sra. Esther Arias de Escalante.
To the delight of collectors who have never captured a Castnia, Tarsicio Escalante,
Jr. collected this specimen by hand while it was perched on a rock and brought it
back to his father, Dr. Escalante, as a present.
Castnia escalantei, new species
Plate II; Text Figures 10 (venation), 11 (3 genitalia),
13, 14 (9 genitalia) 16, 17 (legs)
Male: Head, gray-brown; eye fringe buff. Thorax above, gray-brown, darker
anteriad; abdomen above and below gray-brown ringed with dark brown scales
at end segments. Antennae dark gray above, dark brown at tip of club; antennae
below with longitudinal brown striping on distal half. Palpi buff. Thorax below
ashen-brown; legs buff with dark brown tibial and tarsal spines.
Forewing above, gray-brown, darker basad; lighter bifurcate marking (P1.
II) extends across end cell and terminates in Cu2-1A; fuscous line at outer margin.
Hindwing above, ground color gray-brown. Prominent iridescent blue-
black markings extend from near costa across distal half wing; basal branch of
marking terminates in 1A-2A while outer branch extends as extradiscal spotband
and terminates in Cu b-Cu2; extradiscal branch and distal margin of basal branch
outlined in buff scales.
Forewing below: ground color warm ashen-brown; blue-black basad in cell
along transverse anterior line to Cu,-1A; globular blue-black marking outlined
in buff scales at end cell extends from R1-R2 to M2-M3; submarginal dentate
blue-black spotband outlined in buff scales extends from R3-R4 to Cuia-Culb
with faint markings in Culb-Cu2 and Cu2-1A. Forewing fringes above warm brown,
darker at tips; below grayer than above.
Hindwing below (P1. II), ground color warm gray-brown with interspersed
buff scales along costal margin; markings same as above with additional blue-
black marking in cell basad and interspersed buff overscaling on blue-black
markings; iridesence not present in blue-black markings of under surface. Hindwing
fringes above, warm gray-brown, darker at tips; below, grayer than above.
Length of forewing Holotype 3, 45 mm. Forewing lengths of male Paratypes
range from 40-45 mm. (mean 42.6 mm.). Male venation as illustrated
Male genitalia as illustrated (Fig. 11). Genitalic capsule and aedeagus great-
Female: ground color above and below much browner and duller than in
male; markings similar with additional iridescent blue-black marking in cell
of hindwing above and an additional iridescent blue extradiscal spot in Cu2-
1A of upper surface hindwing.
Forewing lengths of three females examined range from 55-58 mm. (mean,
Female genitalia as illustrated (Figs. 13, 14).
Described from eleven specimens, seven males and four females from Mexico.
HOLOTYPE 3: MEXICO: GUERRERO: Acahuizotla; viii.1973; A. Diaz
PARATYPES: MEXICO: CHIHUAHUA: Primavera; 30.vi.1947; 5500-
6000 ft.; Frank Johnson Coll., 28; MEXICO: GUERRERO: Mexcala; 22.vii.1966;
550 m.; Kent H. Wilson, 1&; MEXICO: GUERRERO: Rio Balzas to Iguala; 22-
26.viii.1904; Dr. Gadow, 13; MEXICO: GUERRERO: Acahuizotla; T. Escalante,
various dates: v.1958, 29; ix.1963, 19; same locality, 3.vi.1972; A. Diaz Frances,
13; MEXICO: MORELOS: Tepoztlan; 9.vi.1965; A. Diaz Frances, 19; MEXICO:
MORELOS: Rancho Viejo; viii.1973; A. Diaz Frances, 13.
The Holotype, one male and three female Paratypes will be deposited in the
collection of the Allyn Museum. The deposition of the remainder of the Paratypes
are as follows: 13, 19, private collection of A. Diaz Frances; 23, American Museum
of Natural History; 13 Inst. de Biologia, Univ. Nal. Auton. Mexico; and 13,
British Museum of Natural History.
A discussion of the relationship of escalantei in the Castniidae will follow
the description of Castnia chelone.
I am deeply indebted to Kent Wilson for bringing this species to my attention
in the summer of 1972 and at his urging, we visited Dr. Escalante in 1973, when
we first saw this new species in his collection. At this time we also visited with Sr.
Diaz Frances and observed two specimens of this new species in his collection.
Through his tireless efforts for nearly a half century Dr. Escalante has en-
Plate I, new species of Castnia. Top, Castnia allyni, new species, Holotype
S, upper (left) and under (right) sides; BRASIL: PARANA: Iguassu; 5.xii.1921.
Bottom, Castnia estherae, new species, Holotype 9, upper (left) and under (right)
sides; MEXICO: MICHOACAN: Purua; 13.iv.1965, T. Escalante.
courage many lepidopterists in the field and has supplied various researchers
with specimens necessary for their studies. It is a great honor to name this unusual
Castnia for a truly remarkable man and fellow lepidopterist, Dr. Tarsicio Escalante.
Castnia chelone Hopffer, 1857
Plate II; Text Figures 12 (S genitalia), 18, (leg)
Head, thorax, abdomen and antennae above and below as in escalantei.
Forewing above (Pl. II), ground color ashen-gray; lighter gray basad and along
inner margin, with markings similar but more prominent than in escalantei;
Plate II, Castnia. Top, Castnia escalantei, new species, Holotype 6, upper
(left) and under (right) sides; MEXICO: GUERRERO: Acahuizotla; viii.1973,
A. Diaz Frances. Bottom, Castnia chelone Hopffer, Lectotype S, upper (left)
and under (right) sides; MEXICO.
Figures 10-12, Castnia. Castnia escalantei, new species, 10, 6 venation.
11, 6 genitalia (genitalia preparation M-2543-V, Jacqueline Y. Miller). Figure
12, Castnia chelone Hopffer, 6 genitalia (Slide M-1794, J. Y. Miller).
basal branch of bifurcate marking tapered. Hindwing above, ground color
blackish-brown with ashen-gray at base; two tawny sine-curved lines extend
diagonally from Sc+R1-Rs to 1A-2A with interspace between lines blackish-brown.
No evidence of blue-black iridescence as in escalantei.
Forewing markings below same as in escalantei, accented in blackish-brown
and outlined heavily in buff; submarginal spotband not as dentate as in escalantei
(P1. II) and markings reduced in Ra-R4 and R4Rs. Hindwing markings below
similar to escalantei with extradiscal spotband reduced; distinct black marking
outlined in buff scales at end cell; no buff overscaling on black markings as in
Fringes of forewing and hindwing, above and below gray-brown, darker
and anal angle.
Male genitalia as illustrated (Fig. 12). Aedeagus reduced as in escalantei
but valvae have pronounced distal lobe.
Two specimens of Castnia chelone Hopffer were examined from the Zoologische
Museum der Humboldt-Universitat (ZMHU). One specimen bore a green label with
"Castnia chelone Hopffer, type" with the only data as Mexico. The second specimen
had more complete data with "MEXICO: Min del Monte, Coll. Sommer." Dr. Carlos
Beutelspacher informs me that the locality Min. del Monte is in the state of Hidalgo
in northern Mexico. A third specimen of Castnia chelone from the collection of the
British Museum was also examined which had no locality label but had a "Felder
Colln." label and another label which read, "Museum Berlin Type". All of the
specimens examined were males.
The original type series of Hopffer included two males and one female,
all from Mexico. The specimen figured on Plate II is the ZMHU specimen which bore
the green label and was indicated as the type. I hereby designate this specimen,
figured here, as the Lectotype of Castnia chelone Hopffer and have sent the
following red label to be placed on the specimen: "LECTOTYPE / Castnia chelone
/ Hopffer / designated by Jacqueline Y. Miller, 1975."
The specimen in the collection of the British Museum which bears the
label "Museum Berlin Type" is possibly a paralectotype, but this conclusion
is difficult to determine at this late date.
This has proven to be one of the most interesting projects thus far in my
work on the Castniidae. At first inspection it is obvious that the two species,
escalantei and chelone, are close relatives, and in the course of this investigation,
it was evident that a number of workers believed that they were in fact the same
species. Rothschild (1919) had listed two specimens of C. chelone, a male and a
female, in the collections at Tring. Upon examination and genitalic dissection
this "female" was found to be a male of Castnia escalantei and the male was
indeed a male of Castnia chelone. This particular specimen of C. escalantei
also was the only specimen in the type series with supernumerary veins at M1
and M2 of the forewing.
There are several characteristics which differentiate the two species, but
the most striking character is the blue iridescence on the hindwings in escalantei.
Various researchers have commented upon this fact and have inferred that the
absence of the blue iridescence in chelone was due to the presence of body fat on
the wings, which in turn would result in the greasy appearance found in some
older specimens of Castniidae and would also diminish and iridescence present
in chelone. Specimens of C. escalantei were observed to have higher concentra-
tions of fatty deposits during microscopic dissections and the older specimens of
escalantei still had some of these iridescent scales present.
Several other characteristics separate escalantei from chelone. The interspace
between the tawny sine-markings of the hindwing in chelone is blackish-brown
whereas in escalantei this area is ashen-brown. The venation of the holotype
Figures 13-18, Castnia. Castnia escalantei, new species, 9 genitalia (Slide
M-3028), dorsal (13) and ventral (14) views. 15, Castnia allyni, new species,
a foreleg. Castnia escalantei, new species, 3 foreleg (16) and metathoracic leg
(17). 18, Castnia chelone Hopffer, metathoracic leg.
of escalantei (Fig. 10) has a closed forewing cell, but other specimens approach
the weak tubular vein development at the end of cell seen in the examples of C.
chelone examined. There are tibial spines present on the metathoracic leg in
escalantei (Fig. 17) but absent in chelone (Fig. 18). The epiphysis of the foreleg
is not fully developed (Fig. 15) in either chelone or escalantei (Fig. 16). Genitali-
cally these species are distinct with a developed distal lobe on the valva in C.
As with the inca complex, I have omitted using the generic classification
of Houlbert (1918), which placed chelone in "Synpalamides" Hiibner, a pre-
dominately Brasilian group. Houlbert in his discussion was rather unsure of the
exact relationship of this Mexican species. It is obvious that C. chelone and C.
escalantei are one another's close relatives, but their genitalic configurations are
quite different from members of "Synpalamides" (Figs. 5, 11, 12). In the final
analysis chelone and escalantei probably will need a new generic or subgeneric
assignment, but the literature of the group is already so complicated that I am
reticent to do so here. Further work is in progress to clarify this situation.
No research work would be possible without the cooperation of many collectors
and numerous museum personnel. I would like to thank Dr. J. F. Gates Clarke,
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Dr. H. J.
Hannemann, Zoologische Museum der Humboldt-Universitiit (ZMHU), East
Berlin; Dr. Frederick H. Rindge, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
and Messrs. Richard Vane-Wright and Allan Watson, British Museum of Natural
History (BMNH) for providing comparative material in this study. Special thanks
are due Dr. Tarsicio Escalante, Sr. Alberto Diaz Frances, Mr. Allan Watson and
Mr. Kent Wilson for collecting and/or providing specimens for description.
Photographs were done by Mr. A. C. Allyn and Amanda Goethe. Special thanks
are due Mr. Allyn and my husband, Lee, for their comments during this study,
many of which have been incorporated into this manuscript.
Hemming, Francis, 1937. A bibliographical and systematic account of the
entomological works of Jacob Hiibner. Royal Ent. Soc. London, London:
Hemming, Francis, 1967. The generic names of the butterflies and their type-
species (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera). Bull. British Museum (Natural History),
Ent., Suppl. 9:509 pp.
Houlbert, C., 1918. Revision monographique de las sous-familie Castniinae. Et.
Lepid. Comp., 15: 730 pp.
Oiticica, Jose (Filho), 1955. RevisSo dos nomes genericos sul-americanos da
subfamilia Castniinae (Lepidoptera: Castniidae). Rev. Brasil Ent., 3:137-167.
Rothschild, W., 1919. Supplementary notes to the review of Houlbert and Oberthur's
monograph of Castniidae By Talbot and Prout. Novit. Zool., 16: 1-27.
Scudder, Samuel H., 1875. Historical sketch of the generic names proposed for
butterflies. Proc. American Acad. Arts Sci., Boston, 10:91-293.
Talbot, G., 1919. Review of a monograph of the "Castniinae". Novit. Zool., 16:28-34.