BULLETIN OF THE ALLYN MUSEUM
THE ALLYN MUSEUM OF ENTOMOLOGY
Number 7 6 November 1972
NEW HIGH-ALTITUDE HESPERIINAE FROM
MEXICO AND ECUADOR (HESPERIIDAE)
Lee D. Miller
Curator, Allyn Museum of Entomology
Jacqueline Y. Miller
Assistant Curator, Allyn Museum of Entomology
The usual picture of collecting in the Neotropics involves thoughts of chopping
through the jungle and the tremendous diversity of butterflies in great numbers
just waiting for the lepidopterist's net. In limited areas this picture is at least
partially accurate, but much of the tropical country is not jungle, and in order to
sample an area thoroughly the less lush environments must be collected, too.
The desert areas are beginning to be better known through the work of many
lepidopterists in recent years, and the scrub and savanna areas have been
sampled off and on by lepidopterists throughout the tropics.
The montane areas, however, are still poorly collected and are a fertile
source of new species, especially in the less spectacular groups, for a variety of
reasons. The altitude itself makes collecting difficult and deters many from
collecting in the mountains. The weather is seldom conducive to collecting
for sun-loving Lepidoptera: in fact, the paucity of decent collecting weather often
precludes more than token visits to such localities by transient collectors who are
generally on a rigid time schedule. Even if the weather is perfect for collecting,
the high altitudes never yield as large a catch as do the lowlands, and this, too,
serves to discourage many collectors from trying their luck in the mountains.
Related to this last point and the basic reason why so many undescribed species
still await discovery in the mountains is the fact that few professional
collecotrs, whose livelihood depends on getting as many specimens as possible in a
given time, have collected in these montane areas, and many species have
not been encountered by them, whereas most of the lowland species have been taken
by the professionals at one time or another. We have long been fascinated by
the montane Neotropical habitats and have sent our collectors to as many
of these as we could, as well as collecting them ourselves whenever the
The results of these collections from the high country have been most
encouraging (Miller & Miller, 1970); not only have new species been encountered,
but also information on some previously described, but very poorly known species
has been obtained. It has been our experience that very little that is collected at
such high altitude stations is not worthwhile, and with the present state of
knowledge we feel free to say that collecting in the high country for any
reasonable period of time virtually assures that the lepidopterist will take
something new to science or will rediscover a "lost" species. The hesperiids are
a particularly fertile source of new information, and we hope that the new
genus and the new species described herein will spark enthusiasm in
collectors for these areas and will thereby increase our knowledge of the
All of the skippers described below are Hesperiinae, belonging to Evans'
(1955) groups H, I and M. The arrangement is that of Evans (1955). All are from
Mexico and Ecuador.
Dalla roeveri, new species
Figures 1, 2 (8), 14 (a genitalia)
Male-female: Sexes similar. Head, thorax and abdomen blackish-brown
clothed above with gray-brown hairs, below with dense olive-tan hairs. Antenna
brown above ringed with buff, whitish below; club brown above, whitish
below; nudum reddish-brown. Palpus clothed with dense blackish-brown hairs
above, olive-tan ones below. Legs densely clothed with olive-tan hairs.
Forewing above uniformly fuscous with a coppery sheen, bearing white
extradiscal spots in R:-R,, R4-Rs (usually), R,-M,, M;:-Cu, and two in Cu,-Cu2,
one in line with other extradiscal spots and one at base of space, just under the
cell-spot(s); two (occasionally none or only one) white cell-spots.
Hindwing above fuscous with a slight coppery sheen,sparse brownish-black
hairs at base and along veins, with white extradiscal spots in Sc+Ri-Rs (may be
absent), M,-M2, M2-M1: and Cui-Cu2.
Forewing below fuscous overscaled with fulvous costad and apically and
bearing spots as on upper surface, plus an additional white spot at end of cell.
Hindwing below fuscous overscaled with fulvous with two prominent white
bars, one from base to end of vein Mi and one along length of vein 2A, a short
white bar along M2 and submarginal white spots in Rs-M,, M:-Cul and
Cu1-Cu2 (occasionally a second set of spots just outside the cell; rarely all
Fringes of both wings gray-brown above, darker at the tips, and gray-
Length of forewing of Holotype S 11.0 mm., those of the 42 S Paratypes
ranging from 9.5 to 11.0 mm., averaging 10.3 mm., those of the three 9 Paratypes
ranging from 10.5 to 11.0 mm., averaging 10.8 mm.
3 genitalia as figured.
Described from 46 specimens, 43 males and three females, from Morelos,
Mexico, near the Distrito Federal border.
HOLOTYPE 8: MEXICO: MORELOS: 5 [road] mi. N. Tres Marias, 3020 m.,
grassland/parkland forest, 23.viii.1967 (LDM specimen no. 1967-430)
(L. D. & J. Y. Miller).
PARATYPES: 42d 39, same data as Holotype.
The Holotype, 39 male and three female Paratypes will be deposited in
the Allyn Museum of Entomology; one male Paratype will be placed in the
collection of the Direccion General de la Faune Silvestre, Mexico, D. F.,
Mexico; one male Paratype will be placed in the collection of H. A. Freeman,
Garland, Texas; and one male Paratype will be placed in the collection of
Kilian Roever, Phoenix, Arizona.
We take great pleasure in naming this distinctive skipper for our friend
Kilian Roever of Phoenix, Arizona, in recognition of his work and interest in
the Hesperiidae, especially the Dalla-Piruna complex.
D. roeveri will key rather near, but not identical to D. bubobon Dyar or
D. pulchra (Godman) in that the under surface of the hindwing is darker, and
the under side of the forewing lacks the whitish shading mentioned by Evans
(1955). We have seen the type of bubobon and pictures of that of pulchra,
however, and D. roeveri is abundantly distinct from both.
This species seems to be very local. The entire type-series was collected
in open grassland with scattered trees along a railroad siding, and the butterflies
were not found elsewhere in the area. The field had been lightly grazed by
cattle. There were very few butterfly species present in this locality:
Nymphalis antiopa (Linn6), Oarisma garita calega (Godman), two species of
Paratrytone (see below) and Hemiargus i. isolus (Reakirt), in addition to
D. roeveri, the commonest butterfly. While D. roeveri was shy and difficult
to approach, some specimens were rather pugnacious toward their own species.
Nylla, new genus
Figure 13 (3 venation)
Type species: Nylla cordillera, new species.
Antenna greater than half, but less than two-thirds length of forewing
costa; club occupying distal third of antenna; apiculus long, greater than
width of club; nudum of 12 segments, three on club, nine on apiculus. Palpi erect,
second segment subquadrate, third segment short and conical. Mid-and hindtibia
with single pairs of spurs. Forewing vein Cu2 arising much nearer base than end
of cell. Forewing with three brands: a sagittate one just above origin of Cu2
and along cell, a long one below origin of Cu, and a small one just below the last
brand and above 2A (Fig. 13).
Superficially this genus most closely resembles Molo Godman and
Racta Evans, but certain characteristics separate Nylla from either of these
or from any other described genus. The brands on the forewing of Nylla are not
repeated in either Molo or Racta (neither of which have any brands). The
nudum with its 3/9 formula more closely approximates the situation in
Zalomes Bell, a genus of small, closely related skippers bearing somewhat
different brands; Molo and Racta have a slightly longer apiculus and a nudum
formula of 3/10 or 4/10. The male genitalia more closely approximate those of Racta.
We incline toward the view that despite the superficial resemblance to
Molo and Racta, Nylla is structurally closer to Zalomes, which flies with it
on the slopes of the Ecuadorian volcanic peaks, and the present genus may be a
high-altitude offshoot of Zalomes.
Two species have been found which refer to this genus, both known only
from montane Ecuador.
Nylla cordillera, new species
Figures 3, 4 (8), 15 (a genitalia)
Male: Head, thorax and abdomen blackish-brown covered with olive-fulvous
hairs above and mixed tan and fulvous ones below on head and thorax, light tan
hairs on ventral surface of abdomen. Antenna and club reddish-brown above,
fulvous below; nudum bright orange-fulvous. Palpi olive-fulvous above, mixed
tan and fulvous hairs below. Legs clothed with fulvous hairs, light tan ones on
inner margins of femur and tibia.
Forewing above fuscous, basal half of costa fulvous (entering upper
part of cell) and with an extradiscal fulvous band from R4-R, to middle of
inner margin (spots in M:,-Cui and CuI-Cu2 subhyaline).
Hindwing above fuscous with fulvous basal hairs and a broad central
fulvous patch partly in cell and extending from M_-M2 to 2A-3A, patch distally
constricted in Cui-Cu,.
Forewing below with central blackish-brown area, reddish-fulvous along costa
and broadly greenish-gold apically, with pale central band as above, but
terminating in Cu,-2A.
Hindwing below greenish-gold, anal area blackish-brown and with fulvous
cell spot and complete extradiscal series of spots.
Fringes on both surfaces bright fulvous, darkened costally on both wings.
Length of forewing of Holotype a 18.0 mm., those of the 20 3 Paratypes
ranging from 16.0 to 19.0 mm., averaging 17.3 mm.
The S genitalia as illustrated, differing from those of N. allynorum, n. sp.,
chiefly by the coarser teeth at the distal end of the valvae.
Female: Quite similar to 6, but fulvous markings of fore- and hindwings
above reduced and markings below more striking than in that sex: fulvous and
gold overscaling costally and marginally with fulvous spots from R2-Rij to M2 -M:;
in greenish-gold apical patch and pale spotband reduced on forewing; hindwing
not as green as in 5 with reddish-brown discal and extradiscal spots more
prominent and gold-brown shading in cell.
Length of forewing of the three 9 Paratypes range from 19.0 to 10.0 mm.,
averaging 19.7 mm.
Described from 24 specimens, 21 males and three females from the high
mountains of Ecuador.
HOLOTYPE S: ECUADOR: COTOPAXI: Milimbanco, 4090 m., vi.1970
(R. de Lafebre); a genitalia slide no. M-2197 (Lee D. Miller).
PARATYPES: 58, same data as Holotype; 53, same locality and date as
Holotype, but 3800 m. elevation; 36, same locality as Holotype, 4090 m., i.1971;
1 ECUADOR: COTOPAXI: Rio Mulatos, 3800 m., iv.1971; 35 ECUADOR:
PICHINCHA: La Viudilla, 3500m., vii.1971; 3( 39, ECUADOR: IMBABURA: Volcan
Cotacachi, 3750 m., xi.1971 (all R. de Fafebre).
This species may be distinguished from the next by its smaller size, darker
general appearance, the greenish-gold (rather than reddish-gold) aspect
of the under surface and by the male genitalia.
Apparently N. cordillera is the commoner of the two species in the genus and
has been found in more localities to date. The present distribution of this species is
the northern half of upland Ecuador, but the Cotacachi locality is so near the
Colombian border that we expect N. cordillera to be found there in the future.
Members of this genus are restricted to the very high Andean peaks, none having
been taken below 3500 m., in company with a great many Pronophilini
(Satyridae) and only a few other butterflies in this severe (for the tropics)
Nylla allynorum, new species
Figures 5, 6 (5), 7, 8 (9), 16 (5 genitalia)
Male: Head, thorax and abdomen blackish-brown covered above with
fulvous hairs; head covered with fulvous hairs below, thorax and abdomen
clothed with brighter fulvous hairs. Antenna reddish-fulvous above, fulvous below;
nudum rust-brown. Palpi olive-fulvous above, first segment light tan below,
second and third segments clothed with fulvous to reddish-fulvous hairs
below. Legs covered with olive-fulvous hairs.
Forewing above dark brown with veins narrowly fulvous and costa
reddish-fulvous blending into bright fulvous band around end of cell to inner
margin, terminating near base; spots in M,-Cul and Cu1-Cu2 subhyaline. Androconial
patches more prominent than in N. cordillera, much darker than ground color.
Hindwing above dark brown, paler at costa and with veins narrowly
fulvous; large central bright fulvous patch outside cell from M1-M2 to Cu2-2A, nearest
margin in M1-M2.
Forewing below posteriorly blackish-brown, reddish-fulvous along costa,
grading to gold at apex, with pale band as on upper surface but terminating at 2A;
subhyaline spots in M:C-Cu and CuI-Cu2 not contrasting with remainder of
band as much as on upper surface.
Hindwing below gold with slight greenish cast, anal stripe blackish-brown
with slight fulvous overscaling, with reddish-brown cell spot, complete row of
extradiscal spots and marginal spots to M3-Cu,.
Fringes on both wings fulvous above, darker toward apex of forewing
and middle of hindwing; fringes below more golden on both wings and
darkened as above.
Length of forewing of 5 Holotype 20.0 mm., that of the single S Paratype 21.0 mm.
The a genitalia as figured, differing from those of N. cordillera in the finer
Female: Upper surface similar to that of &, but duller, with a definite
fulvous overscaling of the dark areas and reduced fulvous markings, especially
of forewing. Below as in 5, but with a very strong reddish cast to all elements of pattern.
Length of forewing of the 9 Paratype 23.0 mm.
Described from three specimens, two males and a female, from the slopes
of Volcan Cotopaxi, Ecuador.
HOLOTYPE 5: ECUADOR: COTOPAXI: Milimbanco, 4090 m., xi.1970
(R. de Lafebre); S genitalia slide M-2217 (Jacqueline Y. Miller).
PARATYPES: 16 19, same data as Holotype.
The type-series is in the collection of the Allyn Museum of Entomology.
This species is named for Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Allyn.
The most noticeable characteristics which set this species apart from
N. cordillera are its larger size, redder general appearance and minor genitalic
differences as can be seen in the figures.
So far this species does not appear to be as widespread nor as common as
does N. cordillera with which the present species is associated at Milimbanco.
Paratrytone capta, new species
Figures 9, 10 (8), 17 (( genitalia)
Male-female: Sexes similar: female wings slightly broader. Head, thorax
and abdomen dark brown clothed with olive-brown hairs above, olive-tan ones below.
Antenna brown above, tan below; nudum fawn-colored. Legs brown with fulvous'
Forewing above warm brown with fulvous overscaling and marked as
follows: gold subapical spots in Ra-R, R4-R1 and R.-Mi; extradiscal fulvous
spots in M2-M:, (small), M:-Cu, and Cu1-Cu2 (occasionally a faint one in Cu2-2A);
no cell spot.
Hindwing above warm brown with fulvous hairs basally and in posterior
half of wing, bearing small fulvous extradiscal spots in M,-M2 (always), M,-M3 and
Forewing below fulvous along costa, around and within cell, reddish-brown
at apex (with a few white scales in R4-R9) and marginally and dark brown in
posterior half of wing, with markings as follows: three white subapical spots, a
gold extradiscal spot in M -M., subhyaline fulvous extradiscal spots in
M:,-Cu, and Cu -Cu2 and a small fulvous streak in Cu2-2A.
Hindwing below reddish-brown with white scaling along costa and margin,
fulvous scaling humerally, at end of cell and near tornus and with a broken
white spotband from Sc+R,-Rs to Cu2-2A, nearest base in Sc+R,-Rs and Cuj-Cu2
nearest margin in M,-M, and Cuz- 2A.
Fringes on both surfaces of both wings fulvous at anal angle, shading to
brown powdered with gray toward costa.
Length of forewing of Holotype 6 16.0 mm., those of the two 6 Paratypes 15.5
and 16.5 mm., that of the single 9 Paratype 16.5 mm.
The 6 genitalia as figured, differing from those of P. monticola (Godman) in the
configuration of the valva (for comparison see Godman and Salvin, 1879-1901:
pl. 94, fig. 39). We have verified the genitalic configuration shown in that
plate by a dissection of a specimen from Godman of P. monticola in the collection
of Carnegie Museum.
Described from four specimens, three males and a female, from Hidalgo, Mexico.
HOLOTYPE 6: MEXICO: HIDALGO: vic. El Encarnaci6n, 2400-2450 m.,
oak-pine forest, 16.ii.1969 (L. D. & J. Y. Miller); 6 genitalia slide M-2188
(Lee D. Miller).
PARATYPES: 18 19, same data as Holotype; 1l, same locality, but 15.ii. 1969.
The type-series is in the collection of the Allyn Museum of Entomology.
This species is very near both P. monticola and P. niveolimbus (Mabille),
resembling the former more superficially and the later perhaps more
genitalically (see figure of P. niveolimbus genitalia in Godman and Salvin,
1879-1901: pl. 94, fig. 43). Both of these species have unmarked hindwings above,
however, whereas P. capta always has at least one and often three small
The present species was not common at the El Encarnaci6n locality, and the
few specimens that were taken were collected on rocks in the underbrush of this
pine-oak forest (described in more detail in Miller and Miller, 1970, and
Clench, 1971). They were difficult to approach and did not seem as pugnacious
as some Paratrytone we have encountered.
It is interesting to note that members of this genus are with few exceptions
restricted to only a few localities per species, and when new localities are discovered
for Paratrytone they will frequently produce an entirely different species, or
at most two. Speciation seems to be a rather common occurrence in these
butterflies. The El Encarnaci6n locality produced several new or poorly known
species in addition to P. capta: the endemic Polygonia haroldi (C. & R.
Felder), the rare Adelpha donysa (Hewitson) and creton (Godman) and new
Mitoura being described by Harry K. Clench, to name just a few.
Paratrytone decepta, new species
Figures 11, 12 (8), 18 (6 genitalia)
Male: Head, thorax and abdomen brownish-black clothed with gray-brown
hairs above, gray-tan ones below. Antenna brown above, tan ringed with brown below;
nudum fawn-colored. Palpi brown above, pale gray-tan below. Legs clothed
with gray hairs.
Forewing above fuscous with a hyaline double cell spot, three large, hyaline
subapical spots in R:I-R4, R4-R, and R,,-M,, two hyaline extradiscal spots in
M:1-Cu, and Cu,-Cug and a fulvous spot in Cu2-2A; black androconial patch
from origin of Cui to center of 2A.
Hindwing above fuscous with a faint fulvous spot at end of cell and
a curved extradiscal fulvous spotband from Rs-M, to CuI-Cu, (spot in Rs-M,
Forewing below fuscous, darker posteriad of cell, with fulvous
overscaling along costa and spots of upper surface repeated below (spot
in Cu,2A more diffuse than above and cream-colored).
Hindwing below fuscous overscaled with fulvous with a white cell end spot
and a smooth curved row of white coalesced extradiscal spots from Sc+Ri-Rs to
Cu,-2A; anal fold darker.
Fringes above and below on the single specimen mostly missing, but those
present are fuscous.
Length of forewing of Holotype ( 15.5 mm.
The a genitalia as figured, differing from Evans' (1955: pl. 78) figure of those
of P. polyclea (Godman) in the stouter uncus + tegumen and the recurved, toothed
dorsal process of the valva.
Described from a single worn male from the mountains of Morelos, Mexico.
HOLOTYPE 8: MEXICO: MORELOS: 5 [road] mi. N. Tres Marias,
3020 m., grassland/parkland forest, 23.viii.1967 (L. D. & J. Y. Miller);
S genitalia slide M-2187 (Lee D. Miller).
The Holotype will be placed in the Allyn Museum of Entomology collection.
P. decepta is near, but apparently not identical with P. polyclea and is
separated from it in the description. We have not seen the unique type of Godman's
species recently, (LDM briefly examined it in 1964 and compared it with the
Figure in Godman and Salvin, 1879: pl. 93, figs. 44, 45), but the figure is accurate
and the present species differs in the relative sizes and positions of several
spots, as well as genitalically.
This specimen, along with P. aphractoia Dyar, Dalla roeveri and one other
specimen that we have been unable to place was taken on one of those rare cloudless
days in the high country south of Mexico City. No essential behavioral differences
were noted between P. decepta, P. aphractoia or the unknown beast all were
pugnacious, nervous skippers which were best taken along the railroad cut
where they would occasionally perch on grass or even on stones.
We would like to thank Messrs. Harry K. Clench (Carnegie Museum)
and William D. Field (National Museum of Natural History) for the loan of
comparative specimens and A. C. Allyn of this institution for taking the
photographs contained herein and for reading and commenting upon the
Clench, H. K., 1971. Two new hairstreaks from Mexico (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae).
Bull. Allyn Mus., (3): 6 pp.
Evans, W. H., 1955. A catalogue of the American Hesperiidae . Part IV ...
Hesperiinae and Megathyminae. London, Trustees Brit. Mus.: v + 499 pp.
Godman, F. i)., and 0. Salvin, 1879-1901. Biologia Centrali-Americana.
Lepidoptera-Rhopalocera. London: 3 vols.
Miller, L. D., and J. Y. Miller, 1970. Notes on two rare Mexican Adelpha and
related Central American species (Nymphalidae). Jour. Lepid. Soc.,
I... "r t
1 2 3 4
"^ r5 6 "i 7 8"
9 10 11 12
Figures 1-12, new Neotropical Hesperiidae. 1-2, Dalla roeveri, new species,
Holotype upper (1) and under (2) surfaces; MEXICO: MORELOS: vie. Tres Marias.
3-4, Nylla cordillera, new species, Holotype 3 upper (3) and under (4)
surfaces; ECUADOR: COTOPAXI: Milimbanco. 5-6, Nylla allynorum, new
species, Holotype 3 upper (5) and under (6) surfaces; ECUADOR: COTOPAXI:
MilimbancQ. 7-8, Same, Paratype 9 upper (7) and under (8) surfaces; ECUADOR:
COTOPAXI: Milimbanco. 9-10, Paratrytone capta, new species, Holotype 3 upper
(9) and under (10) surfaces; MEXICO: HIDALGO: vic. El Encarnaci6n. 11-12,
Paratrytone decepta, new species, Holotype 6 upper (11) and under (12)
surfaces; MEXICO: MORELOS: vic. Tres Marias.
Figures 13-18, new Neotropical Hesperiidae. 13, Nylla, new genus, 8 forewing
venation; stippling on this figure only indicates androconial patches. 14, Dalla
roeveri, new species, Paratype & genitalia (slide M-2121). 15, Nylla cordillera,
new species, Holotype 3 genitalia (slide M-2197). 16, Nylla allynorum, new species,
Paratype 8 genitalia (slide M-2198). 17, Paratrytone capta, new species, Holotype
3 genitalia (slide M-2188). 18, Paratrytone decepta, new species, Holotype
3 genitalia (slide M-2187).