May 28, 2013

A butterfly with olive green eyes discovered in the United States and the Neotropics

We describe Ministrymon janevicroy Glassberg, sp. n., from the United States (Texas). Its wing pattern closely resembles that of the widespread and well-known lycaenid, Ministrymon azia (Hewitson). The new species is distinguished by the structure of its male and female genitalia, by the patterning of the ground color on the basal half of the ventral hindwing surface, and by the color of its eyes. Adults of Ministrymon janevicroy in nature have olive green eyes in contrast to the dark brown/black eyes of Ministrymon azia. Ministrymon janevicroy occurs in dry deciduous forest and scrub from the United States (Texas) to Costa Rica (Guanacaste) with disjunct populations on Curaçao and Isla Margarita (Venezuela). In contrast, Ministrymon azia occurs from the United States to southern Brazil and Chile in both dry and wet lowland habitats. Nomenclaturally, we remove the name Electrostrymon grumus K. Johnson & Kroenlein, 1993, from the synonymy of Ministrymon azia (where it had been listed as a synonym of Ministrymon hernandezi Schwartz & K. Johnson, 1992). We accord priority to Angulopis hernandezi K. Johnson & Kroenlein, 1993 over Electrostrymon grumus K. Johnson & Kroenlein, 1993, syn. n., which currently is placed in Ziegleria K. Johnson, 1993. The English name Vicroy’s Ministreak is proposed for Ministrymon janevicroy. We update biological records of dispersal and caterpillar food plants, previously attributed to Ministrymon azia, in light of the new taxonomy.