[Taxacom] Ghost moths and tectonics in Central America

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Fri Oct 9 10:09:54 CDT 2020

Paper below refers to some tectonic correlates for a Central American genus
of ghost moths. Anyone interested in a copy please let me know. File is
large and will be sent via wetransfer.

revision of Schausiana Viette with two new species from Guatemala and notes
on biogeography and correlated tectonics (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae). Zootaxa
4860 (1): 067–091

We morphologically validate the genus Schausiana Viette, 1950 as a
monophyletic group comprising five species—S. phalerus (Druce, 1887) comb.
n. and S. trojesa (Schaus, 1901) from Mexico, S. chalciope sp. n. and S.
maishei sp. n. from Guatemala and S. pharus (Druce, 1887) comb. n. from
Mexico to Costa Rica. Potential morphological
monophyly of the genus is supported by the unique shared presence of
specialized scales spine-like, elongate spinous, or piliform, located along
the forewing veins. We investigate possible close phylogenetic
relationships of this genus with the Mexican and Central American genera
Pallas C. Mielke & Grehan, 2015, and Phassus Walker, 1856, and the
southeastern Brazilian genus, Phthius C. Mielke & Grehan, 2017. Also
discussed are the shared presence of several characters supporting the
morphological monophyly of Schausiana, Phassus, and Pallas as ‘phassine’
Hepialidae. The distribution range of Schausiana is bounded in its
northwestern range by the Guerrero terrane. Other than the widespread S.
pharus with a disjunct record from Costa Rica, the southern distribution
boundary corresponds to the Motagua-Polochic Fracture Zone in Guatemala. We
suggest that the ancestral range of Schausiana did not include the Guerrero
terrane and
was possibly also absent from the Chocos Block (Honduras, El Salvador,
Nicaragua) and the Costa Rica-Panama arc of Central America. Further
divergence of Schausiana is predicted to have been influenced by tectonic
events during late Cretaceous or early Cenozoic time. Colour photos are
presented for all species for the first time. Holotypes of S. maishei, sp.
n., and S. chalciope, sp. n., are deposited in the Universidad del Valle de
Guatemala, Guatemala.

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