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1 December 2014 Thespieus maacki sp. nov. (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae, Hesperiini): A New Skipper from Southern Brazilian Páramos
Eduardo Carneiro, Diego Rodrigo Dolibaina, Olaf Hermann Hendrik Mielke, Mirna Martins Casagrande
Author Affiliations +

A new species of Thespieus Godman, 1900 (Hesperiidae, Hesperiini), Thespieus maacki sp. nov., is described from high altitude grasslands on Araçatuba Mountain peak, Tijucas do Sul, Paraná, Brazil. Similar habitats surrounding the type locality were also sampled, but this species was never recorded elsewhere. The most similar species Thespieus caraca Evans, 1955 is also illustrated and compared, in order to provide clear diagnostic characters for species identification.

Brazilian páramos constitute grassland habitats over mountains tops, usually neglected by Lepidoptera researchers due to their relatively low number of species (Carneiro et al. 2014) thus being frequently omitted from tropical butterfly surveys. As no studies have associated species richness patterns of butterflies with environmental gradients of high altitudes in Brazil, we surveyed Hesperiidae ensembles in Serra do Mar along elevational transects (900–1,800 m above sea level. However, when intensively sampled, this vegetation is shown to harbor a distinct entomological fauna, including a substantial number of undescribed taxa (Carneiro et al. 2014; Dolibaina et al. 2011; Mielke et al. 2012). In some cases, these species are restricted to grassland or open landscape habitats, which makes them especially vulnerable to habitat reduction caused by vegetation and soil exploitation (Mikich & Bernils 2004; Machado et al. 2008).

Thespieus Godman, 1900 currently includes 32 species, some of which are associated to open landscape habitats (Dolibaina et al. 2011; Mielke et al. 2012; Carneiro et al. 2014). Here is described an additional species of Thespieus, which is restricted to high altitude grasslands (Páramos) from Araçatuba Mountain peaks, Tijucas do Sul, Paraná, Southern Brazil.

Material and Methods

During 2 collection trips to Araçatuba Mountain, Tijucas do Sul, Paraná, Brazil (S 25° 54′ 07″ W 48° 59′ 39″), 19 specimens of an undescribed Thespieus species were collected visiting some blooming Asteraceae on mountain top around 1600–1670 m asl. The specimens were prepared and dissected by standard methods. Illustrations were drawn from the new species and compared to the most similar species in the genus: Thespieus caraca Evans, 1955, from Caraça, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The description is based on males and the different characters for females are given at the end of each described structure. Dissected specimens are assigned with “*” in type material. All material is deposited in the Coleção Entomológica Pe. Jesus Santiago Moure, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil (DZUP). Supplementary material for this article in Florida Entomologist 97(4) (2014) is online at

Thespieus maacki Carneiro,
Dolibaina, Mielke & Casagrande sp. nov.
(Figs. 1–4, 9, 11)

  • Thespieus sp.; Carneiro; Mielke; Casagrande & Fiedler 2014. Neotrop. Entomol. 43, Electr. Supl. Mat.: 7.

  • Diagnosis

    The color pattern of both the forewing and the hind wing on the ventral surface is markedly covered by bright yellow spots, a feature lacking in any other Thespieus except T. caraca Evans, 1955, which is the most similar species to T. maacki. The following characters distinguish these 2 species: 1) female antennal club is ventrally black on its distal half in T. maacki while whitish in T. caraca; 2) dorsal forewing triangular spot in CuA2-2A is ochreous in males of T. maacki while larger and yellowish in T. caraca; 3) ventral forewing submarginal bright yellow band from apex, wide, continuous, extending to M3 and fusing with M1–M3 submarginal hyaline spots in T. maacki while narrow, somewhat discontinuous, extending to M1 and never fusing with M1–M3 submarginal hyaline spots in T. caraca; 4) ventral hind wing with a thin whitish line in M2 in T. maacki while absent in T. caraca; 5) ventral hind wing postdiscal yellow opaque spot in Rs-M1 larger in both sexes in T. maacki while small in both sexes in T. caraca; 6) ventral hind wing postdiscal whitish spot in CuA2-2A, not divided in T. maacki while crossed by a thin rufous line in T. caraca; 7) fenestra narrower with an anterior prolongation in T. maacki while broader in T. caraca; 8) uncus shorter in T. maacki than in T. caraca; 9) harpe distally broader and dorsally pointed in T. maacki while narrower and dorsally rounded in T. caraca; 10) fultura inferior narrower in T. maacki than in T. caraca; 11) aedeagus shorter in T. maacki than in T. caraca, with the opening of the ejaculatory bulb shorter and distally inserted in T. maacki while longer and proximally inserted in T. caraca, and distal ventral margin of aedeagus rounded in T. maacki while with a central lobular projection in T. caraca; 12) sterigma slightly broader and shorter in T. maacki, with a truncated apex.

  • Description

    Head: vertex mostly ochreous brown, with a line of whitish scales close to the eyes, interrupted by the dark brown posterior chaetosema; eyes black; anterior chaetosema ochreous; antenna about 60% of the costa length, dorsally black; club anteriorly and ventrally white in males and black in females; nudum 15; labial palp dorsally ochreous, ventrally white; third segment short, cylindrical, mostly hidden by apical scales of second segment. Female as male.

    Thorax: dorsally dark brown, with long ochreous to rufous scales; ventrally densely covered by long ochreous scales, latero-posterior margin dark brown to rufous; mesotibia doubly spined with 2 pairs of spurs, metatibia spined with one pair of spurs

    Dorsal forewing: males 14.5–15.5mm (n = 10) (holotype: 15.5mm); females 16.5–18mm (n = 9) (allotype: 16.5mm); triangular; costal margin straight, slightly convex near the base and the apex; apex rounded; outer margin convex from apex to M3, then straight; tornus rounded, obtuse; inner margin straight. Ground color dark brown with long ochreous scales near the base of the wing and along the CuA and 2A, never exceeding distally the discal cell; ochreous spots on costal area from base to Sc end, around CuA1 origin (triangular shaped), and one triangular in CuA2-2A, and in posterior half of CuA2-2A; 9 yellowish hyaline spots, 2 fused inside the discal cell (slightly separated in some specimens), 3 subapical in R3-M1, somewhat aligned with each other and towards the anal margin, distally produced in R3-R4 (opaque in some specimens), 2 reduced submarginal spots in M1-M3 (in M1-M2 reduced or absent in some males); and 2 discal developed spots in M3-CuA2, the first one smaller and distally produced than the last one; stigma black, bipartite and elongated, from origin CuA1 to CuA2 and from CuA2 to 2A; fringe uniformly dark brown. Female as in male except for: the reduced ochreous spots, posterior half of CuA2-2A rectangular; all hyaline spots lighter than in males, the subapical spot in R3-R4 hyaline and the submarginal spots M1-M3 developed, fringe whitish at the center of the spaces M3-CuA1 to CuA2-2A.

    Dorsal hind wing: costal margin convex; apex rounded, with a small indentation at the end of Rs; outer margin convex from apex to CuA1, with an indentation in CuA1-2A and from 2A to tornus produced; tornus rounded; anal margin slightly convex. Ground color dark brown with long ochreous scales from base to discal cell end, and in anal area; one thin and poorly defined ochreous spot on dcm (absent in some of the males); one discal ochreous opaque spot in Rs-M1 (absent in part of the males), and 4 discal yellowish hyaline spots in M1-CuA2, with the spots M1-M2 and M2-M3 fused, subquadrate, distally projected, but never touching the subtriangular the spot in M3-CuA1; fringe ochreous to brown. Female as in male except for the constant presence of the discal spot Rs-M1; fringe dark brown, whitish at the center of the spaces CuA1-CuA2 and CuA2-2A.

    Ventral forewing: ground color dark brown, rufous brown from apex to discal cell end, and CuA2; spots as in dorsal surface, except by the spot in CuA2-2A, which is whitish, and a submarginal wide, bright yellowish and contiguous band from apex to M3, fused with the 2 submarginal hyaline spots in M1-M3; costal area from base to Sc end yellowish; fringe dark rufous brown, whitish at the center of the space CuA2-2A. Female as in male except for the reduced yellow markings; presence of a thin, whitish cream spot in in anterior half of CuA2-2A, distally inclined and surrounding distally the whitish cream spot in posterior half of CuA2-2A; fringe with short rufous brown scales, dark brown at the end of the veins, whitish at the apex and at the center of the spaces R5 to 2A.

    Ventral hind wing: ground color dark brown, rufous brown from costal margin to anterior half of CuA2-2A and from 3A to anal margin; a basal large bright yellow spot from the base of the wing to the first third of costa; 2 discal large bright yellow spots from costal margin to Rs, covered by rufous brown scales at the center; discal cell crossed longitudinally by a white stripe that covers dcm and dci, then a thin line extending on M2 finishing at discal yellowish hyaline spot on M1-M3; a bright yellow line from origin of Rs, covering dcs, crossing vertically the discal cell, and extending to 2A (variable among individuals); 6 discal spots from Rs to 2A, all bright yellow except by the whitish spot in CuA2-2A, hyaline from M1 to CuA2, the spots in M1-M2 and M2-M3 fused; submarginal bright yellow band from Rs to CuA2 with the proximal margin irregular and distal margin covered by rufous scales; fringe dark brown, whitish at the apex, and from CuA2 to the tornus. Female as in male.

    Abdomen: dorsally dark brown with ochreous scales, ventrally ochreous. Female as in male except for the whitish ventral abdomen, with a central thin dark brown poorly defined line.

    Male genitalia (Fig. 9): tegumen dorsally broad and laterally narrow, distally tapered; fenestra losangular, with an anterior thin extension; ventral arms of tegumen and dorsal arms of saccus fused and thin; ventral arms of tegumen strongly inclined distally; anterior projection of saccus as long as tegumen + uncus and narrow; uncus divided, thin and short, arms short, thin and parallel to each other; gnathos divided, formed by 2 parallel bars, commashaped in lateral view with a median membranous area between the 2 sclerotized plates; valva with an external membranous area at the middle; costa absent; harpe broad, distally projected and rounded and, dorsally pointed; ampulla short, rounded, produced to harpe's anterior margin, with a rounded external tip; fultura inferior U-shaped; aedeagus longer than valva, thin, coecum short, rounded, slightly right turned, insertion opening of ejaculatory bulb ovoid, undeveloped, distal end triangular, with 2 lateral spines, center of the distal margin rounded, distal opening dorsal, and anteriorly prolonged; cornuti present as 4 small spines.

    Female genitalia (Fig. 11): lamella antevaginalis absent; lamella postvaginalis T-shaped with lateral arms truncated, posterior margin with a wide median depression with semicircular patch of small bristles; inferior portion strongly constricted at the middle; ostium bursae wide, and free; bursa copulatrix less than 3 times the sterigma length; ductus bursae broad, cylindrical and sclerotized, shorter than corpus bursae; corpus bursae posteriorly jagged, anteriorly ovoid, without signa.

  • Type Material

    HOLOTYPE male with the following labels: / HOLOTYPUS/ Morro Do Araçatuba[,] Tijucas do Sul[,] Paraná, BRASIL 18-II-2011 Carneiro leg./ 25° 54′ 07″ S; 48° 59′ 39″ W Campos de Altitude[,] Altitude: 1,684[m]/; DZ 30.140/; Holotypus Thespieus maacki Carneiro, Dolibaina, Mielke & Casagrande det. 2014/. Deposited at the Coleção Entomológica Padre Jesus Santiago Moure, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil (DZUP).

    ALLOTYPE female with the following labels: / ALLOTYPUS/ Brasil, Paraná[,] Tijucas do Sul, Morro do Araçatuba[,] 1670m 14-II-2014, Carneiro, Dias & Dolibaina LEG./; DZ 30.155/; Allotypus Thespieus maacki Carneiro, Dolibaina, Mielke & Casagrande det. 2014/. Deposited at the Coleção Entomológica Padre Jesus Santiago Moure, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil (DZUP).

    PARATYPES (9 males and 8 females, DZUP): BRAZIL — Paraná: Tijucas do Sul (Morro do Araçatuba), 25° 54′ 07″ S; 48° 59′ 39″ W, 1,624-1,684 m, 18-II-2011, 1 male, Carneiro leg. (DZ 30.139), 2 females (DZ 30.141, DZ 30.138*), 1672m, 25-II-2011, Carneiro, Grossi, Dolibaina & Zacca leg., 4 males (DZ 27.427*, DZ 30.143, DZ 30.147, DZ 30.148), 5 females (DZ 27.477*, DZ 30.142, DZ 30.144, DZ 30.145, DZ 30.146), 14-II-2014, 4 males, Carneiro, Dias & Dolibaina leg. (DZ 30.150, DZ 30.151, DZ 30.152, DZ 30.154), 1 female (DZ 30.153).

  • Distribution

    The species is known to occur only at the peak of Araçatuba Mountain, Tijucas do Sul, Paraná, Brazil, where high altitude grasslands (páramos) are present. The same mountain was sampled along 2 years but specimens were recorded only in February. Other mountains in the region were also explored in the same month, but this species was never recorded elsewhere.

  • Etymology

    This species epithet honors Reinhard Maack (1892–1969), a German geologist, known for describing the vegetation of Paraná in detail, and for discovering the highest peak of southern Brazil, Pico do Paraná, along with several surrounding mountains. During his life he was pioneer in urging society to militate against the over exploitation of vegetation and soil. Further, Maack predicted anthropogenic damage to biodiversity damage even before the establishment of the biological conservation sciences.

  • Figs. 1–8.

    Thespieus maacki sp. nov. HOLOTYPE male (dorsal, Fig. 1, ventral, Fig. 2) and ALOTYPE female (dorsal, Fig. 3, ventral, Fig. 4) and Thespieus caraca Evans, 1955 male (dorsal, Fig. 5, ventral, Fig. 6) and female (dorsal, Fig. 7, ventral, Fig. 8). These figures are shown in color in a supplementary document online as Suppl. Figs. 1–8 in Florida Entomologist 97(4) (December 2014) at


    Figs. 9 and 10.

    Male genitalia of Thespieus maacki sp. nov. (Fig. 9) and Thespieus caraca Evans, 1955 (Fig. 10). a) lateral view of tegumen, saccus, uncus, gnathos and valve; b) opposite view of right valve; c) dorsal view of tegumen, fenestra and uncus; d) posterior view of fultura inferior; e) lateral (above), ventral (middle) and dorsal (below) views of aedeagus. Arrows indicate diagnostic characters cited in the text.


    Figs. 11 and 12.

    Female genitalia of Thespieus maacki sp. nov. (Fig. 11) and Thespieus caraca Evans, 1955 (Fig. 12). Left to right: ventral view of sterigma and bursae copulatrix; lateral view of the papilla anal and Tergum VIII. Arrow indicates diagnostic characters cited in the text.



    Thespieus is a skipper genus marked by the presence of hyaline spots on forewing and a particularly colored ventral hind wing (Godman & Salvin 1887–1901). Its species present male genitalia with similar patterns (Evans 1955). Valvae lack projections, uncus bifid, aedeagus long, cylindrical and vesica with several cornuti (see Mielke 1971; Mielke 1993; Mielke & Schroeder 1994). On the wings however, differences are more evident, with species having contrasting ventral hind wing patterns (Warren et al. 2013). In this aspect, T. maacki sp. nov. is more similar to T. caraca Evans, 1955 (Figs. 5–8, 10, 12), as no other species of Thespieus present such bright yellow markings in the spots and submarginal band of the ventral hind wing.

    Both of these species are distantly allopatric and have restricted distributions, as is also commonly observed in other species in the genus, e.g. Thespieus abauna Zikán, 1938, T. duidensis Bell, 1932, T. fassli (Draudt, 1923), T. hieroglyphica Draudt, 1923, T. matucanae Lindsey, 1925, T. pinda Evans, 1955 and T. zikani Mielke, 1971. It is also common to some species of Thespieus to be especially associated with grassland habitats (Mielke et al. 2012; Carneiro et al. 2014) or páramos as the case of T. maacki sp. nov. These 2 particular conditions raise the importance of those species to be evaluated in regional threatened lists, as grassland habitats in South America have been greatly replaced by urban areas during recent decades (IUCN 2008). Furthermore, several grassland habitats remain to be explored in the Neotropical region, which might harbor several threatened, although undescribed species. The challenge of entomological researchers resides now in accelerating the description of species that will potentially require special conservations measure, such as Thespieu maacki sp. nov.


    We thank Drs. Fernando M.S. Dias (UFPR), Pascoal Grossi (UFRPE) and Msc. Thamara Zacca (UFPR) for helping collecting Thespieus specimens, and the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for the fellowship granted to the authors.

    References Cited


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    [1] Supplementary material for this article in Florida Entomologist 97(4) (2014) is online at

    Eduardo Carneiro, Diego Rodrigo Dolibaina, Olaf Hermann Hendrik Mielke, and Mirna Martins Casagrande "Thespieus maacki sp. nov. (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae, Hesperiini): A New Skipper from Southern Brazilian Páramos," Florida Entomologist 97(4), 1745-1749, (1 December 2014).
    Published: 1 December 2014
    campos de altitude
    distribuição restrita
    grassland habitats
    new species
    nova espécie
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