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1 September 2015 A New Subspecies of Pierella lena (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Satyrinae) in Northeastern Brazil
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Pierella lena atlantica Paluch, Zacca & Siewert ssp. nov. (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Satyrinae) is described from the Atlantic Forest of Bahia (Itanagra, Una, and Cachoeira), Brazil. A discussion about this new taxon and its relationship with the other subspecies of P. lena (Linnaeus, 1767) are provided, as are the first illustrations of the female genitalia and an identification key to adults of Pierella hyalinus (Gmelin, [1790]) and P. lena from South America.

The Neotropical genus Pierella Westwood, 1851 is the most diverse within the tribe Haeterini (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae), and its distribution includes Central and South America (Constantino 1995; Lamas 2004). So far, 4 species of this genus have been reported in northeastern Brazil, and all are restricted to the Atlantic Forest: Pierella lamia (Sulzer, 1776) (“Pierella lamia” species group in revision by Zacca et al. [in press]) in Paraíba, Alagoas, Pernambuco, and Bahia (Cardoso 1949; Kesselring & Ebert 1982; Zacca 2009; Paluch et al. 2011; Zacca et al. 2011); Pierella nereis (Drury, 1782) in Alagoas and Bahia (Cardoso 1949; Zacca et al. 2011); Pierella lena (Linnaeus, 1767) in Bahia (Zacca 2009); and Pierella hyalinus (Gmelin, [1790]) in north coastal Bahia. Together, P. lena and P. hyalinus are recognized by their purple bluish hind wings. Pierella lena comprises 3 subspecies, P. lena lena (Linnaeus, 1767) on the plains of the lower Amazon River in Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Brazil; P. lena brasiliensis (C. Felder & R. Felder, 1862) from the upper Amazon River in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil; and P. lena salma Constantino, 2007 known in Colombia, on the eastern slope of the Andes, in Putumayo and Caquetá, in northeastern Ecuador, and in the upper Napo River (Lamas 2004; Salazar & Constantino 2007). This study provides a description of a new subspecies of P. lena in the northeastern region of Brazil, with illustrations of the female genitalia for the first time, and an identification key to adults of P. hyalinus and P. lena from South America.

Materials and Methods

For the dissection of the genitalia of the studied specimens, their abdomens were detached and soaked in a heated test tube with 10% potassium hydroxide solution (KOH) for about 5 min. Illustrations were performed from images obtained in cellSens Imaging Software with the aid of a video camera SC30 Olympus attached to a stereoscopic microscope trinocular SZX7 Olympus. Full lines represent sclerotized structures; thin lines, membranous structures; and dashed lines, structures visible through transparency. Taxonomic classification follows Lamas (2004) with modifications proposed by Salazar & Constantino (2007) and hereby. Nomenclature for the wings areas follows Neild (1996).

Distributional data of all subspecies of P. lena (see list of examined material in Supplementary Material for this article in Florida Entomologist 98[3] [Sep 2015] online at were obtained from specimens deposited in the following collections, and their respective abbreviations used throughout the text are as follows.

DZUP — Collection Padre Jesus Santiago Moure, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil.

MZFS — Entomological Collection Johann Becker, Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil.

The type material of the new subspecies was deposited at DZUP and MZFS. The following abbreviations were used: FW — forewing; HW — hind wing; D — dorsal wing surface; V — ventral wing surface.


Pierella lena atlantica Paluch, Zacca & Siewert ssp. nov. (Figs. 1A–D, 2A–I)

  • Pierella lena; Zacca, 2009, p. 170, 173.


    Among the recognized subspecies of Pierella lena, P. lena atlantica ssp. nov. (Fig. 1A–D) shares several characters with the nominal subspecies, such as a rounded androconial patch on the anal margin on DHW of males and a larger black spot in M1–M2 on DFW of females, but can be distinguished by the smaller androconial patch and smaller purple bluish spots in M2–M3, M3–CuA1, and CuA1–CuA2, whereas in P. lena lena (Fig. 1E–H), the androconial patch is larger and the spots are larger and white, with a few purple bluish scales.


    Sexes are similar in their general appearance.

    Forewing length: In male 34–35 mm (n = 4), in female 37–38 mm (n = 3).

    Head: Front and vertex brown; post-gena white; eye glabrous, brown; antenna light brown with sensilla along the flagellomeres; labial palpus with elongated white scales dorsally, creamy ventrally, totally white internally, with distal portions of 2nd and 3rd articles mixed with a few brown scales.

    Thorax: Dorsally brown, ventrally white; prothoracic leg creamy; meso- and metathoracic legs with femur brown dorsally and white ventrally, the other segments light brown.

    Forewing: Dorsal surface brown with a light brown greyish postdiscal band (approx. 1 mm) included by straight parallel dark lines, a small black spot in M1–M2; fringes mixed with brown and light brown. VFW brown, base to proximal line of the post-discal band lighter, with a sub-basal lighter curved line and 3 spotted lines from costal margin to the anal margin, area between the 2 lines with smooth ripple pattern; submarginal region, distal of the post-discal band, darker proximally, mixed with ochre centrally and bluish with ripple pattern marginally, and with 3 small creamy spots in R5–M1, M1–M2, and M2–M3 in the central area.

    Hind wing: Dorsal surface with basal half similar to FW base, marginal half dark brown with a purple iridescent color; the post-discal band near the base of the marginal half, continued from FW until CuA2–2A, but interrupted at M2–M3, M3–CuA1, and CuA1–CuA2; with 2 small white spots below the post-discal band in CuA2–2A and upper half of 2A–3A; the purple bluish white spots in M2–M3, M3–CuA1, and CuA1–CuA2 smaller than in P. lena lena; androconial patch rounded and creamy, smaller than in P. lena lena; fringes mixed brown with light brown. VHW brown with ripple pattern covering almost all surface; basal area as in FW; marginal area with the proximal half darker, central area mixed with ochre, and distal half bluish; 2 or 3 black small spots in basal region; convex dark and fine basal line between 3A and inner margin; sub-basal darker curved line from costal margin to the anal margin, as the same line of the FW; post-discal band similar to VFW with proximal line convex from CuA1 to anal margin, where it is enlarged; 2 ocelli in Rs—M1 and M1–M2 with a small white pupil in each one; 3 creamy spots in M2–M3, M3–CuA1, and CuA1–CuA2 and 2 smaller similar in CuA2.

    Abdomen: Dorsally brown and ventrally creamy.

    Male genitalia (Fig. 2A–G): Similar to P. lena lena. Tegumen laterally triangular, with half length of uncus; subuncus absent; anterior projection of saccus elongated, straight, and cylindrical; valvae approx. 2 times the length of uncus with elongated bristles distally and ventrally, apex curved internally, dorso-distally serrated; fultura inferior trapezoidal; aedeagus straight, same length of valvae, distal opening dorsolaterally, serrated at right side. Constantino (1995) illustrated the male genitalia of P. lena brasiliensis in lateral view, and it differs from Pierella lena atlantica ssp. nov. mainly by the shape of valvae, narrowing in middle portion, and apex with a well-projected thorn.

    Female genitalia (Fig. 2H–I): Tergum VIII trapezoidal; sternum VIII fused with tergum VIII; lamella antevaginalis present; papilla analis approx. 2 times higher than long, sclerotized at the basal half, and setae distally; ductus bursae sclerotized close to ostium, almost the same length of corpus bursae; paired signa dorsally in the corpus bursae.


    The size of the black spot in DFW can vary between the sexes and individuals, but it is always developed in females.


    So far, Pierella lena atlantica ssp. nov. seems to be restricted to the Atlantic Forest of Bahia, Brazil (Fig. 3), and it is the only subspecies of the P. lena group that presents a non-Amazonian distribution. The type locality is in the RPPN “Fazenda Lontra/Saudade” (FLS), Itanagra at the northern coast of Bahia (12°15.00'S, 38°0.00'W). FLS has 1,377.33 ha and represents the largest area of particularly protected Atlantic Forest, located between the Paraguaçu (BA) and São Francisco (SE) Rivers. Additionally, Zacca (2009) recorded the occurrence of P. lena atlantica (as P. lena) in the “Recôncavo” and southern coast of Bahia, in Cachoeira and Una, respectively.


    The subspecific epithet refers to the biome where this taxon is endemic, the Atlantic Forest of Bahia, Brazil.

  • Type material

    HOLOTYPE. Male, BRAZIL: Bahia, Itanagra, RPPN Lontra/Saudade, 21-VIII-2012, L. M. Linhares & M. Paluch leg., DZ 31.479 (DZUP).

    ALLOTYPE. Female BRAZIL: Bahia, Itanagra, RPPN Lontra/Saudade, 1-IX-2012, M. Paluch & L. M. Linhares leg., DZ 31.489 (DZUP).

    PARATYPES. BRAZIL: Bahia, Itanagra, RPPN Lontra/Saudade, 1 male and 2 females 25-II-2012, 1 male 4-X-2012, L. M. Linhares & M. Paluch leg., DZ 31.519, DZ 31.529, DZ 31.539 , DZ 31.509 (DZUP). BRAZIL: Bahia, Itanagra, RPPN Lontra/Saudade, 1 male 25-III-2012, 1 male 22-VII- 2012, 1 male 16-XII-2012, M. Paluch & L. M. Linhares leg., DZ 31.549, DZ 31.499, DZ 31.409 (DZUP). BRAZIL: Bahia, Una, Reserva Biológica, 1 male 5-X-1987, 1 male and 1 female 8-X-1987, J. Becker leg., #39117 , #42477, # 39118 (MZFS). BRAZIL: Bahia, Cachoeira, Fazenda Villa Rial, 1 male 14-VI-2007, 1 male 27-VI-2007, Equipe Lasis leg., #39116, #39119 (MZFS).

  • Fig. 1.

    Pierella lena atlantica ssp. nov.: A–B, Male holotype, dorsal and ventral; C–D, female allotype, dorsal and ventral. Pierella lena lena: E–F, male, dorsal and ventral; G–H, female, dorsal and ventral. Scale = 10 mm.


    Fig. 2.

    Pierella lena atlantica ssp. nov.: Male genitalia. A, Lateral; B, dorsal; C, ventral; D–F, aedeagus lateral left, lateral right, and dorsal; G, valva inner view. Female genitalia. H–I, Lateral and ventral. Scales = 1 mm.


    Identification key to adults of Pierella hyalinus and Pierella lena in South America

    1.— DHW without a sickle projection in M3 outer margin. Marginal region darker with steely blue and purple reflections, and several white spots. Female might present a subapical dark spot in M1–M2 in DFW with variable size 2 (subspecies of P. lena)

    1′.— DHW with M3 prolonged forming a sickle projection in outer margin. Marginal region with bluish scales P. hyalinus

    2.— DHW Androconial patch very conspicuous with golden yellow scales 3

    2′.— DHW Androconial patch inconspicuous with golden yellow scales surrounded by black scales 4

    3.— DHW marginal region with 3 conspicuous white spots in M2–M3, M3–CuA1, and CuA1–CuA2 with a few purple bluish scales P. lena lena (PERU; BRAZIL, Roraima, Amazonas, Acre, Rondônia, and Pará)

    3′.— DHW marginal region with 3 small white spots surrounded by purple scales in M2–M3, M3–CuA1, and CuA1–CuA2 P. lena atlantica ssp. nov. (BRAZIL, Bahia)

    4.— DHW marginal region with 3 conspicuous blue spots with white scales in central area in M2–M3, M3–CuA1, and CuA1–CuA2 P. lena brasiliensis (ECUADOR; PERU; BRAZIL, Amazonas)

    4′.— DHW marginal region with 3 small blue spots in M2–M3, M3–CuA1, and CuA1–CuA2 P. lena salma (COLOMBIA)

    Fig. 3.

    Geographical distribution of the subspecies of Pierella lena based only on collection specimens



    T. Z (140225/2013-7), R .R. S (140223/2013-4), O. H. H. M (302662/2009-0), and M. M. C (308247/2013-21) extend their sincere thanks to the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for support; and to Copener Forestal LTDA, Alagoinhas, Bahia, for permission to collect butterflies in the RPPN Fazenda Lontra/Saudade. This publication is part of the RedeLep “Rede Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação de Lepidópteros” SISBIOTA-Brasil/CNPq (563332/2010-7).

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    [1] Supplementary material for this article in Florida Entomologist 98(3) (Sep 2015) is online at

    Márlon Paluch, Thamara Zacca, Ricardo Russo Siewert, Olaf Hermann Hendrik Mielke, and Mirna Martins Casagrande "A New Subspecies of Pierella lena (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Satyrinae) in Northeastern Brazil," Florida Entomologist 98(3), 916-920, (1 September 2015).
    Published: 1 September 2015
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