Thursday, June 14, 2012

Range extension for Arizona Sister

This is Adelpha eulalia, or Arizona Sister, which I found yesterday in Aldea Sicatacare, a small community about 2 km SE of Santa Ana in Dpt. Francisco Morazán, Honduras. Adelpha is a large neotropical genus of brushfoots in which many species have a white band across the wings and an orange subapical patch on the forewing. About a third of all genus members have been reported from Honduras (Miller et al. 2012). This observation, however, represents a first country record and an extension of the known range of Adelpha eulalia, recently split from Adelpha bredowii.

Arizona Sister, an oak-specialist, is found from southwestern USA through Mexico to Guatemala — and apparently also Honduras. It is similar to the allopatric California Sister (Adelpha californica) and the partly sympatric Mexican Sister (Adelpha bredowii), but differs morphologically from those species in a number of ways, including the shape of the orange subapical patch, alignment of the spots in the white postdiscal band, and other minor characters (Prudric et al. 2008).

This year I've already found eleven or twelve new butterfly species for Honduras, and I expect more will follow. For more information on the butterflies of Honduras, please visit my other blog Butterflies of Honduras.

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