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A new Hermeuptychia (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Satyrinae) is sympatric and synchronic with H. sosybius in southeast US coastal plains, while another new Hermeuptychia species - not hermes - inhabits south Texas and Northeast Mexico
Qian Cong; Nick V. Grishin(Profiled Author: Nick V Grishin)
Hermeuptychia intricata Grishin, sp. n. is described from the Brazos Bend State Park in Texas, United States, where it flies synchronously with Hermeuptychia sosybius (Fabricius, 1793). The two species differ strongly in both male and female genitalia and exhibit 3.5% difference in the COI barcode sequence of mitochondrial DNA. Setting such significant genitalic and genotypic differences aside, we were not able to find reliable wing pattern characters to tell a difference between the two species. This superficial similarity may explain why H. intricata, only distantly related to H. sosybius, has remained unnoticed until now, despite being widely distributed in the coastal plains from South Carolina to Texas, USA (and possibly to Costa Rica). Obscuring the presence of a cryptic species even further, wing patterns are variable in both butterflies and ventral eyespots vary from large to almost absent. To avoid confusion with the new species, neotype for Papilio sosybius Fabricius, 1793, a common butterfly that occurs across northeast US, is designated from Savannah, Georgia, USA. It secures the universally accepted traditional usage of this name. Furthermore, we find that DNA barcodes of Hermeuptychia specimens from the US, even those from extreme south Texas, are at least 4% different from those of H. hermes (Fabricius, 1775)-type local- ity Brazil: Rio de Janeiro-and suggest that the name H. hermes should not be used for USA populations, but rather reserved for the South American species. This conclusion is further supported by comparison of male genitalia. However, facies, genitalia and 2.1% different DNA barcodes set Hermeuptychia populations in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas apart from H. sosybius. These southern populations, also found in northeastern Mexico, are described here as Hermeuptychia hermybius Grishin, sp. n. (type locality Texas: Cameron County). While being phylogenetically closer to H. sosybius than to any other Hermeuptychia species, H. hermybius can usually be recognized by wing patterns, such as the size of eyespots and the shape of brown lines on hindwing. "Intricate Satyr" and "South Texas Satyr" are proposed as the English names for H. intricata and H. hermybius, respectively. © Qian Cong, Nick V. Grishin.
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