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A new species of Celastrina from the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada with a lectotype designation of Lycaena pseudargiolus var. nigrescens Fletcher (Lycaenidae: Polyommatinae)

Authors: LaBar, Caitlin C.; Pelham, Jonathan P.; Kondla, Norbert G.;

A new species of Celastrina from the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada with a lectotype designation of Lycaena pseudargiolus var. nigrescens Fletcher (Lycaenidae: Polyommatinae)

Abstract

A new western azure species, Celastrina asheri, is described from the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada. A lectotype is designated for Lycaena pseudargiolus var. nigrescens Fletcher, 1903 to secure the identity of that name. C. asheri broadly overlaps with the northeastern range of C. echo (W. H. Edwards, 1864) but is usually very distinct from that species. C. lucia (W. Kirby, 1837) is narrowly sympatric with C. asheri in British Columbia, the southwest corner of Alberta and along the Rocky Mountains in Montana. As far as is known, C. asheri uses only red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) and possibly oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor) as larval foodplants, while C. echo and C. lucia use a wide variety of larval foodplants. A lack of past research and confusion as a “form” of C. echo obscured the identity of C. asheri.

Keywords

new species, sympatry, life history, larvae, Cornus sericea, Celastrina lucia, Celastrina echo, nigrescens, bakeri

Figs. 26-31: Celastrina asheri sp. n. males (not paratypes). 26: from lower Reecer Canyon, Kittitas County, WA on 2005-04-26.

27-31: from upper Sinlahekin Creek, Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, Okanogan County, WA on 2013-05-11 (27-30) and 2020-07-08 (31, ex larva collected 2021-06-18). Photos by C. C. LaBar.

Figs. 55-71: Immature stages of Celastrina asheri sp. n. 55: C. asheri third instar larva on Co. sericea at the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, Okanogan County, WA, 2021-06-23. 56-58: C. asheri late third or early fourth instar larvae on Co. sericea at Ringer South Trail, Kittitas County, WA, 2021-05-28. Photos by C. C. LaBar. 59-61 & 64: fourth instar larvae on Co. sericea at the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, Okanogan County, WA, 2021-06-18, all being tended by Formica sp. ants. 62-63: fourth instar larvae on Co. sericea at Ringer South Trail, Kittitas County, WA, 2021-05-28. 65: fourth instar larva on Co. sericea at the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, Okanogan County, WA, 2021-06-17. 66: early pre-pupal larva that has recently stopped feeding, from the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, Okanogan County, WA, 2021-06-17. 67: late pre-pupal larva from Ringer South Trail, Kittitas County, WA, 2021-06-04. 68-71: newly formed (68-69) and few-day-old (70-71) pupae from Ringer South Trail, Kittitas County, WA, 2021-06-02 (68, 69, 71) and 2021-06-04 (70). Photos by C. C. LaBar.

Figs. 72-77: Immature stages of Celastrina echo (72-75) and C. asheri sp. n. (76-77). 72-73: C. echo third instar larvae on Ceanothus velutinus at Reecer Canyon, Kittitas County, WA, 2009-06-06. 74-75: C. echo fourth instar larva on Ceanothus velutinus at Reecer Canyon, Kittitas County, WA, 2009-06-10. 76-77: C. asheri fourth instar larva on Cornus sericea at Black Canyon, Okanogan County, WA, 2009-05-16. Photos by D. Nunnallee.

Bird, C. D., G. J. Hilchie, N. G. Kondla, E. M. Pike, & F. A. H. Sperling. 1995. Alberta Butterflies. The Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, AB. 349 pp.

Clench, H. K. 1944. Two new subspecies of Lycaenopsis pseudargiolus Bdv. & Lec. (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae). Journal of the New York entomological Society 52(3): 273-276.

Clench, H. K. 1972. Celastrina ebenina, a new species of Lycaenidae (Lepidoptera) from the eastern United States. Annals of the Carnegie Museum 44(4): 33-44.

Downey, J. C. 1961. Tribe Plebejini. (pp. 199-242) In P. Ehrlich & A. Ehrlich, How to Know the Butterflies. W. C. Brown Co., Dubuque, IA.

Fletcher, J. 1903. Descriptions of some new species and varieties of Canadian butterflies. Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada (2nd series) 9(Sect. IV): 207-216. [OpenAIRE]

Guppy, C. S. & J. H. Shepard. 2001. Butterflies of British Columbia. Including western Alberta, southern The Taxonomic Report is a publication of

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