New species of the Genus Mirocossus Schoorl, 1990 from Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Lepidoptera: Cossidae, Cossinae)

Nueva especie del géneroMirocossus Schoorl, 1990 de la República de Guinea Ecuatorial (Lepidoptera: Cossidae, Cossinae)

R. V. Yakovlev
Altai State University, Federación de Rusia
Tomsk State University, Federación de Rusia

New species of the Genus Mirocossus Schoorl, 1990 from Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Lepidoptera: Cossidae, Cossinae)

SHILAP Revista de lepidopterología, vol. 50, núm. 199, pp. 525-529, 2022

Sociedad Hispano-Luso-Americana de Lepidopterología

Received: 19 March 2022

Accepted: 22 March 2022

Published: September 2022

Abstract: The article describes Mirocossus chukovskyi Yakovlev, sp. n. (Lepidoptera, Cossidae: Cossinae), distributed in the Bioko Island (Republic of Equatorial Guinea). The article discusses the endemism in the Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests Ecoregion; we suggest a significant difference in the entomofauna of the insular and continental portions of the ecoregion. The article has two illustrations.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Cossidae, Cossinae, biodiversity, species richness, taxonomy, new species, Equatorial Guinea.

Resumen: El artículo describe a Mirocossus chukovskyi Yakovlev, sp. n. (Lepidoptera, Cossidae: Cossinae), distribuido en la isla de Bioko (República de Guinea Ecuatorial). El artículo discute el endemismo en la ecorregión de los bosques montanos del Monte Camerún y Bioko; se sugiere una diferencia significativa en la entomofauna de las porciones insulares y continentales de la ecorregión. El artículo tiene dos ilustraciones.

Palabras clave: Lepidoptera, Cossidae, Cossinae, biodiversidad, riqueza de especies, taxonomía, nueva especie, Guinea Ecuatorial.


The genus Mirocossus Schroorl, 1990 (Lepidoptera, Cossidae: Cossinae) was established for Brachylia badiala Fletcher, 1968 (by original designation and monotype) (type locality: [Uganda], Ruwenzori Range, Mahoma River) (FLETCHER, 1968). Currently, according to the database of Afromoths (DE PRINS & DE PRINS, 2022) the genus has 10 registered species distributed in all the northern and Equatorial Afrotropical region (YAKOVLEV, 2011; YAKOVLEV & LENZ, 2013; YAKOVLEV & MURPHEY, 2013; YAKOVLEV & WITT, 2019) One species is known from the south of the Arabian Peninsula (YAKOVLEV, 2019). Thus, the genus Mirocossus is one of the few Cossidae genera, distributed in the south and south-west of the Arabian Peninsula and also widely spread in the Afro-tropics (YAKOVLEV & DUBATOLOV, 2013a, b). These genera include Afrikanetz Yakovlev, 2009 (type species - Afrikanetz inkubu Yakovlev, 2009), Brachylia Felder, 1874 (type species - Brachylia terebroides Felder, 1874), Camellocossus Yakovlev, 2009 (type species - Cossus abyssinica Hampson, 1910), Aethalopteryx Schoorl, 1990 (type species - Phragmatoecia atrireta Hampson, 1910), Afroarabiella Yakovlev, 2008 (type species - Cossus tahamae Wiltshire, 1949), and Meharia Chrétien, 1915 (type species - Meharia incurvariella Chrétien, 1915). Their distribution is described in detail in a series of publications (WILTSHIRE, 1990; YAKOVLEV et al., 2013; YAKOVLEV, 2014, 2019; HACKER, 2016).

Examining the materials in Natural History Museum, London (NHMUK) I found a new species of the genus Mirocossus Felder, 1874 from the Bioko Island (Republic of Equatorial Guinea), its description is given in this article.

Material and methods

The male genitalia were mounted in Euparal on slides following LAFONTAINE & MIKKOLA (1987). The slides were photographed using an Olympus DP74 camera attached to an Olympus SZX16 stereomicroscope at the Altai State University. The type material is deposited in the NHMUK. The images were processed using Corel Photo-Paint 2017 software.

Taxonomical part


Mirocossus chukovskyi Yakovlev sp. n. (Figs 1-2)

Material Holotype (Fig. 1) 1 (&&), Fernando Póo, W. Cooper. BM 1926-337. Individual number NHMUK: 012832476, slide NHMUK: 010315507 (NHMUK).

Description: Male. Length of fore wing 15 mm. Antenna bipectinate, setae processes three times longer than antenna rod diameter. Fore wing apically acute, light brown at root, transverse dark-brown strokes on border between discal and postdiscal areas, wide light-grey portion postdiscally and submarginally, with thin grey wavy bands on light background. Hind wing brown with poorly noticeable transverse dark-brown strokes.

Male genitalia (Fig. 2): Uncus triangular, thin, apically strongly sclerotized; gnathos arms short, thick; gnathos large, covered with tiny spikes; valve wide, apically slightly narrowing, with toothed comb on costal margin of valve in distal third, apex membranous, semicircular (membranous part about 1/6 of valve in length); transtilla process hook-like, long, apically acute; juxta large with wide lobe-like lateral processes, diverged at blunt angle; saccus robust, semicircular; phallus equal to valve in length, thick, slightly curved in medium third, vesica aperture in dorso-apical position, in length about 1/3 of phallus, vesica without cornuti.

Female unknown.

Diagnosis: Externally, the new species is most close to M. haritonovi Yakovlev, 2011 (type locality - Uganda, Fort Portal) and M. mordkovitchi Yakovlev, 2011 (type locality - “Ost Nigeria, Obudu Kattle Ranch”) from which it differs in a series of characters: - in M. haritonovi Yakovlev, 2011 (YAKOVLEV, 2011: fig. 12) the valve is significantly more narrower, the comb on the costal margin of the valve is more expressed, the phallus is poorly extended apically; - in M. mordkovitchi Yakovlev, 2011 (YAKOVLEV, 2011: fig. 15) the saccus is slightly smaller, the phallus is slightly longer than valve.

Distribution: Equatorial Guinea (Bioko Island).

Etymology: The new species is named after the famous Russian children’s poet, essayist, literary critic, and translator Korney I. Chukovsky (1882-1969). In one of his most popular children’s poems, “Doktor Aybolit [Dr. Ouch, [it] hurts!]” there are lines “We live in Zanzibar, In the Kalahari and the Sahara, On Mount Fernando Po, Where Hippo Po walks Along the wide Limpopo”, reading which for the first time, the author of the article (at the age of five) became interested in the geography and nature of Africa, to the study of which he later devoted his life.

Discussion: The new species is an endemic of the Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests Ecoregion. In the recent years, the new species Gumilevia timora Yakovlev, 2011 was described from Bioko Island, and the new genus and species Geraldocossus durrelli Yakovlev & Sáfián, 2016 - from Mount Cameroon (YAKOVLEV, 2011; YAKOVLEV & SÁFIÁN, 2016). Currently, the lepidopteran biodiversity of this ecoregion is being actively studied, numerous new taxa have been described (HERBULOT, 1999; PRZYBYŁOWICZ, 2013; SÁFIÁN & TROPEK, 2016; PRZYBYŁOWICZ et al., 2019; SÁFIÁN et al., 2019; PARK & KARISH, 2021), for certain groups, the faunal lists have been published (SPEARMAN et al., 2000; KARISCH, 2001). It is extremely interesting that the center of species diversity of the family Alucitidae was found on Cameroon Mount (USTJUZHANIN et al., 2018, 2020), where our colleagues discovered over a quarter of Alucitidae species richness in Africa, wherein 16 (!) species of 22 are endemics. All the species were traditionally described in the genus Alucita Linnaeus, 1758 (type species: Alucita hexadactyla Linnaeus, 1758), but it is obvious that the species A. longipenis Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich, 2018 with its extremely long worm-like aedeagus, A. bokwango Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich, 2020 with its long acicular uncus and the clavately extended apices of the valves; A. ludmila Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich, 2018 with pronounced pubescence, the special pattern on the wings and the triangular valves, and the group of species with completely reduced valves (A. fokami Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich, 2018, A. janeceki Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich, 2018, A. zuza Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich, 2020, A. deja Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich, 2020) sharply differ morphologically from the typical European and Asian Alucita, Probably, they represent the genera new to science, also endemic for Mount Cameroon. Wherein, no endemic species of Alucitidae are known from Bioko. Thus, we now know significant differences in the fauna of Lepidoptera on the continental and insular parts of the Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests Ecoregion. Further study of the entomofauna (primarily, of the endemic taxa) of this richest region will raise the question of dividing the ecoregion into two parts: continental and insular.

1.Mirocossus chukovskyi Yakovlev sp. n. - holotype, adult male, Cote d’Ivoire, Marahoué Region, individual number NHMUK: 012832476 (NHMUK). 2.Mirocossus chukovskyi Yakovlev sp. n. - holotype, male genitalia (slide NHMUK: 010315507).
Figures 1-2.–
1.Mirocossus chukovskyi Yakovlev sp. n. - holotype, adult male, Cote d’Ivoire, Marahoué Region, individual number NHMUK: 012832476 (NHMUK). 2.Mirocossus chukovskyi Yakovlev sp. n. - holotype, male genitalia (slide NHMUK: 010315507).


The author is grateful to Anna Ustjuzhanina (Tomsk, Russia) for language improvements. We also express our gratitude to Geoff Martin & Alessandro Giusti (London) and to Xenia Proskuryakova for the technical assistance.


DE PRINS, J. & DE PRINS, W., 2022.– Afromoths, online database of Afrotropical moth species (Lepidoptera): Available from (accessed 12 March 2022).

FLETCHER, D. S., 1968.– Ruwenzori Expedition, 1952. - Cossidae, Metarbelidae, Psychidae, Limacodidae, Drepanidae, Uraniidae, Lasiocampidae, Eupterotidae, Bombycidae, Saturniidae & Sphingidae.– Ruwenzori Expedition 1952, 1(8): 325-369.

HACKER, H. H., 2016.– Systematic and illustrated catalogue of the Macroheterocera and Superfamilies Cossoidea Leach, [1815], Zygaenoidea Latreille, 1809, Thyridoidea Herrich-Schäffer, 1846 and Hyblaeoidea Hampson, 1903 of the Arabian Peninsula, with a survey of their distribution (Lepidoptera).– Esperiana, 20: 7-742.

HERBULOT, C., 1999.– Nouveaux Geometridae de ille de Bioko, Guinée Equatoriale Lepidoptera, Geometridae.– Nouvelle Revue d’Entomologie, 162: 147-153.

KARISCH, T., 2001.– Zur Geometridenfauna von Bioko (Lepidoptera, Geometridae).– Lambillionea, 101(1): 161- 184.

LAFONTAINE, J. D. & MIKKOLA, K., 1987.– Lock-and-key system in the inner genitalia of Noctuidae (Lepidoptera) as taxonomic character.– Entomologiske Meddelelser, 55: 161-167.

PARK, K.-T. & KARISH, T., 2021.– The family Lecithoceridae (Lepidoptera, Gelechioidea) from Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea), with descriptions of five new species.– Zootaxa, 4995(3): 581-593. Doi: 10.11646/ zootaxa.4995.3.12.

PRZYBYŁOWICZ, Ł., 2013.– Review of subgenus Compsochromia Kiriakoff, 1953 (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae, genus Balacra) with identification keys and description of a new species from Cameroon.– Annales de la Société entomologique de France, 49: 53-60.

PRZYBYŁOWICZ, Ł., MAICHER, V., LÁSZLÓ, G. M., SÁFIÁN, Sz. & TROPEK, R., 2019.– Amerila (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae) of Cameroon with morphological remarks on male and female genitalia.– Zootaxa, 4674: 283-295.

SÁFIÁN, Sz. & TROPEK, R., 2016.– Two new butterfly species (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) from Mount Cameroon, Gulf of Guinea Highlands, Cameroon.– Zootaxa, 4150: 123-132.

SÁFIÁN, Sz., BELCASTRO, C. & TROPEK, R., 2019.– Two new species in the genus Andronymus Holland, 1896 (Lepidoptera, Hesperiidae).– Zootaxa, 4624: 108-120.

SCHOORL, J. W., 1990.– A Phylogenetic study on Cossidae (Lepidoptera: Ditrysia) based on external adult morphology.– Zoölogische Verhandelingen, Leiden, 263: 1-295.

SPEARMAN, L. A., ORFE, N. A. & WEINTRAUB, J. D., 2000.– An annotated list of the butterfly Fauna of Bioko Island, equatorial Guinea (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea).– Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 126(3): 447-475.

USTJUZHANIN, P., KOVTUNOVICH, V., MAICHER, V., SÁFIÁN, S., DELABYE, S., STRELTZOV, A. & TROPEK, R., 2020.– Even hotter hotspot: description of seven new species of many-plumed moths (Lepidoptera, Alucitidae) from Mount Cameroon.– ZooKeys, 935: 103-119.

USTJUZHANIN, P., KOVTUNOVICH, V., SÁFIÁN, S., MAICHER, V. & TROPEK, R., 2018.– A newly discovered biodiversity hotspot of many-plumed moths in the Mount Cameroon area: first report on species diversity, with description of nine new species (Lepidoptera, Alucitidae).– ZooKeys, 777: 119-139.

WILTSHIRE, E. P., 1990.– An illustrated annotated catalogue of the Macro-Heterocera of Saudi Arabia.– Fauna of Saudi Arabia, 11: 91-250.

YAKOVLEV, R. V., 2011.– Catalogue of the family Cossidae of the Old World (Lepidoptera).– Neue Entomologische Nachrichten, 66: 1-129.

YAKOVLEV, R. V., 2014.– A new species of Meharia Chrétien, 1915 (Lepidoptera, Cossidae) from the United Arab Emirates, with a world catalogue of the genus.– Zootaxa, 3895(3): 401-410. Doi: 10.11646/ zootaxa.3895.3.4.

YAKOVLEV, R. V., 2019.– Two new species of Cossinae (Lepidoptera, Cossidae) from Arabian Peninsula.– Ecologica Montenegrina, 21: 42-45.

YAKOVLEV, R. V. & DUBATOLOV, V. V., 2013a.– Distribution of Carpenter-Moths (Lepidoptera, Cossidae) in the Palaeractic Deserts.– Zoologicheskii Zhurnal, 92(6): 682-694. Doi: 10.7868/S0044513413040193.

YAKOVLEV, R. V. & DUBATOLOV, V. V., 2013b.– Distribution of Carpenter-Moths (Lepidoptera, Cossidae) in the Palaearctic Deserts.– Entomological Review, 93(8): 991-1004.

YAKOVLEV, R., IVINSKIS, P., RIMSAITE, J. & SALDAITIS, A., 2013.– Description of two new species of Meharia Chrétien, 1915 (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) from East Africa.– Zootaxa, 3635(5): 587-590.

YAKOVLEV, R. V. & LENZ, J., 2013.– On the Fauna of Cossidae (Lepidoptera) of Zimbabwe with description of a new species.– Zootaxa3718(4): 387-397.

YAKOVLEV, R. V. & MURPHY, R. J., 2013.– The Cossidae (Lepidoptera) of Malawi with descriptions of two new species.– Zootaxa, 3709(4): 371-393.

YAKOVLEV, R. & SÁFIÁN, Sz., 2016.– Geraldocossus gen. nov (Lepidoptera, Cossidae) from Mount Cameroon (West Africa).– Zootaxa, 4114: 595-599.

YAKOVLEV, R. V. & WITT, T. J., 2019.– First records of Cossidae (Lepidoptera) of Republic of Rwanda.– Ecologica Montenegrina, 21: 38-41.

HTML generado a partir de XML-JATS4R por