Phylogenetic analysis and systematics of the Acrapex unicolora Hampson species complex (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Apameini), with the description of five new species from the Afrotropics

  • Bruno Le Ru IRD/CNRS, UMR IRD 247 EGCE, Laboratoire Evolution Génomes Spéciation, Avenue de la terrasse, BP 1, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France and Université Paris-Sud 11, 91405 Orsay
  • Claire Capdevielle-Dulac IRD/CNRS, UMR IRD 247 EGCE, Laboratoire Evolution Génomes Spéciation, Avenue de la terrasse, BP 1, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France and Université Paris-Sud 11, 91405 Orsay
  • Boaz K. Musyoka Unité de Recherche UMR 247, African Insect Science for Food and Health (icipe), PO Box 30772-00100, Nairobi
  • Beatrice Pallangyo Biocontrol Program, PO Box 30031, Kibaha
  • Mohamedi Njaku Biocontrol Program, PO Box 30031, Kibaha
  • Onésime Mubenga Faculté des Sciences agronomiques, Université de Kisangani, Kisangani
  • Gilson Chipabika Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, Mount Maluku Central Research Station, PO Box 8, Chilanga
  • Rose Ndemah International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, PO Box 2008, Messa, Yaoundé
  • Grégoire Bani Centre de Recherches Agronomiques de Loudima (CRAL), BP 28, Loudima
  • Richard Molo Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute (NAARI), PO Box 7084, Kampala
  • George Ong'Amo School of Biological Science, College of Physical and Biological Sciences (Chiromo Campus), University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197, Nairobi
  • Gael J. Kergoat INRA - UMR 1062 CBGP (INRA, IRD, Cirad, Montpellier SupAgro), 755 Avenue du campus Agropolis, 34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez
Keywords: Acrapex, Afrotropical Region, Apameini, Noctuidae, Sesamiina


Ten morphologically similar species of Acrapex Hampson, 1891 (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Noctuinae, Apameini) from Central and Eastern Africa are reviewed, including five new species: Acrapex kafula le Ru sp. nov., A. kavumba le Ru sp. nov., A. kiakouama le Ru sp. nov., A. miscantha le Ru sp. nov. and A. simillima le Ru sp. nov. Evidence is provided to transfer the monotypic genus Poecopa Bowden, 1956 to the genus Acrapex. Host plants of five species are recorded, some of them for the first time. Acrapex kavumba sp. nov., A. miscantha sp. nov. and A. simillima sp. nov. were found on one host plant each. Acrapex mediopuncta, previously reported in West Africa from Pennisetum purpureum Schumach., Rottboellia compressa L., Setaria megaphylla (Steud) Dur. & Schinz. and Sorghum arundinaceum (Desv.) Stapf, was only found from S. megaphylla in Central Africa. Larvae of Acrapex unicolora were collected on Andropogon gayanus Kunth, Chrysopogon zizanoides (L.) Roberty, Cymbopogon schoenanthus subsp. proximus (Hochst. ex A.Rich.) Maire & Weller, Cymbopogon pospischiilii (K.Schum.) C.E.Hubb., Hyparrhenia diplandra (Hack.) Stapf and Setaria sphacelata (Schumach.) Moss. We also conducted molecular phylogenetic analyses (using maximum likelihood) and molecular species delimitation analyses on a comprehensive sample of 61 specimens belonging to eight of the studied species. Molecular phylogenetic analyses provided additional evidence of the synonymy of Acrapex and Poecopa, whereas molecular species delimitation analyses support the validity of the five newly described species and unravel another potential new species, only collected in the larval stage.


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How to Cite
Le Ru, B., Capdevielle-Dulac, C., Musyoka, B. K., Pallangyo, B., Njaku, M., Mubenga, O., Chipabika, G., Ndemah, R., Bani, G., Molo, R., Ong’Amo, G., & Kergoat, G. J. (2017). Phylogenetic analysis and systematics of the Acrapex unicolora Hampson species complex (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Apameini), with the description of five new species from the Afrotropics. European Journal of Taxonomy, (270).