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This taxon, described from the Elburz Mountains, Northern Iran, is known only from the holotype (coll. BMNH). In the original description the color was characterized as pale straw and the wing pattern close to the Spanish species glycyrrhizae. The diagnostic comparison was made with Lygephila craccae ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775) and Lygephila lusoria only, whereas a comparison with another similar species, Lygephila pallida,was neglected. The original description contains the following text about the clasping apparatus structure (Fig. 28): “The harpe [ampulla], longer than that of craccae, is nevertheless shorter than that of lusoria.” Comparative analysis of the ampullar length (shorter than that of lusoria) given by Wiltshire, makes it possible to conclude that the Lygephila fereidun is different from the Lygephila amasina and Lygephila subpicata, because they have longer ampullae that reach the costal margin of the valva. So, by this feature Lygephila fereidun could be compared only with Lygephila pallida,the ampulla of which is rather shorter than that of Lygephila lusoria and other members of its species group. Vesica structure in the original description is characterized as follows: “The vesica contains similar elements to those of lusoria but the proximal scobinated field is shorter and the five or six teeth on the distal chitinous lump are larger and more like cornuti than in lusoria.” However, the only sclerotized cornutus formation illustrated in the original drawing looks similar to that of Lygephila subpicata, but Lygephila subpicata has two heavily-sclerotized crown-like cornuti on the top of subbasal and 2nd medial diverticula.
The above-mentioned contradictions in the original description thereby make it impossible to clarify the taxonomical situation of this taxon without a study of the genitalia of the holotype, the preparation of which is opaque and requires specific recovery treatment. Based on the currently known characters Lygephila fereidun is most likely an aberrant specimenof Lygephila pallida.
- Pekarsky, O; 2013: Taxonomic and morphological survey of the Lygephila lusoria (Linnaeus, 1758) species-group with description of a new species (Lepidoptera, Erebidae, Toxocampinae) ZooKeys, 351: 49-81. doi
- Wiltshire E (1961) A new genus, eight new species, seven new forms, and notes on the Lepidoptera of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Iran (With four plates and three text-figures). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 58(3): 608-631.