A beautiful new Black-eyed Satyr species has become the first butterfly named in honour of the popular naturalist and TV presenter Sir David Attenborough - one of my personal heroes. Although not the first animal to be named after Attenborough, the butterfly is so rare that it is known only from lowland tropical forests of the upper Amazon basin in Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil.
The butterfly's atypical wings in comparison to its relatives, have been the reason the colleagues took to plenty of diagnostic characters to define its taxonomic placement. The peculiar patterns and morphology initially led the researchers to think the species could be even a new genus but DNA evidence confirmed that it belongs to the genus Euptychia.
For the experts: Two new species of Euptychia Hübner, 1818 are described from the upper Amazon basin: E. attenboroughi Neild, Nakahara, Fratello & Le Crom, sp. n. (type locality: Amazonas, Venezuela), and E. sophiae Zacca, Nakahara, Dolibaina & Dias, sp. n. (type locality: Acre, Brazil). Their unusual facies prompted molecular and phylogenetic analyses of one of the species resulting in support for their classification in monophyletic Euptychia. Diagnostic characters for the two species are presented based on wing morphology, wing pattern, presence of androconial patches on the hindwing, and genitalia. Our results indicate that the projection of the tegumen above the uncus, previously considered a synapomorphy for Euptychia, is not shared by all species in the genus. The adults and their genitalia are documented, and distribution data and a map are provided.