Noctuidae - Acontiinae


Verdi, Nevada (Part of original syntype series of fumata)

Specimen old and faded




Ponometia fumata (H. Edwards)

Spragueia fumata Smith, 1905, Canad. Ent., 37:259.

Diagnosis: Even by the standards of the Noctuidae Ponometia fumata is a drab species. The forewing is dark brown to black-brown. Older specimens fade toward brown. There appears to be geographical variation in the color of the forewing with more northern specimens tending to be darker and blacker. However a combination of old faded specimens and a lack of sufficient specimens make it impossible to be definitive about this conjecture. There are no definite differences in the male genitalia that I can see. However, the female genitalia of Ponometia fumata and tortricina appear to abundantely distinct, particularly in the shape of the bursae. Forewing expanse from base to apex in one selected specimen --- mm.

Distribution: (Based only on specimens in the USNM). Ponometia fumata appears to be a specimens of the northwestern United States. However possible confusion with darker specimens of tortricina makes the reliability of the distribution shown below suspect.

Identification Quality: Fair to poor. The relationship between tortricina and fumata is still problematic. The forewing of tortricina almost always has a greenish tinge, even in those specimens suffused with grayish brown. A greenish tinge is absent in all specimens identified as fumata. However, both species are variable in both color, geographically and individually. Yellow specimens of tortricina are easily separated from fumata. However specimens of tortricina heavily suffused with gray-brown can be nearly impossible to separate from fumata, particularly in the specimens are old and faded. There are no apparent significant differences in the male genitalia. However the female genitalia are abundantly distinct, particular in the shape of the bursae and the extent of the heavy sclerotization. The species appear to be sympatric in the Great Basin region of the United States. Never the less much more research needs to be done to clarify the relationship between these two supposed species.

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Unknown

Distribution map based on specimens in the USNM

Ponometia fumata

Please see the discussion above under Identification Quality.

Similar Species

Ponometia tortricina