Noctuidae - Acontiinae




Ponometia semiflava (Guenée)

Xanthoptera semiflava Guenée, 1852, Histoire Naturelle des Insectes. Species General des Lépidoptéres, 6:241.

Diagnosis: The base of the forewing of Ponometia semiflava is bright yellow. The outer half of the forewing is brown highly and lightly dusted with white scales. The postmedial line is a straight, slanting, black line. The fringe is brown. The thorax is yellow. The hindwing is heavily suffused with brown. Wing expanse from base to apex in one selected individual 10 mm.

Distribution: (Based only on specimens in the USNM). Ponometia semiflava has a wide distribution in North America. It occurs from southern New England to Florida in the eastern parts of North America and ranges westward from southern Canada and southward to southern Texas. It appears to be absent from the Pacific Northwest.

Identification Quality: Good

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: The foodplants of this species are unknown. Records of semiflava from the pitcher plants Saraccenia flava and S. minor (Sarraceniaceae) are based on misidentifications of Exya ridingsii (Plusiinae).

Distribution map based on specimens in the USNM

Ponometia semiflava

The species most similar to Ponometia semiflava is the male of Ponometia bicolorata. Ponometia bicolorata is a tropical species entering only the southern parts of the United States. Although the coloration and maculation of bicolorata is similar, the overall appearance is a darker, and duller version of semiflava. The yellow forewing base is duller and has a slightly greenish tinge. The darker outer half of the forewing is darker and rougher appearing than that of semiflava.

Ponometia clausula is a southwestern species also similar to semiflava. However it is smaller than semiflava and the outer, darker half of the forewing is gray, not brown. The outer forewing fringe is white with irregular spots of gray and black.

Similar Species

Ponometia bicolorata

Ponometia clausula