Noctuidae - Acontiinae






Tarache dacia (Druce)

Acontia dacia Druce, 1889, Biologia Centrali-Americana. Insecta. Lepidoptera-Heterocera, 1:308, pl. 28, fig. 25.

Tarache curvilinea Barnes and McDunnough, 1913, Contr. Nat. Hist. Lepid. N. Amer., 2(3):118, pl. 5, fig. 12.

Diagnosis: Tarache dacia is sexually dimorphic. The basal two-thirds of the male forewing is light gray, but heavily dusted with darker gray-brown scales. This light gray area is bordered distally by a strongly curved, white postmedial line and the extends distally along the costa ending in a pointed, white triangle.The antemedial line is present, straight, but not well marked. The orbicular is a black spot and the reniform is absent or very obscure. The area between the postmedial line and the subterminal line up to the upper point of the light gray area is a dark red-brown, broad, comma-shaped patch. The region between the subterminal line and the fringe is uniform brown except for weak black spots along the subterminal line and the fringe. The hindwing is yellowish brown.  Forewing expanse from base to apex 11 mm.

The female is a browner, yellower color without the simple maculation of the male. The basal two-thirds of the forewing is brown, but shaded with white along the costa. The antemedial line is strong, curved, and dark brown. the orbicular and reniform are small, obscure black dots. The lower half of the postmedial line curved evenly inward and is accented with white. The upper half of the postmedial line curved outward around the reniform and its upper part is marked with a white streak. The lower area between the postmedial and subterminal lines is a small (much smaller than in the male) comma-shaped patch accented with white on both sides and sometimes with yellowish scales in its interior. The hindwing is heavily suffused with dark yellow-brown.

Distribution: (Based on on specimens in the USNM) Tarache dacia is primarily a species of Mexico and northern Central America, but extends northward into the southern half of Texas. Flight period May and August

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Unknown

Distribution map based on specimens in the USNM

Tarache dacia

The best way to separate Tarache dacia and terminimaculata is by geographic range. Tarache dacia is a species of Mexico, Central America, and southern Texas. In contrast terminimaculata is an eastern U.S. species from Florida to New York and westward to Illinois. The male of dacia has the light basal regions of the forewing completely suffused with gray. In contrast the light are in terminimaculata is suffused with light tan near the base and along the costa. The female of terminimaculata is grayer than dacia and the dark antemedial line is shorter. The male and female genitalia of both species are distinctive.

Similar Species

Tarache terminimaculata male

Tarache terminimaculata female