Noctuidae - Acontiinae




Acontia cretata (Grote and Robinson)

Tarache cretata Grote and Robinson, 1870, Trans. Amer. Ent. Soc., 3:181, pl. 2, fig. 78.

Acontia neocula Smith, 1900, Trans. Amer. Ent. Soc., 27:75.

Acontia schwarzii Smith, 1900, Trans. Amer. Ent. Soc., 27:73.

Tarache schvarzi Hampson, 1910, Catalogue of the Lepidoptera Phalaenae in the British Museum, 10:774.
NOTE - An unjustified emendation of Acontia schwarzii Smith, 1900

Diagnosis: Acontia creata is a widespread species from the southern and central United States, extending into extreme southern Saskatchewan in the north, and northern Mexico in the south. The forewing is a pure, almost shiny white. There are two gray spots on the costa and the positions of the antemedial and postmedial lines. The base of the forewing may, or may not, have a gray suffusion. The postmedial line is double in its bottom half. The apex contains a reddish-brown patch with an interior pair of white parenthesis like marks. The subterminal line is usually a irregular white, distinctive line. Most of the hindwing in the male is white, although the gray suffusion may be more extensive in females.

Distribution: (Based only on material in the USNM). Acontia cretata is found in central and western North America. It occurs from eastern Texas in the east and westward across the United States to California. It also occurs in the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. The species extends southward into central Mexico and northern Baja Califoirnia. There is a single specimen in the USNM from southern Saskatchewan.

Identification Quality: Fair. There is some minor geographical variation in this species. It needs to be examined more closely.

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Unknown

Distribution map based on specimens in the USNM


Acontia cretata

Acontia cretata is most likely to be confused with Acontia chea. Both the male and female genitalia of the two species are abundantly distinct. Superfically the situation is not so good. The red-brown coloration about the forewing postmedial line is less extensive and more concentrated in chea than in cretata. In particular this markings has a distinct s-shaped configuration in chea. The white areas of the terminal and subterminal areas are more extensive in chea than in cretata.

Similar Species

Acontia chea