Noctuidae - Condicinae - Condicini






Condica morsa (Smith) NEW COMBINATION

Perigea morsa Smith, 1907, Trans. Amer. Ent. Soc., 33:141.

Perigea sutrix Dyar, 1914, Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus., 44:294.  NEW SYNONYMY

Diagnosis: Condica morsa is a non-descript species from southern Texas and Mexico. The forewing is a mottled gray with a slight brown tint to it. There is usually a dark shading in the cell between the orbicular spot and reniform spot although this dark band may not be particularly visible in some females. The orbicular spot is not prominent and is normally a slightly lighter gray oval. The reniform spot is kidney shaped and always present, but never distinctly so. Within the reniform spot there are usually variable black dots and lines. The claviform spot is nearly absent and if present consists only a small black tooth. The subterminal area is slightly lighter than the postmedial region and the subterminal line is light gray and irreguarly angulate , usually accented with dull black on its inner side. The hindwing of the male is white edged with dull brown-black along the outer margin and is uniformly suffused with dull gray brown in the females. In the male genitalia the clasper has a spatulate tip. The valve is relatively long and narrow. The juxta has a central carina. The vesica of the aedoeagus is of the same basic conformation as in leucorena, charada, and andrena. However of the two ventral diverticula (as viewed in the figure) the right one is longer and narrower than the left and has a secondary diverticula of its own. There is a sclerotized, denticulate patch near the base of the double ventral diverticulum.

Distribution: Condica morsa within the United States is primarily a species of southeastern and south-central Texas, although it has also been collected in western Texas. The species is also known from a few localities in the eastern half of Mexico. The southern most extension of the species so far known is in Oaxaca. The species is moderately variable, particularly in the distinctiveness of the maculation of the forewing. The sexual dimorphism between males and females has already been alluded to. The amount of suffusion along the outer margin of the male hindwing varies and in one specimen the outer dark band is almost absent. There is one male from Kleberg County in Texas where there is large white spot in the lower half of the reniform spot, the dark edging of the inner side of the subterminal margin is absent, and the forewing is pure gray without the slight brown tint found in all other specimens. Although looking superficial different from the general run of the mill for the species, the male genitalia are identical in every respect.

Adults have been collected in most months of the year, but seem to be concentrated in the fall months of September through November and the spring months of March and April.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Unknown


Condica morsa

This species has one close sister species in the United States, Condica claufacta. Condica claufacta is from Florida and is superficially quite distinct. The forewing of claufacta has a distinctive dark red-brown color in contrast to the light dull gray of morsa. To the best of my knowledge claufacta is restricted to Florida, although there is one highly dubious specimen labeled "San Antonia, Tex.". In the male genitalia the clasper is thicker and slants toward the center of the genitalia. In contrast the clasper of morsa is perpendicular to the axis of the valve. The valve of morsa is longer and narrower than in claufacta

Within the North American range of morsa, it might be superficially confused with three other species; charada, concisa, and sutor. Condica sutor is slightly larger than morsa and has a distinctly brown color in contrast to the basic gray ground color of morsa. The suberminal area is distinctly lighter than the postmedial area in morsa, but almost equal in color in sutor. The reniform spot is distinctly lighter than the rest of the cell in morsa, but nearly concolorous with the cell in sutor. In addition both the male and female genitalia are greatly different (compare the relevant photographs). These two species should not pose much of a problem to separate except for small, very worm specimens of sutor. Condica concisa is more of a problem but is slightly smaller than morsa. In addition the dark markings of concisa are crisp and forewing has a "busy", complicated appearance. In contrast the forewing of morsa is generally suffused with gray and the dark markings, although present, do not stand out. In particular there is usually a distinct, well defined black streak between the reniform spot and orbicular spot in concisa. Although the cell may be filled with dark scales in morsa, there is never a well defined black streak. To a lesser degree there are a distinct series of dark and light streaks along the costa of concisa that are absent in morsa. Finally Condica charada is the species most likely to be confused with morsa. However in charada the postmedial and antemedial lines are never distinct. These lines, although certainly not prominent, are always clearly present. In charada there is a white spot in the bottom on the reniform spot that radiates along the veins near it. No such spot occurs in morsa. The subterminal line is almost totally straight in charada, but is irreguarly jagged in morsa. Finally charada is slightly larger than morsa, a size difference that is apparent in the color plate of the adults.

Similar Species

Condica claufacta

Condica charada

Condica concisa

Condica sutor