Noctuidae - Cuculliinae





Cucullia convexipennis Grote and Robinson

Cucullia convexipennis Grote and Robinson, 1868, Trans. Amer. Ent. Soc., 2:201, pl. 3, fig. 76.

Diagnosis: Cucullia convexipennis is one of the most distinctive species of the genus. The wood brown color of the forewing will immediately identify it. A distinct dark streak is present on the forewing cubital vein running from the orbicular mark to near the outer margin. This streak is also possessed by Cucullia oribac, but the color of oribac is violet gray, not brown. This streak gives the forewing a horizontally streaked appearance. There does not appear to be any significant individual, sexual, or geographical variation in this species. The closest relatives of convexipennis are oribac, eucaena, and lilacina. However all three species are some shade of gray violet and superfically are very different from convexipennis. Wing length from base to apex: mean = 21.22 mm., standard deviation = 0.64 mm., n = 10.

Distribution: Cucullia convexipennis occurs throughout the northern and eastern United States and Canada as far west as Wisconsin, as far south as North Carolina, and as far north as Nova Scotia. It is apparently rare west of Pennsylvania. Its primary habitat is undoubtedly eastern deciduous forest. This distribution is unusual because all four of its nearest relatives are Mexican species with northern range boundaries in the southwestern United States.

Adults have been collected from May to September with most specimens caught in July and August.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: The larvae has been described by Crumb (1956) and figured by Holland (1903, pl. 1, fig. 3). A yellow to orange-red dorsal stripe is present margined on either side by a black to dark brown subdorsal band. Four broken yellow lines occur within this band. Conspicuous yellow patches of irregular shape are present in the spiracular region. A broad, red band with yellow margining exists ventral to the spiracular region. The ventral region is occupied by a series of yellow lines. The eighth abdominal segment is strongly humped. The head is solid black with yellow along the frontal sutures and in the ocellar region. The larvae mature in September and October, first feeding on the leaves and then the flowers of their foodplants as they come into bloom. The species passes the winter as a pupa in a silk and earth cocoon in the ground, the adult emerging in the early summer.

Foodplants: The recorded host plants are Aster spp., Solidago spp., and Callistephus chinensis, all composites.

Cucullia convexipennis

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