Noctuidae - Cuculliinae






Cucullia eucaena Dyar

Cucullia eucaena Dyar, 1919, Ins. Insc. Mens., 7:76.

Diagnosis: Cucullia eucaena is a Mexican species also occurring in the mountains of southern Arizona. An interesting feature of the species is its marked sexual dimorphism, particularly in the Arizona populations. Sexual dimorphism is also found in oribac. The male forewing in the Arizona population is violet gray suffused with black and brown along the costa from the reniform mark to the apex. In contrast the female forewing is almost entirely suffused with black leaving only the basal area, outer margin, and a brown streak from the orbicular mark to the outer margin lighter in color. The southern Mexican populations also exhibit this sexual dimorphism, but to a lesser degree. The male in these Mexican populations is darker and more like the female than are Arizona males. Wing length from base to apex: mean = 22.37 mm., standard deviation = 0.87 mm., n = 10.

The males of the Arizona population bear an uncanny resemblance to the eastern United States populations of Cucullia asteroides Guenée even though the two are not closely related. The two may be separated because; 1) asteroides is not known to occur in southern Arizona, 2) the dark shade on the lower inside margin of the postmedial line is oval or square in asteroides and linear or triangular in eucaena, 3) the black dash from the lower end of the postmedial line to the outer margin tends to be slightly curved in asteroides and straight in eucaena, and 4) the obvious differences in the male genitalia as illustrated in the figures.

The male genitalia of eucaena are indistinguishable from those of lilacina Schaus despite the superficial distinctness of the two species. The ribbing of the ductus bursae appears to be a bit stronger in eucaena than in lilacina, but not significantly so.

Distribution: In the United States eucaena is known from the Huachuca, Baboquivari, and Santa Rita Mountains of southern Arizona. The species is also known from the Big Bend region and Guadalupe Mountains of western Texas. I would be suprised if it was not eventually collected in southern New Mexico. In Mexico it has been collected in the states of Hidalgo, Federal District, Puebla, and Veracruz. It probably occurs throughout the mountains of Mexico in pine oak habitats.

Adults have been collected from July to October in the United States.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Unknown


Cucullia eucaena



See diagnosis section at the top of this page

Similar Species

Cucullia oribac male

Cucullia oribac female

Cucullia asteroides