Noctuidae - Cuculliinae



Cucullia lilacina Schaus

Cucullia lilacina Schaus, 1898, Jour. New York Ent. Soc., 6:116.

Cucullia agua Barnes, 1905, Canad. Ent., 36:203.

Diagnosis: Cucullia lilacina is a pretty species from Mexico and the southwestern United States. It is easily recognized by the bright violet or lilac color of the forewing and the distinct brown patch along the costa from the reniform mark to the outer margin. The male clasper and basal process of the sacculus are long and the vesica of the aedoeagus has one long and one short spine plus a scobinate patch. The male genitalia are indistinguishable from those of eucaena despite the superficial distinctness of the two species. There does not appear to be any significant individual or geographical variation in the species, although the accuracy of this statement is limited by the scarcity of specimens. Males and females are not sexually dimorphic although females are slightly darker and larger than the males. Wing length from base to apex: mean = 19.72 mm., standard deviation = 1.20 mm., n = 10.

Distribution: This species has the same basic geographical pattern as eucaena and oribac, although it may have a slightly greater range. In the United States it has been collected in the mountains of southern Arizona, reaching as far north as the White Mountains in the east and the Grand Canyon toward the west. In New Mexico it occurs throughout most of the state (based on scattered records). It has also been collected throughout western Texas. In Mexico it has been taken in the Federal District and Veracruz. A single female is known from Juan Vinas [state of Cartago] in central Costa Rica which is probably this species. Like its relatives, eucaena and oribac, lilacina is probably a denizen of open oak pine habitats.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: The life history and foodplants have not been published. However J.G. Franclemont has collected and reared the larva in the Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona on Erigeron divergens (Asteraceae). He has kindly furnished me with color slides of the larva from which this short description has been taken. The larva is strikingly different from the larvae of convexipennis and oribac, the other two species in the group whose larvae are known. The larva is light violet with a broad black annular band around each abdominal and thoracic segment. The anterior margin of each segment has small black bands. The prolegs are solid black. There is a hint of an obscure orange dorsal longitudinal band. The eighth abdominal segment is humped, but not as conspicuously as in convexipennis. Adults have been collected from June to October in the United States.

Foodplants: J.G. Franclemont collected and reared the larva in the Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona on Erigeron divergens (Asteraceae).


Cucullia lilacina


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