Noctuidae - Cuculliinae






Cucullia oribac Barnes

Cucullia strigata Schaus, 1898, Jour. New York Ent. Soc., 6:116.
NOTE: A junior primary homonym of Cucullia strigata Smith 1892.

Cucullia oribac Barnes, 1904, Canad. Ent., 36:237.

Cucullia arizona Smith, 1905, Jour. New York Ent. Soc., 13:206.

Cucullia perstrigata Hampson, 1906, Catalogue of the Lepidoptera Phalaenae in the British Museum, 6:72.
NOTE: Proposed as an objective replacement name for Cucullia strigata Schaus 1898.

Diagnosis: Cucullia oribac Barnes is a southwestern and Mexican species closely related to convexipennis, lilacina, and eucaena. Its two most notable characters are the violet gray color of the forewing and the presence of a dark streak along the cubital vein from the bottom of the orbicular mark to almost the outer margin. Cucullia convexipennis has this streak, but it is a wood brown color, not violet gray. The other two closely related species, lilacina and eucaena both lack this streak. This streak gives both convexipennis and oribac a horizontally marked appearance. The male clasper is shorter and thicker than in lilacina and eucaena and the spines of the vesica are larger. Females are slightly larger and considerably darker brown than the males. However this sexual dimorphism is not as strong as in eucaena. Wing length from base to apex: mean = 21.40 mm., standard deviation = 0.99 mm., n = 10.

Distribution: Cucullia oribac has approximately the same distribution as lilacina and eucaena, occurring in the mountains of southern Arizona reaching as far north as Gila County. It occurs in southwest New Mexico, and the Guadalupe Mountains of western Texas. The species is apparently primarily Mexican and is known from the Federal District and the states of Veracruz, Morelos, and Chiapas. Considerable variability exists within the Mexican populations of oribac in forewing color and the length of the male clasper. Two specimens from Zacualpan, Veracruz are noticeably lighter in color than specimens from the Federal District and Jalapa, Veracruz. The clasper in these two specimens from Zacualpan is also shorter and slightly thicker than in other Mexican specimens. The male genitalia of the Arizona population is intermediate between these two types, but the overall variability of the male genitalia in Cucullia must also be kept in mind. Possibly more than one species is involved.

Adults have been collected in July in the United States.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: No previous description of the larvae has been published. There are specimens from Morelos and Veracruz in the USNM reared from Baccharis cordigera (Asteraceae). J.G. Franclemont (pers.comm.) has collected and reared the larva in the Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona on Baccharis bigelovii, and has provided me with color slides from which this short description is taken. The larva is similar to that of convexipennis. However the dorsal line is bright yellow and is not tinged with red or orange. The subdorsal black bands do not contain four thin, broken yellow lines as found in convexipennis. A conspicuous yellow patch is present on the hump on the eighth abdominal segment. This patch may or may not be present in convexipennis, but it is never as strong as in oribac.

Foodplants: Baccharis cordigera (Asteraceae) and Baccharis bigelovii (Asteraceae)

Cucullia oribac

See diagnosis section at the top of this page

Similar Species

Cucullia convexipennis

Cucullia eucaena