Noctuidae - Psaphidinae - Triocnemidini


Poliocnemis Benjamin

Poliocnemis Benjamin, 1932, Bull. S. California Acad. Sci., 31: 30.
Type species: Poliocnemis ungulatus Benjamin, 1932. Original designation.

Poliocnemis contains the single species ungulatus. The species is very distinctive with a slightly concave costa in the forewing extending into a pointed apex. The genus has a number of rather unique morphological features:

1) The normal noctuid spiracle is a chitinized ring with an internal lever and flange for muscle attachment. In Poliocnemis, however, only the proximal half of the ring is present; the distal part is absent or unchitinized. The lever is one huge flange plate. I have not seen this particular structure in any other noctuid nor would I want to speculate on how it functions.

2) In the female there is a huge tuft of long curly scales arising in the intersegmental membrane between the seventh and eighth abdominal segments. The function is probably pheremonal. The presence of the tuft gives the female an abdomen that looks like a shaving brush.

3) In the male genitalia the clasper is missing as well as the corona. The two halves of the tegumen are fused well below the articulation of the uncus, a feature of the Psaphidinae but not the Oncocnemidinae.

4) In the vesica there is no apical spine and the spines of the vesica are arranged in distinct patches not generally and irregularly spaced as in the Psaphidini and Nocloini, therefore more in keeping with species in the Oncocnemidinae.

5) The foretibial claw is very strong arising from a plate but with only one prong.

6) The tarsal spining is generally in three rows, but is slightly irregular, again hinting at a relationship with the Psaphidini.

The larva and its foodplants are unknown.

Included Species

Poliocnemis ungulatus