Noctuidae - Acontiinae


Palm Springs, California

Maricopa County, Arizona

Light Form from Arizona



Ponometia acutus (Smith)

Conochares acutus Smith, 1905, Jl. New York Ent. Soc., 13:207.

Thalpochares catalina Smith, 1906, Jl. New York Ent. Soc., 14:29.

Diagnosis: Ponometia acutus is a variable species. However the combination of the pointed forewings, and large, basal white area reaching from the base of the wing to the postmedial line with a triangular point ending in the reniform, the general washed out appearance of the wings and the series of black dots along the outer margin of the wing are generally enough to recognize the species. The forewing area beyond the postmedial line is variable in color. Most typically it is light gray, but can be dark gray, or almost white with the only color a yellow-orange shading along the postmedial line. The hindwing is suffused with gray-brown. Wing expanse from base to apex in one selected individual 12 mm.

Distribution: (Based only on specimens in the USNM) Ponometia acutus is a species of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. (See map below)

Identification Quality: Fair. The extreme variability needs more study to determine if it is indicative of more than one species.

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Ambrosia sp. (Asteraceae) (HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants, Natural History Museum)

Distribution map based on specimens in the USNM

Ponometia acutus

Ponometia new species 1 has been misidentified as acutus. However the maculation of this new species is much more strongly and distinctly marked. In particular the regions beyond the forewing postmedial line is much more complicated with distinctive patches and lines. The fringe is white with distinctive brown patches; one just below the apex of the wing and the other at the inner angle near the inner margin. The hindwing of the male is pure white, although suffused with brown near the upper angle of the wing and slightly around the outer margin. The male aedoeagus has two major spines. Ponometia acutus has a single strong spine.

Ponometia altera shares the general white coloration and shape of the basal white area of acutus. However the lower half of the postmedial line is a distinct, double black line with the area between the two lines yellow-green. The reniform is a distinct black oval, also filled with yellow-green.

Similar Species

Ponometia new species 1

Ponometia altera