Noctuidae - Acontiinae


Male - Big Bend Region of Texas

Female - Big Bend Region of Texas

Male - Nevada

Female - San Diego

Imperial County, California



Ponometia elegantula (Harvey)

Thalpochares elegantula Harvey, 1876, Canad. Ent., 8:55.

Tarache semiopaca Grote, 1878, Bull. U.S. Geol. Geograph. Survey Territ., 4:182.

Thalpochares arizonae H. Edwards, 1878, Pacific Coast Lepidoptera, 29:7.

Conochares interruptus Smith, 1905, Jl. New York Ent. Soc., 13:208.

Orobena seminivealis Hulst, 1886, Trans. Amer. Ent. Soc., 13:157.

Conocharis [sic] rectangula McDunnough, 1943, Canad. Ent., 75:59.

Diagnosis: Ponometia elegantula is a widespread, small, and highly variable species from the western United States and northern Mexico. The forewing has a pointed appearance. The basal half of the forewing is pure white. The postmedial line delineates the outer margin of this white basal area. The line is near straight, but usually has distinctly point near the position of the reniform. The reniform is large, gray to brown in color, and usually outlined in white. The outer half of the white is variable in color from yellow, to tan, to dark brown. The strength of the color is also variable. This variability occurs both within populations and between populations, although specimens from drier areas tend to be more yellow and less strongly marked. Wing expanse from base to apex in one selected individual 10 mm.

Distribution: (Based only on specimens in the USNM). Ponometia elegantula has a wide distribution in the western United States. It ranges from extreme southeastern Texas westward to most of California, and as far north as eastern Washington. The majority of specimens are from desert regions.

Identification Quality: Fair. Although no differences in the genitalia have been found in the material available in the USNM collection, the variability must still be examined more closely to determine if more than a single species is present.

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Unknown.

Distribution map based on specimens in the USNM

Ponometia elegantula

Ponometia elegantula is a smaller species than Ponometia acutus (forewing length from base to apex 10 mm. in elegantula versus 12 mm. in acutus). Ponometia acutus is white and gray, not white and brown to yellow.

Similar Species

Ponometia acutus