Noctuidae - Acontiinae






Tarache tetragona Walker

Acontia tetragona Walker, [1858] 1857, List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, 12:786.

Acontia aprica var. ceyvenstensis Dyar, 1904, Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus., 6:63.

Tarache gonoides McDunnough, 1943, Canad. Ent., 75:59.

Diagnosis: Tarache tetragona is a species of the Carribaean Basin. The male is small (6 to 8 mm in wing expanse from base to apex). The forewing has white basal and medial areas with only the antemedial line indicated by a small, dark brown dash on the costa. The orbicular is represented by at most a small black spot and is sometimes absent. The reniform is a round spot, distinctly separated from the dark postmedial band. The hinwing is white without a darker outer margin. The costa of the hindwing below lacks a dark band approximately two-thirds the way from the base to the apex. The female is more darkly marked. Both the lower half of the medial area and the basal region are dark brown, although parts of the basal area are sometimes mottled in gray. A rectangular white area arises from the costa and encompasses the oribicular and reniform. The female hindwing is uniformly colored with tan-brown.  Forewing expanse from base to apex in one slected individual 9 mm.  The costal margin of the right valve of the male genitalia is humped and double, but is long, slender, and curved in quadriplaga.

Distribution: (Based only on specimens in the USNM). Tarache tetragona occurs from southern Florida southward through the Carribaean islands. The species is also found from eastern Texas southward through Mexico and most of Central America to Costa Rica.

North American specimens have been collected between February and September.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Reared by Janzen and Hallwachs from Malvaviscus arboreus and Herssantia crispa (Malvaceae) from Costa Rica.


Tarache tetragona

Tarache tetragona is consistently a smaller species than aprica. The forewing expanse of tetragona is 7 to 9 mm. from base to apex compared to about 10 mm. in aprica. The male hindwing below of tetragona lacks the dark costal marking found in aprica. The female hindwing of aprica is always white at its base. In contrast the female hindwing of tetragona is uniformly tan-brown. The hindwing of the male of quadriplaga has a consistently dull yellow-brown hindwing and not the white hindwing of aprica. The hindwing of a female quadraplaga is completely tan-brown. In contrast the hindwing of the female aprica hindwing is white with a dark grayish outer margin.

Similar Species

Tarache quadriplaga

Tarache aprica