Noctuidae - Agaristinae




Agaristinae New Genus 1 mariposa

"Alypia mariposa"

Alypia mariposa Grote and Robinson, 1868, Trans. Amer. Ent. Soc., 1: 329, pl. 6, fig. 40.

Alypia lunata Stretch, 1872, Illustrations of the Zygaenidae and Bombycidae of North America, 1: 15, pl. 1, fig. 6.

Diagnosis: Agaristinae New Genus 1 mariposa is a distinctive Californian species that appears most like a member of the genus Alypia, but the pattern is more complete and more complicated. The forewing is black with light yellow patches. The costa and inner margins are entirely black. A yellow triangle is present stretching from the base of the wing to the orbicular mark and delimited on the bottom by the black inner margin. The orbicular mark is a black, elongate ovate, appearing to be a downward projection of the black costa. A black trapezoidal patch occurs in the median area based on the black inner margin and projecting into the median area touching the bottoms of the orbicular and reniform marks. This trapezoidal patch is dusted with light yellow scales. The reniform mark is large, comma shaped and appears to be a large, hooked projection from the black costal margin. The lower edge of the reniform mark is swollen and this swollen apex and the upper right corner of the trapezoidal black patch form a distinct, round projection into the light yellow between the reniform mark and the postmedial line. A light yellow, trapezoidal patch is present between the orbiular and reniform marks. In addition a curved, elongate, light yellow patch is present in the outer half of the median area between the reniform mark and the lower trapezoidal black patch and the postmedial line. This yellow patch is distinctly indented on its inner side by the ovate lower apex of the reniform mark already mentioned. The outer fifth of the wing is entirely black except for a small white apex on the forewing. The ventral forewing recapitulates the pattern of the dorsal surface. The dorsal hindwing has a light yellow central area surrounded by black. The discal dot is present, and large, appearing to be a hooked projection from the costal margin. The yellow patch is surrounded on all sides by black and the black from the inner margin projects into the yellow patch and touches the black discal mark. The apex of the hindwing is accented with yellow. The ventral hindwing has the same pattern as the dorsal side. A white line is present along the lower edge of the patagia. No row of white scales is present along the outer margin of the eye, the prothoracic tibia is black, not orange, and a strong tuft of orange scales is present on the mesothoracic tibia .Wing length: mean = 16.64 mm, standard deviation = 0.79 mm, n = 10.

Distribution: Agaristinae New Genus 1 mariposa has a much more restricted distribution than that of ridingsii, occurring in central California from Kern and San Luis Obispo counties in south to Placer county in the north. Males are slightly smaller than females, but the species is otherwise not a variable species. Adults have been collected in April, May, and June.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: The larva has been described by Lembert (1894) and Dyar (1895). I have not seen any larval specimens, but the description seems to be very close to that of ridingsii. The pupating larva bores a hole in rotten wood and pupates in the hole.

Foodplants: Lembert (1894) records the foodplant as Clarkia elegans, a synonym of Clarkia bottae (Onagaraceae).


Agaristinae New Genus 1 mariposa

The more complicated pattern, the absence of white scales along the outer margin of the eye, and the absence of orange on the prothoracic tibia will immediately distinguish both mariposa and ridingsii from the species of Alypia which have the white scales along the outer margin of the eye and an orange prothoracic tibia. Agaristinae New Genus 1 mariposa looks like as slightly larger and slightly cleaner version of ridingsii. The length of the forewing from its base to its apex is approximately 16.5 mm in mariposa, but only about 14 mm in ridingsii. The most distinctive feature separating the two species is the black accenting on the forewing veins between the reniform mark and the postmedial line is ridingsi. These veins are not accented with black in mariposa. The coronal spines (male genitalia) of mariposa are restricted to the apex of the valve, but in ridingsii the coronal spines are very dense and stretch along the outer margin of the valve almost all the way to the position of the clasper. The clasper of ridingsii has two tooth-like projections on its inner surface. These tooth-like projections are absent in mariposa. The ovipositor lobes of mariposa are unmodified, but each ovipositor lobe of ridingsii is shaped like a slightly convoluted mushroom cap. The outer ring of the ostium, characteristic of so may genera of the Agaristinae, is absent in mariposa but represented by a small reminant in ridingsii.

Similar Species

Agaristinae New Genus 1 ridingsii