Noctuidae - Agaristinae



Alypiodes bimaculata (Herrich-Schäffer)

Agarista bimaculata Herrich-Schäffer, [1853], Sammlung Aussereuropaischer Schmetterlinge, vol. 1, series 1, wrapper pl. 6, fig. 25.

Eusemia crescens Walker, 1856, List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, 7: 1774.

Agarita [sic] grotei Boisduval, 1868, Annls. Soc. Ent. Belg., 12: 70.

Alypia trimaculata Boisduval, 1874, Revue Mag. Zool., series 3, 2: 65.

Alypiodes flavilingus Grote, 1883, Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci., 8: 46.

Alypiodes bimaculata var. dugesii Cockerell, 1895, Ent. News, 6: 201.

Diagnosis: The black, elongate forewings with yellow-white patches before, between, and beyond the orbicular and reniform marks and the blue stripe running through the center of the reniform mark are distinctive. The first yellow patch consists of a elongate triangle pointed toward the base of the wing and terminanting on the inner side of the orbicular mark. A quadrate yellow patch is present between the orbicular and reniform marks. The orbicular mark is round, although the top and bottom ends are cut off and merge with the surrounding black of the forewing. The reniform consists of a wide black bridge between the black costa and the black remainder of the forewing. A slightly curved blue line runs through the central of the reniform mark, although the line may not be apparent unless the light is correctly positioned. Finally an irregularly ovate yellow patch occurs between the reniform mark and the postmedial line. The rest of the forewing is dull black. The ventral forewing surface recapitulates the dorsal surface except that the triangular, basal yellow patch is much weaker, sometimes nearly absent. The hindwing is black, although in most specimens there is a hint of a yellow discal spot. The size of the spot is variable between specimens being quite conspicuous in some specimens to absent in others. The ventral hindwing is the same as its dorsal surface except that the yellow spot is stronger and larger. A row of white scales occurs along the posterior margin of the eye. The prothoracic tibia is covered with brown scales with the orange tufts found in Alypia. Wing length: mean = 20.26 mm, standard deviation = 1.31 mm, n = 10.

Distribution: Alypiodes bimaculata occurs in the southwestern United States and southward throughout most of Mexico. The species has been collected commonly in most of New Mexico, southern and eastern Arizona, and in southern Colorado. Curiously bimaculata has not yet been collected in western Texas. Alypiodes bimaculata is a variable species. In particular the size and shape of the yellow patches in the forewing and hindwing are variable, sometimes relatively small, but in some cases quite large. The yellow spot in the hindwing is particularly variable. The yellow patch is usually a small yellow, diffuse patch in most species, but in a few specimens it can be larger, and in one specimen even appears double. A few specimens lack a yellow spot altogether. Mexican specimens seem to have larger yellow spots in the hindwings than those from the USA on average. Females tend to be larger than males on average. The species is also variable in size; the largest female I have seen is 23.5 mm in wing expanse from base to apex, while the smallest male is only 13.3 mm.

Adults are day fliers and have been collected in July and August.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Unknown


Alypiodes bimaculata

Although Alypiodes bimaculata has maculation similar to the species of Alypia, it is more than twice as big from wing tip to wing tip.

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