Condica confederata (Grote) 1874
Hadena confederata Grote, 1874, Bull. Buffalo Soc. Nat. Sci., 2:143.
Diagnosis: Condica confederata has the same sexual dimorphism found in cupentia. When compared to "typical" populations of cupentia, confederata males have much less of a contrast between the light and dark areas of the forewing. In particular the reniform spot and the orbicular spot are clearly marked, but in "typical" cupentia males the reniform spot and orbicular spot are absent. Females of both species are nearly identical and the female genitalia need to be examined for positive identification. However the most common form of cupentia in the United States is not the typical form, but a much less contrasting form suffused with dull red-brown. The red-brown suffusion of the males of cupentia will generally separated them from males of confederata. The females of confederata have a distinct blue suffusion along the inner margin that is generally lacking in females of cupentia from the southeastern United States.
Distribution: Condica confederata occurs most commonly in the southeastern United States from Florida to eastern Texas in the south. Specimens have been taken as far north as Long Island. However these northern specimens may represent migrating individuals. The northern limit of its over-wintering range is not known. The species is not particularly variable outside of the sexual dimorphism. There is some variability in the strength of the blue tint found in the forewing of the female. In the male the strength of the claviform spot is somewhat variable.
Adults have been collected in almost all months of the year. Although there is no apparent seasonality for this species, adults may be a bit commoner in the fall months than elsewhere in the year.
Identification Quality: Excellent
Completely accurate separation of females of confederata and cupentia depends on examining the female genitalia. However the majority of specimens can be distinguished by the color of the forewing in the median area. In confederata the median area along the inner margin of the forewing has scattered red-brown scales. In contrast the inner margin of the forewing of cupentia lacks these scattered dark red-brown scales. In the female genitalia there is a distinct difference in the shape of the ostium. In confederata the ostium is quadrate with a v-shaped caudal opening. In contrast the ostium of cupentia is laterally elongate with a very irregular caudal margin. The shape of the ostium can sometimes, but not always, be seen by brushing away the scales from the tip of the abdomen.
Because of the distinct population of cupentia in the southeastern United States versus the more normal populations found in southern Texas, the discussion is divided by range.
Southern Texas - In cupentia the reniform spot and orbicular spot of the forewing are indistinct and obliterated by the white median area. The claviform spot is absent or only vaguely indicated. In the male genitalia the clasper of the right valve consists of a chitinous plate with with an outward thick hook. The basal process of the sacculus is a sharp projection. The forewing of confederata from this region has a distinct reniform spot and oribicular, and they are not obliterated by the white of the median area. A claviform spot is present. The clasper of the right valve is a strong, triangular projection without an associated chitinous plate. The basal process of the sacculus is broad, not elongate or pointed.
Southeastern United States - The white of the median area and subapical blotch are tinged with dull red-brown in cupentia, but is not in confederata. The claviform spot is usually present in cupentia, but is smaller than in confederata where it is strong, black, and constrasts with the the white of the median area. The male genitalic differences discussed above, of course, also hold true.
Condica cupentia male
Condica cupentia female
Condica confederata female ostium
Condica cupentia female ostium