Noctuidae - Condicinae - Condicini



Condica mobilis (Walker) [1857]

Perigea mobilis Walker, [1857] 1856, List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, 10:277.

Celaena plagiata Walker, [1857] 1856, List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, 10:268.

Celaena inclinata Walker, 1857, List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, 11:732.

Perigea subaurata Walker, 1865, List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, 32:681.

Perigea icole Grote, 1876, Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., 18:414.

Diagnosis: Condica mobilis is one of the most abundant noctuids in the New World tropical and subtropical regions. This species was incorrectly called "apameoides" in the older literature, but the true apameoides is now known to be a synonym of Condica sutor Guenée. Although the species is moderately variable, it is generally characterized by a forewing that is some shade of orange, red-orange, yellow-orange, or brown-orange. The forewing is always suffused to some degree with brown, but the amount of brown is very variable. In general the amount of brown suffusion is greater in females than in males. The lower third of the reniform spot is almost always accented with white, although in a few specimens, the white dot can be quite small, and in a few cases the white is restricted to just a few scales. Most of the maculation is obscure, more so in some specimens than in others. The postmedial line is a band slightly lighter than the surrounding ground color. The veins within the band are usually accented with dark brown, the accenting being more pronounced on the average in older and lighter specimens. The postmedial line is nearly straight, but is slightly curved beneath the reniform spot. The inner margin of the postmedial band is weakly scalloped. The subterminal line is marked by a difference in color between the postmedial and subterminal areas, lighter distally, darker proximally. The degree of differentiation is variable between individuals. The claviform spot is generally absent, although present as a vague small patch of dark scales in a few specimens.

The most distinctive feature of the male genitalia of mobilis is the extremely long and narrow vesica of the aedoeagus. The apex of the aedoeagus is unmodified and there are no spines or denticulations in the vesica. The valves of the male genitalia are fairly simple and elongate. The clasper is thin and not well developed. The uncus is simple. The juxta consists of a basal bulla with a elongate spade-shaped distal component. The whole structure has the appearance of an elongate mushroom. The female genitalia are similarly simple. The ostium is a simple vaguely triangular plate. The ductus bursae is thin and elongate and connected to an elongate, unmodified corpus bursae.

Distribution: This species is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the New World, occuring as far south as northern Argentina. In North America the species is common in the southeastern United States and ranges as far west as Arizona. In the east the species probably follows the pattern of many primarily tropical and tropical species. I speculate that the species can breed and overwinter in the extreme southern regions of the United States, but like many abundant tropical species, disperses northward during the summer. In the east it has been collected as far north as southern New Jersey. Further westward in Texas the species has been collected in southern Texas, but not yet northward from there.

This is a very variable species. There are three major components to the variability; sexual dimorphism, individual differences in color and maculation, and the age of the specimen. On the whole older specimens or specimens which are worm are lighter and yellower in color than freshly caught or emerged ones. There is also a tendency for faded specimens to appear more strongly marked than fresher material. Sexually males usually have at least the base of hindwing lighter than the outer two-thirds. In contrast females have the entire hindwing suffused with dark brown. Females tend to be larger than males, although this is not always true. Also the forewing of females tends to have a smoother appearance with vaguer maculation than do males. On the whole the forewing of females is usually slightly more strongly suffused with brown than in males. Individually there is considerable variation in the color of the forewing. The normal color is brown-orange, but some specimens have a distinct red color while others have a strong yellow component. Some of this variation is shown in the color plate. The strength of the maculation is also variable with a few specimens appearing very uniform, while in others the maculation is clearly indicated. The strength of the white dot in the reniform spot varies in size and development in both males and females. There seems to be a larger component of reddish-smooth specimens in populations from southern Florida than anywhere else in the range of the species. In Florida and Texas adults have been collected throughout the year with the more northern specimens have the usual constriction to the summer months.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Unknown


Condica mobilis

The only species mobilis might be confused with in the United States are Perigea xanthioides and P. enixa. The reniform spot of the forewing in both xanthioides and enixa lacks the white dot of mobilis. Instead the reniform spot is a light yellow or yellow-orange oval patch with a small black dot in the lower half. On the whole both xanthioides and enixa are lighter in color and brighter appearing. The basal area of xanthioides is usually, but not always more distinctly yellower than the median area. In contrast there is no contrast in color between the median and basal areas.

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