Noctuidae - Condicinae - Condicini



Condica videns (Guenée)

Leucania videns Guenée, 1852, Histoire Naturelle des Insectes. Species General des Lépidoptéres, 5:78.

Nonagria indigens Walker, 1857, List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, 11:713.

Platysenta atriciliata Grote, 1874, Sixth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Peabody Academy of Science, p. 28.

Caradrina meskei Speyer, 1875, Stettin. Ent. Ztg., 36:116.

Platysenta albipuncta Smith, 1902, Jl. New York Ent. Soc., 10:45.

Diagnosis: Condica videns is the eastern North American member of the videns species complex. The species in general is light tan, although it is sometimes red-brown or brown rather than light tan. The forewing has an almost glossy appearance about it. The glossy appearance will separate it from the other three species in the complex, although temecula sometimes comes near. The forewing is usually lacking in most forms of maculation. There is a dark streak between the reniform spot and orbicular spot of variable definition. The reniform spot is curved and surrounded by a thick white line, although normally only the ventral half is apparent, superficially appearing as a white dot. The orbicular spot is obscure, but when present is represented by a dark dot surround by a dull thick light annulus. Both basal and antemedial lines are absent. The postmedial line is represented by a series of dull dark dots, sometimes appearing as a double line with an interior line of very vauge dark lines. The subterminal line is absent. The veins in the subterminal and terminal region and sometimes slightly accented with dark brown. The terminal line consists of a series of dark, thick streaks. The hindwing of the male is usually white, sometimes suffused with some dark brown along the outer margin and occassionally along some of the veins. Occassional specimens have the hindwing more extensively shaded with dark scales. In the male genitalia the clasper of the valve is relatively short and thick, with the apex slightly upcurved. The shape of the clasper is variable in all of the species and is not always a reliable species recognition character. The most distinctive feature of the male genitalia is found in the vesica of the aedoeagus. The spines on the basal lobe are much longer than in the other three species, at least three times longer than wide. The vesica lacks the secondary lobe found in discistriga. The female genitalia are virtually identical to those of discistriga. The ostium is about as wide as long in videns, but clearly narrow and rectangular in temecula.

Distribution: This species has a wide distribution throughout the eastern half of the United States. As a general statement videns appears to be a commoner species in the south than in the north. In the east it occurs as far north as southern Ontario and Quebec in Canada and northern Maine in the United States. It ranges as far south as the tip of Florida. The species than stretches westward throughout the United States through the Great Plains. It has been collected as far north as northern North Dakota, although it is not yet known from Manitoba. The western most occurence of the species is at Lavetta, Colorado where is approaches symaptry with discistriga. However I have some doubts about the legitimacy of this locality and it needs to be confirmed. In the south the species occurs throughout most of Texas except for the western counties. It occurs as far south as the Mexican border and probably occurs in the northeastern states of Mexico as well.

This species is very variable. So far I have been unable to detect any geographical or temporal component of this variation. Although there are some trends in sexual variation, these trends are far from clear cut. Females on the whole tend to be slightly larger and darker than males. The species varies in size. The color plate illustrates some of this variation. The color of the forewing varies in color. Some specimens are light tan. Others have a distinct reddish hue to them, while other are more brown than tan. A few specimens are much darker than the norm. The intensity of the dark streak through the cell of the forewing is variable. The amount of dark suffusion in the hindwing is also variable.

The adults have been collected throughout most of the year. In Texas there are indications of two broods, one in the spring and the other in the late fall and winter. However in Texas specimens have also been collected in the summer months of June, July, and August. In the more northern parts of its range, this species has appears to have two broods, a spring and a fall brood, but with range of months correspondingly compressed to match the growing season.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: The larva has been described by Crumb (1956). The general color of the larva is not clear in the preserved material I have seen. It is probably green or pinkish, however. This is a prominent cream-colored supra-spiracular band. There is also a fine cream-colored line dorsally with two other light lines on each side just ventral to the dorsal line. The setal inserations are light cream-colored spots. The head capsule is distinctive with two dark vertical bands on either side of the head. Each dark band is followed by a broad white area, with interior dark strigations on the lateral side of the head and margined by a dark brown band along the ventral margin of the head capsule.

Foodplants: Crumb lists Solidago and Aster as foodplants, both in the Asteraceae. Reared specimens in the USNM were all fed on Aster.


Condica videns

Condica discistriga- Condica discistriga is largely found in the Great Basin region of the western United States. This species is mostly likely to be confused with temecula although the ranges appear to mutually exlusive. On the whole discistriga is the larger of the two species, although the range of forewing lengths of the two species overlap somewhat. On the whole the forewing of discistriga has a rougher appearance with more flecking of dark brown and streaking on the veins. In contrast temecula has a smoother, almost glossy appearance in most cases. The hindwing of the male of discistriga is usually more distinctly white than in temecula, although again this is not are hard and fast rule, and the hindwing of the female more strongly suffused with brown in temecula than in discistriga. In the male genitalia the clasper of the valve is usually, but not always, long and thin in discistriga with only the outer third of the clasper curved upward. In temecula the clasper is thicker and evenly curved. Condica discistriga has a second lobe in addition to the basal lobe of the vesica. This lobe is located ventral to the basal lobe in the orientation of the figures. This lobe is absent in all three other species. Occassionaly a few local populations of discistriga may be confused with the northern populations of Condica mersa. Condica discistriga is usually easy to distinguish from Condica mersa. Condica mersa has the hindwing of the male is totally suffused with dark brown, but in discistriga the hindwing of the male is clearly white, although sometimes with some dark brown flecking. Some populations of discistriga from central and northern Colorado have specimens which are strongly suffused with dark brown, but these specimens have at least some tan patches showing through.

Condica temecula - Condica temecula appears the Mexican member of this species complex, ranging as far north as southern Arizona and New Mexico, and southwestern Texas. This species is smaller on the whole than discistriga and its superficial appearance is smoother with the rough flecking and streaking found in that species. In constrast the appearance of temecula is on the whole rougher and darker than found in videns. In some cases the male or female genitalia must be used to separate temecula and videns, although so far the ranges of the two species have not been found to overlap. The differences in genitalia are discussed under videns.

Similar Species

Condica discistriga

Condica temecula