Noctuidae - Condicinae - Condicini




Homophoberia apicosa (Haworth) 1809

Phytometra apicosa Haworth, 1809, Lepidoptera Britannica, 2:261.

Erastria nigritula Guenée, 1852, Histoire Naturelle des Insectes. Species General des Lepidopteres, 6:229, pl. 10, fig. 7.

Miana undulifera Walker, [1857] 1856, List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, 10:258.

Diagnosis: Homophoberia apicosa is a small species (forewing expanse from base to apex 9-12 mm.). The basal two-thirds of the forewing are dark brown and it contrast with a light terminal third. The outer third of the wing has a slightly pink tinge to it and there is a strong rusty-brown subterminal band. The reniform is conspicuous, oblique mark.

Distribution: Homophoberia apicosa has a wide distribution in the eastern half of North America. The species occurs as far north as Nova Scotia in the north and as far south as southern Florida. It has been taken as far west as Wisconsin in the north and then skirts the eastern and middle Great Plains southward to south-eastern Texas in North America. Specimens have also been seen from western Mexico and Guatemala. There is a single specimen in the USNM from Yavapai county in Arizona. This may be a stray or mislabeled specimen and needs to be confirmed. The male is slightly smaller than the female. Individually the species is not variable.

Adults have been collected from May to late August in the northeastern part of its range. The flight period expands into the spring and fall months as one goes southward.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: I have not seen the larva. Therefore I am reproducing the description given in Forbes (1954):

"Slender and normal in appearance, but with all prolegs developed. Green with very fine and slight longitudinal dark striping, and a more distinct beaded or interrupted reddish stigmatal line. Head with vertical side-stripes, enclosing the ocelli, a looped band of blackish dotting on face, its lower end curving back and joining the side-stripe, a similar vertical stripe near middle line, and gray lines on the adfrontals."

Foodplants: The larva has been recorded from Polygonum spp. (Polygonaceae) (Forbes, 1954).


Homophoberia apicosa

Homophoberia apicosa and H. cristata are two superficially similar species. However there are a number of differences that should easily separate the two species. First apicosa is smaller than cristata (forewing expanse from base to apex 9-12 mm in apicosa and 14-17 mm. in cristata). Secondly the overall coloration of apicosa is much brighter than cristata. The median area of apicosa is dark brown to almost black in apicosa and contrasts with the outer third of the wing. The outer third of the forewing has almost a pink tinge to it and there is a strong rusty-brown subterminal line. In contrast the median area of cristata is brown and although contrasting with the yellow-brown outer third of the forewing, it does not contrast as strong as in apicosa. The antemedial line in apicosa has a strong inward pointing tooth at its middle and this middle is filled with black. This indentation and black filling is absent in cristata. Finally the hindwing of apicosa is primarily white, although with dark brown scaling and marks. There is also a black spot along the outer margin near the tornus. In contrast the hindwing of cristata is totally suffused with brown without any clear white parts and there is not black spot along the outer margin. The male genitalia of the two species are very similar. The valve is narrower in apicosa and the apical portion of the clasper is longer and exceeds the costa of the valve. In contrast the valve is slightly wider in cristata and the apical portion of the clasper not as long and barely, if at all, exceeding the costa of the valve. The female genitalia, in contrast to the male genitalia, of the two species are very different. The ostium of apicosa is a simple sclerotized funnel-shaped structure. The ostium of cristata, in contrast, consists of a elongate, strong linear sclerite and a plate-like sclerite just caudal to the opening of the ductus bursae. The ductus bursae is longer and narrower in apicosa than in cristata.

Similar Species

Homophoberia cristata