Noctuidae - Cuculliinae




Cucullia alfarata Strecker 1898

Cucullia alfarata Strecker, 1898, Lepidoptera, Rhopaloceres and Heteroceres, Indigenous and Exotic, Supplement, 1:9.

Cucullia phila Smith, 1908, Ann. New York Acad. Sci., 18:117.

Diagnosis: Cucullia alfarata is one of two species with two spines in the vesica of the aedoeagus rather than three. This species is a denizen of the eastern and southeastern United States and has the superficial appearance of a dark, stubby winged speyeri. The forewing of alfarata usually has a blotch of dark gray brown at the interception of the anal dash and postmedial line. The ranges of speyeri and alfarata overlap in the central-eastern United States. The differences in forewing coloration will usually separate them. Accurate identification, however, depends upon the difference in the number of spines of the vesica of the male genitalia, two in alfarata, three in speyeri. Wing length from base to apex: mean = 19.84 mm., standard deviation = 1.41 mm., n = 10.

Distribution: Cucullia alfarata appears to be primarily an inhabitant of the southeastern United States. It has been taken as far north as Long Island, however. The species is apparently confined to the coastal region in the northern parts of its range. Cucullia alfarata is not common in collections and specimens occur as single individuals from scattered localities. Females considerably out number males in collections. I have seen specimens from New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, and Florida.

Adults have been collected in June and August.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: I have not seen preserved material of this species, but Crumb describes it as having a continuous orange dorsal line and three white spots in the supra-spiracular region of each abdominal segment. These two characters should readily separate it from the larvae of speyeri and laetifica, the other two species of the group for which larvae are definitely known.

Foodplants: The larvae was described by Crumb (1956) and was reared from Aster ericoides (Asteraceae).

Cucullia alfarata

See diagnosis section at the top of this page

Similar Species

Cucullia speyeri