Cucullia basipuncta (Barnes and McDunnough)
Copicucullia basipuncta Barnes and McDunnough, 1918, Contrib. Nat. Hist. Lep. N. Am., 4(2):100, pl. 16, fig. 5.
Diagnosis: Cucullia basipuncta is the first
of two closely related species from the western United States; the other
is Cucullia mcdunnoughi. The apophyses anteriores in
both species are double and y-shaped. The ductus bursae in both species
is wide relative to its length and the sclerotized area lacks the ridges
found in other species in the genus. The male valve of both species is
strongly sclerotized and the clasper is located near the apex of the valve.
The corona is absent. Both species are light gray with blotches of black,
particularly on the forewing costa between the reniform and orbicular
marks. Cucullia basipuncta and mcdunnoughi are superficially
similar; the main difference is in the strength of the forewing postmedial
line. The postmedial line of basipuncta is apparent all the way
from the costa to the inner margin, but is distinct only in the lower
half of the wing. The postmedial line of mcdunnoughi is completely
absent. The best differences between the two species are in the male genitalia.
The apex of the valve is produced into a blunt spine in mcdunnoughi
but is not in basipuncta. The clasper is also larger in mcdunnoughi
and its tip touches the costa of the valve. The clasper is much smaller
in basipuncta and comes no where near the costal margin of the
Distribution: Cucullia basipuncta has been mostly commonly collected in the Mohave Desert region. The species has been collected widely in southern California from the Mexican border throughout the Mohave region, as far north as Inyo County. It also appears to be fairly common in southern Nevada and western Arizona. There are also single specimens from more scattered localities. It has been collected in Harney County in southeastern Oregon, Garfield County in south-central Utah, Pima County in south-central Arizona, and as far east as Lincoln County in central New Mexico. There seems to be some within population variation in the male genitalia. In specimens from Palm Springs, the type locality, the clasper varies from absent to moderately developed. Males and females are sexually dimorphic for hindwing color. The male hindwing is pure white, but the female hindwing is suffused with brown.
Adults have been collected from March to late May.
Identification Quality: Excellent
Larva: The larva has been described and figured by Comstock and Henne (1943). The larval color is variable from light green to dark gray. There is a dorsal yellow stripe and a lateral wide, white band.
Foodplants: The larvae were reared on Stephanomeria runcinata, an herbaceous composite.
See diagnosis at the top of this page
Cucullia antipoda light form