Cucullia dorsalis Smith
Cucullia dorsalis Smith, 1892, Proc. U. S. Natl. Mus., 15:47.
Diagnosis: Cucullia dorsalis has been considered
a race or subspecies of speyeri. However there are small, but
consistent, differences in both superficial appearance and the male genitalia.
The ranges of the two species appear to overlap marginally on the eastern
edge of the Rocky Mountains, although the locality of the overlaping specimens,
"Denver", is too vague to guarantee sympatry. A second area
of possible sympatry is in southern Washington. Cucullia dorsalis
is darker and the markings are more strongly etched with black than in
speyeri, and the forewing anal dash is stronger and more likely
to reach the postmedial line. The right clasper of the male genitalia
is much smaller than it is in speyeri. The right and left valves
are fairly symmetric in appearance, although the right clasper is still
slightly larger than the left.
Distribution: Cucullia dorsalis is a species of the western Rocky mountains and the Great Basin area. It has so far been found in most of Colorado except the far eastern part of the state, north to southern Washington, western Wyoming, northern New Mexico and Nevada, northern Arizona, Utah, and central California. There does not appear to be any significant variation either geographical or individual in dorsalis other than the sexual dimorphism in hindwing wing coloration typical of the group.
Adults have been collected from May to August.
Identification Quality: Excellent
Foodplants: The larva of this species has not been described. There are two adult specimens from California in the USNM reared from Machaerantha shastensis, an herbaceous composite, but no associated larvae. There is also a single female from Weld County, Colorado reared from Helianthus sp. (Asteraceae). Crumb's (1956) "Cucullia #8" may be this species. It belongs to the group and is most similar to speyeri but has an isolated anterior dorsal yellow marking as in laetifica.
See diagnosis section at the top of this page