Noctuidae - Cuculliinae




Cucullia eccissica Dyar 1919

Cucullia eccissica Dyar, 1919, Ins. Insc. Mens., 7:77.

Diagnosis: Cucullia eccissica is a light gray or dark gray species from the southwestern United States and Mexico. The species is medium to light gray in Mexico and southern Arizona and superficially almost identical with speyeri, although the ranges of the two species do not overlap. Cucullia styx is uniformly darker and blacker than eccissica. Cucullia laetifica is also darker than eccissica and often has a conspicuous light blotch in the forewing preceeding the interception of the postmedial line and anal dash. Cucullia eccissica overlaps the range of the more eastern charon in Arizona. The two species are nearly identical, although eccissica is slightly larger and lighter in coloration than charon. The difference in size is easily seen in series of specimens, but not as apparent in isolated individuals. The difference in size is very evident in the male and female genitalia; the genitalia of eccissica are considerably larger than those of charon. The most important difference between the two species is the presence of two spines in the vesica of eccissica and three in charon. In rare individuals of charon the upper arm of the basal diverticulum will lack its spine (i.e. the vesica will be two-spined), but the diverticulum is still present. Also on the basal diverticulum there is a small outpocketing near the base opposite the two arms in charon that is absent in eccissica. Wing length from base to apex: mean = 20.81 mm., standard deviation = 1.11 mm., n = 10.

Distribution: This species has been collected in the states of Mexico and Puebla in Mexico, southern and western Arizona, and southern California. The species is seasonally dimorphic in southern California; early season specimens are darker than specimens from the late summer and autumn. All Mexican specimens so far seen are of the light gray variety. Specimens from the Los Angeles Basin region in southern California are smoother and slightly duller than specimens from elsewhere. This same geographic change in coloration is also found in incresa. The left clasper is, on average (but not consistently), approximately equal in size to the right clasper in the Los Angeles Basin specimens, but markedly smaller than the right in eccissica outside of this region.

Adults have been collected in April-May and August-September in southern California suggesting the possibility of two broods.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: Unknown,.

Foodplants: Adults in the USNM were reared from Corethrogyne filaginifolia (Asteraceae).

Cucullia eccissica

See diagnosis section at the top of this page

Similar Species

Cucullia styx

Cucullia laetifica

Cucullia charon