Noctuidae - Psaphidinae - Grotellini




Grotella septempunctata Harvey 1875

Grotella septempunctata Harvey, 1875, Bull. Buffalo Soc. Nat. Sci., 2: 278.

Grotella harveyi Barnes and Benjamin, 1922, Contrib. Nat. Hist. Lep. N. Am., 5(1): 11, pl. 1, figure 2 male genitalia.   NEW SYNONYMY

Diagnosis: Grotella septempunctata is a small, pure white species, both the forewings and the hindwings. All maculation on the forewing is limited to a series of black spots representing the postmedial, antemedial, and basal lines. The postmedial line is represented by four black dots in a evenly curved line. The antemedial line consists of three black dots and the basal line by two dots, one on the costa and one just below it. The forewing below is heavily suffused with dark gray except for the fringe and along the inner margin. The hindwing is pure white except in some specimens which are tint with gray along the costal margin. Wing length: (Texas) mean = 9.78 mm, standard deviation = 0.62 mm, n = 10; (Wyoming and South Dakota) mean = 10.73 mm., standard deviation = 0.42 mm, n = 9.

Adults have been collected from May to September in Texas and in July and August further north.

Distribution: This species has a reasonably wide distribution. It occurs most widely in Texas occurring throughout the central and western parts of the state. It has also been collected in northern New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and western South Dakota. There is a single specimen labeled merely "Oklahoma". Specimens from outside Texas are slightly larger and the black dots on the forewing are on the average larger and more distinct than found in the Texas populations. Barnes and McDunnough treated these northern populations as a distinct species (harveyi) and if a subspecies concept is used, this name is available for them.

Identification Quality: Excellent

Larva: Unknown

Foodplants: Unknown


Grotella septempunctata

This species is most likely to be confused with three other species, sampita, dis, and blanca. It may be easily distinguished from dis and blanca by the arrangement of the dots of the postmedial line. In septempunctata the four dots are arranged in an evenly curved row. In dis and blanca the dot on the median vein projects outward making a v-shaped configuration if the dots were connected with lines. The hindwing of septempunctata is pure white without any hint of a postmedial line. In contrast the hindwings of both dis and blanca are suffused to some degree with gray and both species have a distinct postmedial line, at least ventrally. The closest relative of septempunctata is sampita. The two species are easily distinguished, however. The outer margin of the forewing in sampita has a series of small black dots. Small black dots are also visible along the outer margin of the hindwing is fresh specimens. In contrast these terminal black dots are totally absent in septempunctata. In the male genitalia the apex of the uncus is round and bulbous in septempunctata but flattened in sampita. In the female genitalia the ductus bursae has a swelling at approximately its middle, but this swelling is absent in sampita.

Similar Species

Grotella sampita

Grotella dis

Grotella blanca