Acontia areli Strecker, 1898

Ferris, Clifford & Lafontaine, Donald, 2009, Review of the Acontia areli group with descriptions of three new species (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Acontiinae), ZooKeys 9 (9), pp. 27-46 : 29-33

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.9.180

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Acontia areli Strecker


Acontia areli Strecker

Figs. 1 View Figure 1 , 2-4 View Figures 2-16 , 17 View Figures 17-19 , 23 View Figures 23-27 , 28 View Figure 28

Acontia areli Strecker, 1898: 11 .

Type material. Lectotype ♁: New Mexico [FMNH, Chicago, USA]. Described from two males from New Mexico and one female from Arizona. A male labeled “ A. areli ♁,

Orig. Type. N.M. [red border]/ Acontia Areli Streck [er], 415. Arizona, Orig. types, H. K. M[orrison] [red border]/ Acontia areli Streck. , Arizona, HKM, Orig. types, Strecker Colln 35726, Field Museum Nat. Hist./ Lepidoptera Type Photograph No. 339 Field Museum” is hereby designated as Lectotype. It is the widely distributed species generally known as Acontia areli , and is in good condition, except for a slightly frayed fringe at the apex of the left forewing.

The remaining two syntypes have similar labels to the first three labels of the lectotype, but differ in the type numbers (Strecker Colln 35728 for the other male from New Mexico, and Strecker Colln 35727 for the female from Arizona). Th ey are the species described below as Acontia geminocula .

Other material examined and distribution ( Fig. 28 View Figure 28 ). Approximately 1,200 specimens of both sexes were examined from western North America (17 dissections). Arizona: Apache, Cochise, Pima, Yavapai counties; canyons in Chiricahua and Huachuca Mts. California: Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego counties. Colorado: Eagle, Garfield, La Plata, Mesa counties. Nevada: Elko, White Pine counties, Angel Lake, Humboldt Mts. New Mexico: Catron, Colfax, Grant, Hidalgo, McKinley, Otero, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Socorro counties. Texas: Brewster, Culberson, Jeff Davis counties, Davis and Guadalupe Mts. Utah: Cache, Sanpete, Sevier, Juab, Utah counties. British Columbia: Kaslo. Mexico: Durango, 10 mi. (16 km) W of Durango. This species seems to have the widest geographic range of the six species in the group.

Diagnosis. Acontia areli is separated from its congeners by the DFW incompletely dark ringed pale orbicular spot, and from other species in the A. areli group by the black central pupil in reniform spot, irregular inner margin of brown area and associated irregular dark patch on the medial line with some bluish scales, and the buff color of the basal area of the forewing that contrasts with the white preapical spot.

Description. Adult male: Head – dark brown; antenna filiform; palpus porrect slightly longer than eye width, white basally, outer half brown with broad vertical white band in middle. Thorax – prothoracic collar, thorax, and abdomen creamy white, a few brown scales toward tip of tegula and on metathorax. Foreleg: coxa white with a few brown scales; femur and tibia outwardly brown, inwardly white, with white ring at middle and apex of tibia; tarsus brown with white rings at joints. Middle leg: femur white turning brown at femoral-tibial joint; tibia brown with white ring at base and near apex; tarsus brown with white rings at joints. Hindleg: femur and tibia white with light brown shading at tibial-tarsal joint; first tarsal joint white shading to brown at second segment joint; remaining tarsi brown, white-ringed at joints. Wings: male (forewing length (FWL): 10-12.5 mm). Dorsal forewing (DFW): ground color creamy-white over basal half with four irregular pale gray-brown vertical striations, remainder of wing brown with scattered paler areas producing a very sight mottled aspect; prominent white trapezoidal costal patch before apex; orbicular spot an incomplete narrow brown ring with creamy white center; reniform a circular dark ring with internal iridescent blue scales and black pupil; a brown irregular patch below reniform spot with some blue scales extending to inner margin of wing; terminal line and irregular series of dark dashes; fringe scales basally brown, paler at tips, with brown patch below apex and at tornus. Dorsal hindwing (DHW): luminous white, nearly hyaline, with pale brown marginal band; fringe white. Female (FWL: 10-12 mm) – similar to male, but color generally darker, especially fringes, DHW light brown basally, shading to brown on outer margin. Male genitalia (Fig. 17) – uncus: decurved, slender, tapering to a pointed tip. Valves: asymmetrical; right valve broad, approximately rectangular,

apex pointed dorsally, without apical corona; clasper on ventral margin wraps around valve end; right valve with smooth saccular extension tapering evenly to apex; left valve without saccular extension. Aedeagus: smoothly sclerotized except for a narrow finely spiculate posterior band that extends on to base of vesica; everted vesica with three diverticula, an unequally bilobed, unarmed, subbasal diverticulum, a shorter, rounded diverticulum on left with a large, tapered, curved, heavily sclerotized cornutus at apex, and a very small ventral diverticulum with a similar cornutus; apical part of vesica with two large swollen lobes, both densely covered with field of short, stout spines forming rasp-like patches; lower (right) lobe with central keel of larger spines. Female genitalia ( Fig. 23 View Figures 23-27 ) – ostium bursae broad, funnel like; ductus bursae broad, expanding toward junction with corpus bursae, length ca. 0.7 × length of corpus bursae; corpus bursae ovoid with spine-filled pouch posteriorly on left.

Biology. Unknown. Habitats are open pinyon-juniper-oak areas and open ponderosa pine forest. Adults during July and August in canyons and forested plateaus from 4800-7500' (1460-2285 m).














Acontia areli Strecker

Ferris, Clifford & Lafontaine, Donald 2009

Acontia areli

Strecker FHH 1898: 11