Ufeus plicatus Grote, 1878,

Lafontaine, J. Donald & Walsh, J. Bruce, 2013, A revision of the genus Ufeus Grote with the description of a new species from Arizona (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Noctuinae, Xylenini, Ufeina), ZooKeys 264, pp. 193-207: 198

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Ufeus plicatus Grote, 1878


Ufeus plicatus Grote, 1878  Figs 7, 81621

Ufeus plicatus  Grote, 1873: 102.

Ufeus unicolor  Grote, 1878: 179.

Type material.

Ufeus plicatus  : holotype ♂. Illinois [type lost but description diagnostic]. Ufeus unicolor  : holotype ♂. Illinois, BMNH.

Other material examined and distribution.

Canada: Ontario, Quebec. USA: Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska.


Ufeus plicatus  occurs sympatrically with Ufeus satyricus  in northeastern North America but can be distinguished from it by the darker, more even, somewhat glossy, dark reddish-brown or blackish-brown color of the forewing in males and the reddish-brown color of the forewing with a long blackish streak extending from the wing base through the orbicular and reniform spots into the subterminal area in females. In both sexes the hindwing is evenly colored light fuscous with at most a slight trace of a discal spot and postmedial line. Males average only slightly smaller than females (forewing length 16-19 mm in males, 17-20 mm in females). Ufeus plicatus  is most closely related to Ufeus hulstii  , which occurs from the Rocky Mountains westward. In addition to range, adults can superficially be distinguished from those of Ufeus hulstii  by the darker color of the forewing in males, and the more extensive dark streak through the forewing cell in females. In the male genitalia of Ufeus plicatus  the clasper is positioned on the inner surface of the valve with the expanded apical part about ½ × as wide as the valve (⅔- ¾ × as wide in Ufeus hulstii  ); the vesica has two elongated patches of spike-like setae; the setae in ventral patch (near the aedeagus) are much stouter than those in the dorsal patch (in Ufeus hulstii  the setae are similar in size in both patches). In the female genitalia the corpus bursae is ⅓ –½ × as wide as its length, and has a large, rugose sclerotized appendix bursae posteriorly. The sclerotized part of the ductus bursae is wedge shaped, wide posteriorly and evenly tapered anteriorly. The ovipositor is telescoping with the anterior apophyses about 4 × as long as abdominal segment eight and the posterior apophyses about 7 × as long. The corpus bursae is narrower, about 1/3 × as wide as its length, and has a smaller rugose sclerotized appendix bursae posteriorly. The sclerotized part of the ductus bursae is narrow posteriorly, widens anteriorly to ¼ × wider, before tapering anteriorly. The ovipositor is telescoping, as Ufeus plicatus  .

Distribution and biology.

Ufeus plicatus  is an extremely rarely-collected species. Until recently the few specimens known were only from the mid-west, mostly from Illinois with a few records from Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska. This led Forbes (1954) to suggest that the type locality of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was almost certainly in error for Illinois. Recent collections of the species from southern Quebec (Handfield 2011) and Connecticut ( Wagner et al. 2011) suggest that not only is Philadelphia a possibility, but that the species might be widespread in the Northeast as is its highly localized and specialized habitat. The species is associated with large poplars, especially eastern cottonwood ( Populus  deltoides Bartram ex Marsh.) growing in moist areas along rivers where there is abundant loose rotting strips of bark near the base of the tree. Larvae hide under the strips of bark during the day and the adults likely hide there also during the day and in the winter. According to Wagner et al. (2011) the eggs are laid in the spring with adults emerging in late spring and early summer, but mainly aestivating until the fall before becoming active. Adults have been recorded in all months except June, but most records are from October and November in the fall and March and April in the spring. The scarcity of adults, even in suitable habitats where they are known to occur, suggests they may not be strongly attracted to light.