Sympistis insanina Troubridge

Troubridge, J. T., 2008, A generic realignment of the Oncocnemidini sensu Hodges (1983) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Oncocnemidinae), with description of a new genus and 50 new species, Zootaxa 1903 (1), pp. 1-95: 20-21

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1903.1.1


persistent identifier

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scientific name

Sympistis insanina Troubridge

sp. n.

Sympistis insanina Troubridge   sp. n.

(Figs. C-6, K-12, Q-2)

Diagnosis. Sympistis insanina   is the sister species to Sympistis sanina (Smith)   comb. n., both of which may be difficult to distinguish from S. levis   and related species. In general, the orbicular spot is round or nearly so, the claviform spot is small and does not reach the postmedial line, and there is a convex bump in the hindwing marginal band around veins M3, CuA, and CuA 2 in S. sanina   and S. insanina   but in the S. levis   group, the orbicular spot is usually rectangular, and angles across the cell, the claviform spot reaches the postmedial line, and the marginal band of the hindwing is smoothly concave. Externally, S. insanina   differs from S. sanina   by the color of the forewing, which is grayish brown rather than the dirt brown or rusty brown in S. sanina   (Fig. C-7). The hindwing of male S. sanina   from southeastern Wyoming through western Colorado is cream colored and dusted with brown scales, but that of S. insanina   is much whiter with fewer brown scales. From southeastern Colorado through New Mexico and southern Arizona the hindwing of S. sanina   becomes white as well. Whether or not these specimens represent another species is an open question but the genitalia and the 658 COI base pairs examined are similar to topotypical S. sanina   , so I do not separate them at this time. Internally, the ampulla of the clasper narrows more-or-less evenly to an apical spine in S. insanina   but the apical spine extends from the distal margin of the ampulla in that of S. sanina   .

Description. Antennae filiform. Prothoracic collar beige then a thin black line, beige broadly blending to white, brown, and white lines. Head, thorax, and abdomen a mix of various shades of brown, black, and white scales. Coremata with brushes, levers, and pockets absent from base of male abdomen. Forewing length 14-16 mm. Dorsal forewing ground color grayish brown; tan, denticulate antemedial line bordered basally with grayish brown scales, distally with black scales; undulating postmedial line tan, edged distally with buff scales, basally with black scales; medial line dark brown to black; basal line tan, edged distally with buff scales, basally with black scales; veins edged with black scales between postmedial and subterminal lines; black dashes or chevrons extend between veins through postmedial area to tan subterminal line; subterminal line present as a series of dots or chevrons; a patch of white scales borders veins CuA2, 1A+2A, and CuA1 beyond postmedial line; black terminal line thinly edged basally with beige scales; orbicular and reniform spots well demarcated with black outer and tan inner lines with an inner ring of brown scales; claviform spot occurs as a small chevron between median and antemedial lines; fringe a series of tan, brown, white, and finally brown lines. Dorsal hindwing basal area white with scattered brown scales in males, brown in females; marginal band dark grayish brown with convex hump on veins M3, CuA, and CuA; fringe cream basally, a faint brown line, then white distally. Male genitalia. (Fig. K-12) Valve with rounded, upturned apex; ampulla of clasper with mid-section slightly widened then tapers evenly on anterior and posterior margins to terminal spine. Vesica bends 70° to the right; a patch of long cornuti on left and dorsal sides of elbow at base of vesica extends to apex; a dense ribbon of cornuti occurs on dorsal surface along distal ½ of vesica; a single, coarse apical cornutus and small bundle of cornuti projected from apex. Female genitalia. (Fig. Q-2) Ovipositor lobes rounded with scattered setae; a corona of short setae surrounds ovipositor lobes near tip, these setae produced at 90° to the abdomen; a ruff of longer, finer setae encircles ovipositor lobes at base; a sclerite occurs on ventral surface of ductus bursae at ostium bursae, ductus bursae with 90° elbow turning dorsally to appendix bursae; appendix bursae swollen to the left in posterior ½ then tapers gradually to ductus seminalis on dorsal side; corpus bursae absent.

Type material. Holotype male: Canada: Alberta, S. Saskatchewan R. at Hwy 41, 50° 43' N, 110° 04' W, 9 ix 1999, J. Troubridge, in the CNC GoogleMaps   . Paratypes: 7♂ 3♀: Alberta: same data as holotype GoogleMaps   , 1♂; Writing on Stone , 49° 05' N, 111° 37' W, 8 ix 1999 GoogleMaps   , J. Troubridge, 1♀. Saskatchewan: Great Sand Hills , 50° 41' N, 109° 16' W, 9 ix 1999 GoogleMaps   , J. Troubridge, 1♂. Montana : Carter Co., Medicine Rocks SP., 5 ix 2002   , George J. Balogh, 1♂; Miles City , 4 ix 1932   , 1♂; Miles City , 5 ix 1932   , 2♀; Miles City , 8 ix 1932   , 1♂. Wyoming : 18 mi NW of Bill, 4600’, 17 ix 1964   , D. F. Hardwick, 1♂. Colorado: Pawnee site, Nunn , 24 viii 1977   , 1♂.

Etymology. The name reflects that fact that this species is not S. sanina   .

Distribution. This species occurs in dunes and badlands on the Great Plains from Alberta and Manitoba and south into Texas.


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes