Panthea furcilla australis Anweiler

Anweiler, Gary G., 2009, Revision of the New World Panthea Hübner (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) with descriptions of 5 new species and 2 new subspecies, ZooKeys 9 (9), pp. 97-134: 113-114

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.9.157

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scientific name

Panthea furcilla australis Anweiler

ssp. n.

Panthea furcilla australis Anweiler   , ssp. n.

Figs. 21-24 View Figures 12-27 , 55 View Figures 50-57 , 67 View Figures 58-68 , 71 View Fig

Panthea furcilla   of authors, not Packard, 1864.

Type material. Holotype male – United States. ” GEORGIA: Whitfield Co. [ County ] / Rocky Face Area / 16.x.1992, at light / J. K. Adams ”; “ HOLOTYPE / Panthea furcilla   / ssp. australis   / Anweiler” [red label]; “ UASM# 57801 View Materials ”; [34° 48.311 N 85° 1.655 W]. deposited in CNC GoogleMaps   . Paratypes (12 ♁, 7 ♀): UNITED STATES: Georgia: Whitfield County, Rocky Face area , 3.viii.1992 (1 ♁)   ; 14.x.1992 (1 ♁)   ; 27.iv.1993 (1 ♁)   ; 9.ix.1993 (1 ♁)   ; 15.ix.1993 (3 ♀)   ; 19.ix.1993 (1 ♀)   ; 28.ix.1993 (1 ♀)   ; Rocky Face area , junction Hwys. 41/201, 27.iv.1992 (2 ♁)   ; Dalton area , 19.iv.1991 (1 ♀)   ; 25.v. 1991 (1 ♀)   ; 4.ix.1992 (2 ♁)   ; 28.ix.1992 (1 ♁)   ; 27.iv.1994 (1 ♁)   ; (1 ♁)   ; Carbondale , exit 326 off I-75, 23.iii.2002 (1 ♁); all J.K. Adams, coll. [ CNC; UASM; USNM; JKA]  

Etymology. Australis is Latin for southern and refers to the fact that australis occupies the southern part of the range of P. furcilla   .

Diagnosis. Panthea furcilla australis   can be separated from all Panthea   species other than those of the P. furcilla   species-group by the characters given above in the P. furcilla   species-group diagnosis. The larger size, darker gray color and in particular the presence of a second cornutus on the vesica of the male, will separate males of australis from those of both P. greyi   and nominate P. furcilla   . Females of ssp. australis   can be recognized by the larger size and darker color, and by the narrow sclerotized strap-like ductus bursae with few folds compared to the narrow and finely corrugated ductus of nominate P. furcilla   and wide, deeply wrinkled ductus of P. greyi   . Intermediate specimens from the zone of contact along the northwestern side of the Appalachian Mountains, from Kentucky north and east to southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, can be recognized by the gradual loss of the australis characters, and in particular in the gradual reduction in the size of the smaller cornutus in the vesica of the male. These three taxa are also separated by range, with australis in southeastern United States, nominate furcilla   in the northeastern United States and Canada, and P. greyi   in the southwestern United States ( Fig. 71 View Fig ).

Description. Sexes dimorphic, with female larger and darker than male; male forewing length 18-22 mm; female forewing 24-25 mm. Head – male antenna bipectinate, female antenna simple; Palps reduced, clothed in dark red-brown and black scales. Thorax – and tegulae a mixture of dark red-brown and pale gray or white hairlike scales, appearing gray; tegulae with an oblique black medial band and black edging. Dorsal forewing – ground a mixture of black and white scales, appearing light gray powdered with black, crossed by five prominent black lines; Basal line indicated by small patches of black scales, antemedial line complete, straight or nearly so, medial line complete, angled distad slightly in most specimens to meet postmedial line in fold before separating and slanting basad to lower margin; postmedial line similar in form to medial line to about vein M1, bending basad to meet medial line in fold before angling distad to lower margin; subterminal line broad, erratic, usually incomplete, jutting outward between veins R4 and R5, at veins M1 and M2, and at lower margin of wing; area distad to lower postmedial line and in particular distad to subterminal line suffused with white scales; fringe dark gray or black, checkered with white at veins; faint pale gray longitudinal streak on basal half of wing above and below cubital vein. Dorsal hindwing – dull gray, slightly darker in basal half, with faint dark medial band, diffuse postmedial band; terminal band white, incomplete, often reduced to a narrow marginal patch of white scales, especially in female; fringe white between veins with gray on veins. Abdomen – clothed in short, stiff light and dark-gray hair-like scales. Male genitalia – ( Fig. 55 View Figures 50-57 ) valve simple, cucullus tapering to a blunt terminus; clasper simple, flat, blade-like s-shaped, arising from lower margin at distal end of sacculus, approximately as long as valve is wide at that point; tegumen with large triangular subuncal lobes; uncus laterally compressed with a high crown, tapering to a rounded terminus with a flattened tip; aedeagus 4-5 × as long as wide, slightly bent ventrad, expanding at apex, terminating in a semi-detached or detached plate on left side bearing a prominent, sharp cornutus; inflated vesica long and narrow, approximately 4 × as long as wide, bending ventrad near base and expanding into a slight pouch before gradually tapering to terminus; armed with a large, sharp terminal cornutus; ductus seminalis exiting at right-angle dorsad near base of vesica. Female genitalia – ( Fig. 67 View Figures 58-68 ) papillae anales short, wide, soft, curved, with sparse setae; sterigma well-developed and sclerotized, but not massive; ductus bursae heavily sclerotized, strap-like, 3-4 × as long as wide, bent and twisted near middle with several longitudinal folds or corrugations in posterior half, expanding abruptly into a large oblong corpus bursae, partially constricted midway, forming approximately equal-sized upper and lower sections; upper section with partially sclerotized, thickened walls; lower section thin-walled, translucent; without signa.

Distribution and biology. P. furcilla australis   occurs in pine woods throughout the southeastern United States from eastern Texas and Florida north approximately to Virginia ( Fig. 71 View Fig ). A single specimen has also been seen from Oregon County in southeastern Missouri. Panthea furcilla australis   intergrades with nominate P. furcilla   in a band along the northwest side of the Appalachian Mountains; specimens from Kentucky, Maryland, southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey are variably intermediate.

A series of specimens in MSU labeled as collected in Starr County, Texas is assumed to be mislabeled, as there is no coniferous habitat in Starr Co. (C. Bordelon pers. comm.).

Specimens of australis from northern Georgia were seen from every month from March through October. In Louisiana it has been collected year-round, with peaks at approximately 30-day intervals except in May and June (V. Brou pers. comm.).


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


University of Alberta, E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History