Panthea furcilla furcilla (Packard)

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: 111-112

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.9.157

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Panthea furcilla furcilla (Packard)


Panthea furcilla furcilla (Packard)  

Figs. 12-18 View Figures 12-27 , 54 View Figures 50-57 , 65 View Figures 58-68 , 71 View Fig

Platycerura furcilla Packard, 1864: 3   : 331.

Panthea furcilla (Packard)   ; Smith 1891: 31; Smith and Dyar 1898:15; Dyar 1902: 98; Smith 1903: 98; Barnes and McDunnough 1917: 83; McDunnough 1938: 54; Franclemont and Todd 1983: 134.

Diphthera furcilla (Packard); Draudt. In: Seitz 1924: 18.  

Panthea furcilla pallescens McDunnough, 1937: 153   ; McDunnough 1938: 54. New synonymy.

Panthea pallescens McDunnough, 1942   ; Forbes 1954: 291; Franclemont and Todd 1963: 134.

Panthea pallescens centralis McDunnough, 1942: 94   ; Franclemont and Todd 1983: 134. New synonymy.

Panthea pallescens var. atrescens McDunnough, 1942   ; Franclemont and Todd 1983: 134. unavailable infrasubspecific name. New synonomy.

Type material. Platycerura furcilla Packard, 1864   . (2 syntypes, one apparently lost). The extant syntype is a dissected male in MCZ, Cambridge MA bearing the following labels: “ Furcilla Type”/ “M.C.Z. Type 26319”/ Platycerura furcilla Pack.   Type”/ “745”/#245” and is accompanied by a slide preparation of the valves, aedeagus with everted vesica, and abdominal pelt, with two labels reading “MCZ 1139”/ and “#MZ –1 Platycerura furcilla Pack.   Type J.G. Franclemont.” This specimen is hereby designated as lectotype and a label printed on red card reading “ Lectotype / Platycerura furcilla Pack.   / G.G. Anweiler 2009” will be placed with the specimen. Dorsal and ventral images of the specimen, the slide and all labels except the lectotype label are available online at  

Type Locality: Massachusetts, USA.

Panthea furcilla pallescens McDunnough, 1937. Holotype male, CNC, examined. Type locality: White Point Beach, Queens Co., Nova Scotia, Canada.  

Panthea pallescens centralis McDunnough, 1942. Holotype male, CNC, examined. Type Locality: Norway Bay, Québec, Canada.  

Panthea pallescens var. atrescens McDunnough, 1942. Holotype male, CNC, examined. Type Locality: Norway Bay, Québec, Canada. Unavailable infra-subspecific name.  

Diagnosis. The genitalic characters defining the P. furcilla   species-group (inflated vesica elongate with a single terminal cornutus in the male; corpus bursae partially constricted creating two sections in the female) will separate P. furcilla   from all other Panthea   except P. greyi   . The male of P. furcilla   can be separated from that of P. greyi   by range ( P. greyi   west of the Great Plains from Colorado south, P. furcilla   in Canada and eastern United States east of the Great Plains), and by the much smaller, straighter, terminal cornutus on the vesica. The female of P. greyi   has a wide ductus bursae that gradually expands into the corpus bursae; P. furcilla   has a narrow ductus that expands abruptly into bursa. Nominate P. furcilla   can be separated from ssp. australis   by the second, smaller cornutus near the base of the vesica in australis.

Distribution and biology. Panthea furcilla   occurs widely in coniferous woodlands, in particular pine forests, throughout eastern USA and eastern Canada, from eastern Texas east to Florida, north to the northern edge of the boreal forest in Canada, west to northeastern British Columbia ( Fig. 71 View Fig ). Adults fly almost year round at the southern edge of the range in Texas and Louisiana (V. Brou pers. comm.), with the flight period shortening to June and July in boreal Canada.

Remarks. For the past 50 years, since McDunnough (1942) treated pallescens   as a species apart from P. furcilla   , the name pallescens   has generally been applied at the species level to the smaller, lighter gray populations of Panthea   occurring widely across the northeastern United States and boreal Canada; they are characterized as having a single cornutus on the vesica. The name furcilla   has generally been used for the larger, darker Panthea   in southeastern United States that has a second smaller “rose-thorn” cornutus on the vesica near the base. McDunnough sent specimens from eastern Canada and from New Jersey to a Dr. Banks to compare with the type of furcilla   in MCZ, and based on the response he received, concluded that the male genitalia of furcilla   had a short, thick pointed cornutus in the vesica and an apical spine of the so called rosethorn type. The primaries were of a rather even purplish gray with all cross-lines very heavy and black with scarcely any white edging except on the outside of the subterminal line ( McDunnough 1942). Based on this information, McDunnough elevated the pale northern population that he had initially described as ssp. pallescens   to species status ( McDunnough 1942). However, examination of images of the male type of furcilla   and in particular the genitalic slide, shows clearly that the type of furcilla   is a specimen of the smaller, paler northern Panthea   lacking the second “rose-thorn” cornutus, and that the name pallescens   is a junior synonym of furcilla   .

The relationship of these two forms, one smaller and paler with a single cornutus and one larger and darker with a second cornutus (and corresponding differences in the female genitalia) is problematic. There is no clear-cut boundary between the two populations, and no place where the two occur together. Although differing significantly from each other in size, color and genitalic structures over most of their range, specimens gradually shift in all characters from one type to the other across a band from Kentucky north and east through southern Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey (Figs. 19-20, 56 a-d, 66). This appears to be another example of a species separated during the last glacial maximum into populations northwest and southeast of the Appalachians that have since re-established contact, as has been proposed for Grammia virgo   by Schmidt (in press). Arguments can be made for recognizing these two taxa as either species or as subspecies; however based on the fact that they show a progressive gradation from one form to the other in color, pattern and genitalic structures, as well as the fact that the two forms do not occur together anywhere, I treat these populations as a single species. The southern form is described as a new subspecies.

True melanic specimens of P. furcilla   (Fig. 18) are common in some populations of nominate form in eastern United States ( Klots 1964, Klots 1966, Klots 1968; Ginevan 1971). Melanic specimens are overall sooty brown with the black lines standing out. Form atrescens (Fig. 16) from Ontario and Quebec is a black and white form, very different in appearance from true melanic specimens.














Panthea furcilla furcilla (Packard)

Anweiler, Gary G. 2009

Panthea pallescens var. atrescens

Franclemont JG & Todd EL 1983: 134

Panthea pallescens

Forbes WTM 1954: 291

Panthea pallescens centralis

Franclemont JG & Todd EL 1983: 134
McDunnough J 1942: 94

Panthea furcilla pallescens

McDunnough, J 1938: 54
McDunnough J 1937: 153

Panthea furcilla (Packard)

Franclemont JG & Todd EL 1983: 134
McDunnough, J 1938: 54
Barnes W & McDunnough J 1917: 83
Smith JB 1903: 98
Dyar HG 1902: 98
Smith JB 1891: 31

Platycerura furcilla Packard, 1864: 3

Packard AS 1864: 331
Packard AS 1864: 3

Diphthera furcilla (Packard); Draudt. In: Seitz 1924: 18.

(Packard); Draudt. In: Seitz 1924: 18.