Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of Lepidoptera-Noctuidae

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Acontia Ochsenheimer

Euphasia Stephens, Desmophora Stephens, Tarache Hübner.

Adults. Head loosely scaled. Eyes glabrous; not ciliated. Antennae of males ciliate. Labial palps short to medium; porrect to ascending.

Wingspan 26–30 mm. Head, thorax and abdomen white. Forewings of A. lucida white, patterned beyond the median zone with fuscous and purplish; white; purplish marked or tinged; complexly patterned (dark-mottled and -marbled beyond the median zone); the patterning well marked; reniform undefined; orbicular undefined; claviform undefined. Hindwings whitish-fuscous, or fuscous, or yellowish; conspicuously patterned (with a dark terminal band); with a clear discal mark; without transverse lines; exhibiting vein 5. Vein 5 of the hindwings strong; arising nearer to vein 4 than to vein 6; convergent on vein 4 near their bases. Thorax slightly crested (posteriorly). Middle tibiae without spines. Posterior tibiae with spines; with appressed scales. Abdomen crested to not crested (no more than a small basal crest).

Living adults found May and August.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae feeding on Convolvulus and Malva (A. lucida).

British representation. 3 species (two adventive). Status in Britain indigenous, adventive, and alien. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, and English Midlands; A. aprica (adventive from North America), A. lucida (Pale Shoulder), A. nitidula (Brixton Beauty, probably alien, being an Asian species).


Comments. Description biased towards the native A. lucida).

Illustrations. • Acontiinae: Acontia nitidula (Brixton Beauty Moth: alien, B. Ent. 276). • Acontia nitidula: B. Ent. 276, legend+text. • Acontia nitidula: B. Ent. 276, text cont.). • The British species of Heliothidinae and Acontiinae: Newman. • Acontiinae, Amphipyrinae, Hadeninae and Heliothidinae: Kirby.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of Lepidoptera-Noctuidae. Version: 8th June 2016.’.