Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/14/2008
Publication Date: 1/27/2009
Citation: Pogue, M.G. 2009. A review of the Tripudia quadrifera (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) species complex. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 111:68-97. Interpretive Summary: Owlet moths represent the most diverse family of moths. The caterpillars are plant-feeding insects and are serious agricultural pests on all crops and most forest trees, annually causing billions of dollars of economic loss worldwide. In this study, it was discovered that two species of owlet moths that look very similar, were in fact eight species, six of which are new to science and are described in this paper. The characters used to differentiate these species were in the male and female genitalia. This information will be important to all researchers working with owlet moths of agricultural importance.
Technical Abstract: Specimens comprising the species Tripudia quadrifera (Zeller) and Tripudia grapholithoides (Möschler) were discovered to contain six new species: Tripudia rectangula, n. sp., from the eastern US; Tripudia paraplesia, n. sp., from eastern Mexico; Tripudia flavibrunnea, n. sp., from Mexico, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic; Tripudia lamina, n. sp., from eastern Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Venezuela, and Ecuador; Tripudia furcula, n. sp., from El Salvador and Honduras; and Tripudia fabrilia, n. sp., from Pernambuco, Brazil. The type species of Tripudia is designated as Tripudia quadrifera (Zeller). Adults and male and female genitalia are illustrated. Known collection sites of all species are mapped. Keys to the male and female genitalia are provided, as this is the only reliable way to separate these species.