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Fishia nigrescens Hammond & Crabo sp. n. – Wikispecies link – ZooBank link – Pensoft Profile
Holotype Male. [USA], Nevada, Lander Co., 3 mi W of Kingston, Kingston Cr., 7150’ [2179 m.], 30.IX.2000, Laurence L. Crabtree leg./Database for Noctuoidae [sic] 14832/Genitalia CNC #15215/Barcodes of Life Project, Leg removed, DNA extracted. CNC. Paratypes 7 males, 1 female. USA. California. Mono County: Dunes NE of Mono Lake, 23.IX.1995, R. Robertson leg. Barcodes of Life Noctuoidea 14834 (1 male); [same data as previous], Barcodes of Life Noctuoidea 14833 (1 male); Riverside County: Pinyon Crest, 4000’ [1219 m], 5.XI.1966, R. H. Leuschner leg. Genitalia slide CNC 15223 (1 male). Oregon. Deschutes County: Cline Falls State Park, J. C. Miller coll., Larva 25.V.1995 on Chrysothamnus nauseosus, Pupa 19.VI.1995, Adult 28.IX.1995 (1 male); Grant County: John Day Fossil Bed N. M., Sheep Rock Unit U. C., 2.X.2003, U.S. Natl. Park Service leg. (1 male); Jefferson County: Warmsprings, 27.X.52, S. G. Jewett Jr. (1 female); Lake County: Hwy. 20 at Glass Butte, 23.X.2009 U.S.D.A (1 male); Klamath County: 6 mi. SE of Klamath Falls, 14.X.1964, Kenneth Goeden, Blk. Light trap (1 male). CNC, OSAC.
The type series is restricted to California, Nevada, and Oregon. Two additional specimens from Mt. Lemmon Highway, Pima County, Arizona at the CNC are excluded from the type series.
The name is derived from the Latin niger meaning black or dusky. It refers to the forewing color of the moth.
Fishia nigrescens is distinguished from other North American Fishia species by the charcoal-gray forewing without warm brown or reddish shades. Other western North American species are either much lighter gray (Fishia yosemitae (Grote) (Fig. 29)) or have brown color on the forewing (Fishia discors (Grote) and Fishia connecta (Smith)). The reniform spot of Fishia nigrescens is arrowhead shaped with a deep lateral indentation. That of Fishia yosemitae is an upright ovoid shape with only a weak lateral indentation.
In the male genitalia, the valve of Fishia nigrescens can be told from that of Fishia yosemitae by the shape of the digitus. In Fishia nigrescens the two prongs of the bifid digitus are unequal in length with a long dorsal and short ventral process. In Fishia yosemitae these processes are shorter and of similar length.
The female genitalia of Fishia nigrescens differ from those of Fishia yosemitae in the shape of the left posterior projection of the corpus bursae, blunter and more conical in Fishia nigrescens and rounder in Fishia yosemitae. The bursa of Fishia nigrescens has five signa whereas that of Fishia yosemitae has three, lacking two small signa at the anterior end.
Head – Antenna of male biserrate and fasciculate. Antenna of female filiform. Scape with anterodorsal tuft of long gray scales and an anteroventral tuft of white scales. Eye rounded, smooth. Labial palp covered laterally by a mixture of short flat tan and black scales, lengthening to a brush on ventral portion of first two segments; short distal segment covered in white and gray scales. Frons covered in short, narrow, bifurcate scales, light gray centrally and dark gray laterally. Top of head covered in longer white-tipped gray scales. Thorax – Vestiture of bifurcate and trifurcate gray, white, and white-tipped gray scales, appearing slightly hoary dark gray, with short paired anterior tufts behind collar. Prothoracic collar gray with a gull-wing-shaped black transverse line across mid-portion and a pale edge. Tegula gray with black lines parallel to medial and lateral margins. Legs gray with dark- and light-gray barring on tarsal segments; lateral tibia with partial loose row of spiniform setae; tarsal segments with three ventral rows of spiniform setae. Wings – Forewing length: males 19–20 mm; female 18 mm. Forewings of males and females similar. Forewing ground color slightly mottled charcoal gray, darkest in median area in fold and in subterminal and terminal areas opposite cell and in fold; lightest near apex and in mid-terminal area; distal veins black; basal dash thin, black; a thicker black line spans median area in fold, and a similar shorter line present anterior to M2 distal to reniform spot. Basal and antemedial lines similar, dark gray with lighter-gray filling. Basal line evident on costa and near cell, appearing broken. Antemedial line dentate, strongly on mid and posterior part of wing, with a long tooth toward lateral margin on 1A+2A. Medial line dark gray, faintly evident only on costa. Postmedial line two black spots on costa, faint and difficult to identify near end of cell, gray to black and filled with white on mid- and posterior part of wing, strongly serrate on mid-wing, forming a strong black and white tooth toward base in fold. Subterminal line pale gray, incomplete, with a series of white spots between veins on mid-wing; preceded by a series of long black chevrons between veins on mid-wing. Terminal line a series of black wedge-shaped spots between veins. Orbicular and reniform spots outlined incompletely by thin black line. Orbicular spot elongate, oval, filled with light gray with a central dark-gray line parallel to long axis. Reniform spot moderately large, broadly C-shaped with deep lateral indentation, posterior part extending farther laterally than anterior part, filled with light gray with a dark-gray line in medial and inferior portion. Claviform spot black, darkest posteriorly, inconspicuous due to dark adjacent ground. Fringe scalloped, dark gray with a medial black line, checkered with whitish gray at ends of veins. Dorsal hindwing white with a slight sheen in males and medium-dark gray in females, with dark gray veins, faint gray discal spot, and black terminal line in both sexes. Hindwing fringe white in male, light gray in female, with an incomplete gray medial line and scattered gray scales in basal row in both sexes. Abdomen – Abdomen covered with a mixture of white-tipped gray and white flat and gray hair-like scales, appearing powdery medium gray. Male genitalia – Uncus relatively short and nearly straight, pointed at tip. Tegumen with weak penicillus lobes. Juxta nearly rectangular, 1.4 × as long as wide, dorsal portion at opening for aedeagus slightly narrower than base. Valve elongate, 5.5 × as long as wide, widest at junction of proximal two-thirds and distal third near digitus, distal third angled 30° dorsad relative to base; sacculus fairly weak, tapering evenly from base to slightly beyond mid-valve; small ampulla present; clasper a sclerotized ridge; digitus prominent, cylindrical, projecting 45° ventrad and distal relative to basal axis of valve, with bifurcation at mid-point with long dorsal and short ventral projections with sharply-pointed tips; cucullus weak, apically truncate, inner surface covered entirely with fine setae but lacking a corona. Aedeagus tubular, 5 × as long as wide, with a spinulose patch on distal right side and an elongate extension onto base of vesica on left. Vesica as long as aedeagus and 0.5 × as wide as long, oriented 90° to aedeagus, anvil-shaped with short blunt projection dorsad and leftward and long tapering distal portion extending ventrad and rightward; with two subapical diverticula, larger diverticulum on posteroventral aspect ovoid with dense covering of short cornuti oriented basad, smaller diverticulum on ventral portion rounded, without cornuti. Female genitalia – Ovipositor lobes pad-like, covered densely with long thin setae. Abdominal segment VIII 3 × as wide as long; anterior and posterior apophyses nearly equal in length, 0.67 × as long as segment VIII. Ostium bursae moderately sclerotized similar to adjacent posterior ductus bursae, nearly as wide as segment VIII. Ductus bursae 6.8 × as long as segment VIII, divided into two segments of equal length; posterior segment trapezoidal, evenly sclerotized, tapering anteriorly to a narrow waist 1/3 × as wide as ostium bursae; anterior segment cylindrical, strongly sclerotized except for thin ventral slit along entire length, anterior portion with long extensions onto dorsal and ventral corpus bursae. Corpus bursae membranous, unisaccate and elongate, 1.75 × as long as ductus bursae and 0.4 × as wide as long; larger anterior portion ovoid, widest anteriorly, bearing five small rugose ovoid signa, two on mid ventral surface and three on dorsal and anterior end; smaller posterior end with broadly conical projection toward left with ductus seminalis at anterior apex.
Distribution and biology
Fishia nigrescens occurs in central and eastern Oregon, Nevada, eastern California, and Arizona. Its flight season is late fall, usually during October. The habitat is sage steppe, often in open juniper forest in Oregon. A specimen of this species was reared from rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa (Pallas ex Pursh) G.L. Nesom & Baird) (Asteraceae) in Oregon. The larva was collected in May, pupated in June, and emerged in late September of the same year. It was described as green with a white lateral band.
Fishia yosemitae was described as Cucullia yosemitae Grote. The extant type at the AMNH and those of its synonyms described from western North America, Fishia exhilarata Smith and Fishia betsia Smith, were examined from photographs to exclude the possibility that one of them could be the correct name for Fishia nigrescens.
Specimens of Fishia nigrescens from Oregon are darker than those from Nevada and eastern California, whereas those from Arizona are slightly lighter gray.
- Crabo, L; Davis, M; Hammond, P; Tomas Mustelin, ; Jon Shepard, ; 2013: Five new species and three new subspecies of Erebidae and Noctuidae (Insecta, Lepidoptera) from Northwestern North America, with notes on Chytolita Grote (Erebidae) and Hydraecia Guenée (Noctuidae) ZooKeys, 264: 85-123. doi