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Holotype: Adult male, pinned: USA, FLORIDA: Hernando County, Brookesville, N28.583, W82.333, 6-V-2002 J. Vargo. Male genitalia on slide 136355 (USNM). Paratypes: 3 females: MISS.,Wilkinson Co., Clark Creek Nat[ural]. Area, 31°04'22"N, 91°31'05"W, 12 July 1997, R.L.Brown. Aug-1-1981 Weyanoke, West Feliciana Par. Louisiana USA Coll. V.A. BROU. Florida 14 7[?= 14 July]. Ex Coll. Wolley-Dod. (CNC, MEM, VAB).
The scientific name fergusoni recognizes the contributions of Douglas Campbell Ferguson to the study of Lepidoptera and his role as a friend and mentor to many people who study Lepidoptera. The name is in the genitive case.
Ogdoconta fergusoni is the smallest North American species of Ogdoconta. At first glance it might be overlooked as a species of Elaphria Hübner, 1818, especially Elaphria fuscimacula (Grote, 1881) or Elaphria grata Hübner, 1818. Both species of Elaphria are reddish brown and Ogdoconta fergusoni is shades of gray with hints of brown and has fuscous hind wings. Historically (Kimball 1965, Heppner 2003) Ogdoconta fergusoni was confused with Ogdoconta tacna. Ogdoconta fergusoni is dark gray or dark reddish brown like Ogdoconta tacna. When Ogdoconta fergusoni is compared to Ogdoconta tacna, the forewing of Ogdoconta tacna is not noticeably paler in the postmedial area, Ogdoconta tacna is noticeably larger, the maculation of Ogdoconta tacna is more prominently outlined in white, and the base of the hind wings of females of Ogdoconta tacna have at least a few dirty-white scales. The postmedial area of the forewing of Ogdoconta fergusoni is noticeably paler than the postmedial area of the forewing of Ogdoconta tacna, Ogdoconta fergusoni is smaller than Ogdoconta tacna, and the hind wings of Ogdoconta fergusoni are solidly fuscous. When held obliquely to the light, the forewings of Ogdoconta fergusoni appear shiny.
Adult male (Fig. 18). Head: Front smooth, scales white tipped gray brown; vertex, scales spatulate, 45° erect posteriorly, white tipped gray brown. Labial palpus porrect, reaching top of head; first segment dorsal scales, long, narrow, erect, pale yellow, mesial surface smooth, dirty white, ventral surface scales erect, shaggy tuft, dirty white, lateral surface smooth, scales, gray brown and white; second segment dorsal scales, dark reddish-brown, scattered white scales, smooth, mesial scales dirty white with brown and brown with white tips, ventral surface very slight tuft, scales brown with white tips; third segment scales smooth, gray brown, scattered dirty white, apex dirty white, scales smooth, gray brown, scattered dirty-white scales, apex pointed, dirty white. Haustellum coiled between labial palpi. Antenna filiform, dorsal surface scales alternating dirty white and gray brown, ventral surface naked, sensory setae sparse, setal length = 4/5 segment width. Thorax: Scales spatulate, white tipped gray brown, partially erect, disc smooth; underside dirty white, scales rounded, appressed, scattered long hair-like scales. Legs: fore leg dorsal surface brown, scattered dirty-white scales, ventral surface dirty white, scattered gray-brown scales, segments tipped with dirty white, tarsomeres dorsal surface brown, ventral scales dirty white, each tarsomere tipped with dirty white, mid-leg similar, tarsomeres ventral surface dirty white; hind leg dirty white, scattered gray-brown and pale-fuscous scales. Forewing: length 9.0 mm, n = 1; dorsal surface ground color gray brown with dirty-white-tipped scales, hoary. Basal line on costal half, fine, scalloped, white, incomplete; antemedial line fine, vaguely double, three elements, basal and outer elements brown, defined by white center element, scalloped; medial shade, gray brown, scales without white tips, barely darker; postmedial line not reaching costa, five elements, basal and outer elements vague, frosted, center element mostly white, lateral elements gray brown without white tips, veins brown towards costa; postmedial region contrastingly pale, pale-brown scales without white tips; subterminal line fine, waved, white; terminal line fine, white, straight, interrupted on veins; orbicular spot round, fine white outline, inconspicuous; reniform spot figure 8 shape, fine white outline, inner edge of dorsal loop extended basally to a point, dorsal loop, except basal extension, filled with light-brown scales; costa outer half marked with five white spots; fringe gray brown, white scales mark ends of veins, inconspicuous; underside pale fuscous, costal region scales mixed dirty white and gray brown, scales on veins dark, postmedial line pale gray, broadly excurved, terminal line finely dark brown; gray gradually darkening outwardly, white scales mark ends of veins. Hind wing scales fuscous-tipped pale gray, terminal line finely marked dark brown; fringe inner half dirty-white, outer half fuscous; underside base and posterior margin dirty white, gradually darkening to gray brown towards costa and outer margin; terminal line finely marked dark brown; fringe inner half dirty white, outer half fuscous. Abdomen: Dorsal surface pale fuscous, scales appressed, spatulate and hair-like scales mixed; basal tufts on segments one, two, and three, with gray-brown dirty-white-tipped scales, partially erect; ventral surface scales appressed, scales mixed dirty white, pale fuscous, and scattered gray brown. Genitalia (Fig. 30): Tegumen, each side straight, narrow, rounded at apex at junction, not modified; uncus straight, setose, slightly shorter than subscaphium, apex not narrowed, bluntly rounded; scaphium lightly sclerotized, fin-like; subscaphium sclerotized, tube-like, sub-apical scobinate patch; juxta narrow, rounded anteriorly, sub-lateral ridges strongly sclerotized, laterally indistinct, posteriorly drawn out to a long indistinct point; vinculum arms broad, broadly U-shaped, length moderate, stout; valve deeply divided, saccular region mesial surface densely hairy, gradually widened from base to one third, basal one third costa thickened, dorsal margin abruptly bent at one third, saccular area abruptly narrowed at one third, distal two thirds slightly directed ventrally, gradually widening and narrowing to bluntly rounded apex; cucullar region, one-fourth longer than saccular region, gradually widening to three-fourths length, apical one-fourth, ventral margin angled dorsally to broadly rounded apex, mesial surface of apical one-half densely hairy, ventral margin at three-fourths drawn out to a prominent finger-like projection. Aedeagus (Fig. 31) stout, straight. Vesica basally wide, broadly curved 180°, outer margin of loop lightly sclerotized with minute scobinations, narrowed apically, basal sclerite, very small, linear, prominent denticular teeth in double row, broad diverticulum before top of loop. Adult female (Fig. 19). Similar to male except wing dorsal surface more reddish; forewing: length 9.0–10.5 mm, mean 9.5 mm, n = 3. Genitalia (Fig. 43): Papilla analis lightly sclerotized, apex rounded, setae gradually denser towards apex; posterior apophysis extending anteriorly to just beyond posterior margin of eighth segment; eighth segment sclerotized ring, anterior margin extended into base of anterior apophyses; anterior apophysis length = 2× posterior apophysis; lamella postvaginalis sclerotized, excurved caudally, shallow concavity mesially, posterior margin with numerous short stiff hair-like tiny projections; surface densely covered with pointed spicules, density of spicules and length of points decreases anteriorly; ductus bursae sclerotized entire length, sclerotization weaker at midpoint, anterior half gradually widening, abruptly narrowing to short membranous section at junction with corpus bursae; corpus bursae posterior end with wide weakly sclerotized rugosities, bulbous, lengthened anteriorly; signum concave, approximately round, covered with pointed spicules, surrounded by bluntly-rounded cobble-like spicules, prominence of rounded spicules decreases as distance from signum increases; appendix bursae at posterior end of corpus bursae, directed laterally, more or less distinct, funnel-shaped, not coiled, narrowed to distinct ductus seminalis.
This new species is placed in the genus Ogdoconta on the basis of the shape of the male and female genitalia, and the appearance of the adult moth. The medial shade, visible under magnification, is detected by the absence of dirty-white-tipped scales. The female specimen in the CNC from Florida (Wolley-Dod) has a darker postmedial area than the other specimens in the type series; however the genitalia of this specimen leave no doubt that it is Ogdoconta fergusoni.
The hair-like projections on the posterior margin of the lamella postvaginalis and the pointed ends of the spicules are very small. They can be seen with a compound microscope at 60 × or greater magnification. The number of hair-like projections and the number of pointed ends which are visible increases as magnification increases.
This species was misidentified as Ogdoconta tacna (Kimball 1965, Heppner 2003). Metzler & Lafontaine are the sole authors of this species.
Distribution and biology
This species is recorded from Florida, southern Mississippi, and southern Louisiana (Fig. 44). The larva and its food plants are unknown. Ogdoconta fergusoni is infrequently collected.
- Metzler, E; Knudson, E; Poole, R; J. Donald Lafontaine, ; Pogue, M; 2013: A review of the genus Ogdoconta Butler (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Condicinae, Condicini) from North America north of Mexico with descriptions of three new species ZooKeys, 264: 165-191. doi
- Kimball C (1965) Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring land areas Volume 1. Lepidoptera of Florida. Florida Department of Agriculture. Gainesville, FL, 362 pp.
- Heppner J (2003) Lepidoptera of Florida Part 1 Introduction and Catalog. Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas 17, 670 pp.