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Ufeus satyricus Grote, 1873, by original designation.
Adults. Males typically smaller and paler than females (forewing length 15–20 mm, males, 17–23 mm, females). Vestiture of palpi, head, and thorax of long hair-like scales, without evident tufting. Head – Male antenna constricted between segments with long setae tending to form a tuft on each side of each segment (Ufeus satyricus) or filiform or very slightly constricted with setae minute in Ufeus faunus Strecker, Ufeus felsensteini, sp. n., Ufeus hulstii Smith, and Ufeus plicatus Grote. Female antenna filiform, minutely setose ventrally. Eye slightly reduced, smooth, without surface hair. Labial palpus porrect, apical segment usually about ½ as long as second segment. Thorax – Wings: Forewing ground color typically gray brown to reddish brown; pattern reduced to small elongated remnants of reniform and orbicular spots, faint dentate postmedial line, and darker shading and wedge-shaped spots in terminal area; an elongated black streak through position of reniform and orbicular spots in most species, especially in females. Hindwing translucent white to dark fuscous, a darker discal spot in most species; a dark postmedial line in Ufeus satyricus. Legs:a few sclerotized spiniform setae on middle and hind tibiae proximal to apical spurs in most specimens; spurs relatively short with longer spur in each pair about as long as width of tibia. Basitarsus with three ventral rows of spiniform setae, increased to a fourth row near apex; central row of setae tending to duplicate into two or three irregular rows on tarsal segments 2–5. Abdomen – Base of abdomen without basal abdominal brushes; abdomen clothed with long hair-like setae overlaying flat broad setae underneath; abdomen dorso-ventrally flattened, especially in females. Male genitalia – Uncus typically expanded preapically with apex flattened, tapered, heavily sclerotized, and forked (apex rounded in Ufeus satyricus). Tegumen variable, from about as wide as vinculum in Ufeus satyricus but much broader than vinculum in Ufeus felsensteini. Valve with sacculus usually slightly more than ½ length of valve; valve slightly constricted beyond sacculus, broadly rounded at apex; without corona or digitus; clasper in Ufeus satyricus arising on ventral margin of valve at apex of sacculus, gradually widening in oblique angle across valve, then forming a flattened twisted arm above dorsal margin of valve curving posteriorly almost to valve apex; clasper in other four species in middle of valve beyond sacculus with base forked extended to ventral margin of valve and dorsal margin of sacculus; distal to base clasper slightly tapered, but expanded and spatulate apically. Aedeagus about 10 × as long as wide in Ufeus satyricus and vesica a slender curving tube about ½ as long as aedeagus; in other species aedeagus 4–6 × as long as wide and vesica about as long as aedeagus and with 1–3 fields of spine-like cornuti on short diverticula. Female genitalia – Corpus bursae thin and membranous, rounded or oval, without obvious signa, except in Ufeus plicatus and Ufeus hulstii; posterior part of corpus bursae tapered directly into ductus bursae (Ufeus satyricus), or covered with striated sclerotized bands (other species), giving rise to appendix bursae in three species. Ductus bursae heavily sclerotized, even in width throughout (Ufeus satyricus), or expanded into broad posterior pouch (other four species). Anterior apohyses about as long as abdominal segment eight and ½ × as long as posterior apophyses (Ufeus satyricus), or ovipositor telescopic with anterior apohyses about 3 × as long as abdominal segment eight and ½ × as long as posterior apophyses. Anal papillae rounded, lightly sclerotized, covered with long hair-like setae.
Larva and habits
The larva is characterized by the large number of crochets (> 50) on each proleg, and the presence of two L setae on abdominal segment 9 (Crumb 1956, Wagner et al. 2011). The larvae are said to hide by day under strips of bark in Ufeus plicatus (i.e., Wagner et al. 2011) and Ufeus faunus (i.e., Crumb 1956), and adults of Ufeus satyricus are reported to do this also (i.e., Forbes 1954). It is likely that all species share this habit and also would explain the tendency for adults to be dorsoventrally flattened. The larvae, where known, feed on poplar and willow and may prefer large trees where there is abundant loose bark near the base of the tree. The large number of crochets in the larvae may be an adaptation to feeding on poplar leaves. The petiole on a poplar leaf is laterally flattened, making it hard to hold on to and causes it to shake – even in a light breeze.
Key to North American species of Ufeus
- Lafontaine, J; Walsh, J; 2013: A revision of the genus Ufeus Grote with the description of a new species from Arizona (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Noctuinae, Xylenini, Ufeina) ZooKeys, 264: 193-207. doi
- Crumb S (1956) The larvae of the Phalaenidae. United States Department of Agriculture, Technical Bulletin 1135: 1-356.
- Wagner D, Schweitzer D, Sullivan J, Reardon R (2011) Owlet caterpillars of eastern North America. University of Princeton Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 576 pp.
- Forbes W (1954) Lepidoptera of New York and neighboring states. Part 3 Noctuidae. Cornell University Agriculture Experiment Station (Memoir) 329: 1-433.