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Gayana (Concepción)

versión impresa ISSN 0717-652Xversión On-line ISSN 0717-6538

Gayana (Concepc.) v.67 n.1 Concepción  2003 

Gayana 67(1): 33-38, 2003 ISSN 0717-652X



Andrés O. Angulo1 & Tania S. Olivares2

1Departamento de Zoología. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanográficas. Universidad de Concepción,
Concepción, Chile S.A. Casilla 160-C, Fax 56-41-244805, E-mail:
2Casilla 4040 correo 3, Concepción, Chile. E-mail:


The present work is a catalogue of the species of Copitarsia Hampson, including twenty-one species from North to South America. Two species group are separated taxonomically. They are the species group turbata and the species group incommoda. Also new combinations as well as synonyms for some species are proposed. The genitalia male morphological characters of Copitarsia turbata (Herrich-Schaeffer) y Copitarsia incommoda (Walker) are illustrated.

Keywords: Lepidoptera. Noctuidae, Cuculliinae, catalogue, Copitarsia Hampson new combinations, new synonymous, host plants.


En este trabajo se presentan las especies de Copitarsia Hampson, 1906, las que suman veintiuna especies descritas, distribuidas desde América del Norte a Sudamérica. Taxonómicamente se separan dos grupos de especies: uno de ellos es el grupo especie turbata y el otro es el grupo especie incommoda. También se proponen nuevas combinaciones y sinónimos para algunas especies. Se ilustran los caracteres taxonómicos diferenciales de los machos de Copitarsia turbata (Herrich-Schaeffer) y Copitarsia incommoda (Walker).

Palabras claves: Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Cuculliinae, catálogo, Copitarsia Hampson, nuebas combinaciones, nuevos sinónimos, plantas hospederas.


Species of Copitarsia Hampson are distributed from Mexico to the Patagonia. They are usually associated to crop of agriculture importance, specially in countries such as Colombia -where they infest flowers (D. Forero, com. pers. 2002)- or Mexico - where they infest cole crops.

In the Lepidopterorum Catalogue of Poole (1989) Copitarsia Hampson and Cotarsina Koehler were treated separately. Later on, Castillo & Angulo (1991) indicated the synonymy of these two genera, validating Copitarsia Hampson. Poole (1989) also renominated C. consueta Walker as C. incommoda (Walker). In Chile C. turbata (H-S) was errone ously identified as C. consueta (Walker) (Angulo & Weigert 1975 a y b; Artigas 1972; Angulo et al. 1990). C. consueta is a valid species presently named C. incommoda (Walker). The recognition of the species through their immature stages is confusing because of color variation of larvae. Hence the need to use morphological characters of larvae. Adults are best identified using differences in their in their genitalia structures.

In 1991 Castillo & Angulo reviewed the genus based on eigth species only. Angulo & Olivares (1999) added new species. The present work compiles all available information and re-labels known species.


After the revision of the types of genus Copitarsia of the Koehler Collection located at the Foundation and Miguel Lillo Institute (FML), the Scientific Collections from the Concepción University (UCCC), review of literature and biological material proceeding from this last institution, the revision of external characters and of the genital armature of the specimens was performed through the Angulo & Weigert (1977) technique.


After a critical review of the species, the definitive listing of the species is the following, considering the location and date of collection.


Copitarsia Hampson 1906, p. 184
Cotarsina Koehler 1951, p. 166

1. C. anatunca Angulo & Olivares 1999. Chile: Talca, La Mina (February)

2. C. anguloi Castillo 1991. Chile: Talca, La Mina (November and December), Chiguayante (October), Angol (September).

3. C. basilinea Koehler 1958. Chile: Cautín, Termas de Río Blanco (April), Argentina: Mendoza (February).

4. C. belenensis (Koehler 1973) n. comb. Argentina: Catamarca, Cuesta de Belén (March). C. belensis (Koehler 1973) (lapsus calamorum)

5. C. clavata Koehler, 1955. Argentina: Chubut, Comodoro Rivadavia (December). Chile: Talca: Pehuenche and La Mina (January and February), Punta Arenas, Tres Puentes (February and December).

6. C. fleissiana (Koehler 1958) n. comb. Argentina: Neuquén, Limay (November)

7. C. gentiliana (Koehler 1961) n. comb. Argentina: Neuquén, Tipiliuke, Loncopue)

8. C. gracilis (Koehler 1951) n. comb. Argentina: Río Negro.

C. gracilisoides (Poole 1989) Argentina: Neuquén, Paso Flores, n. sin.

9. C. humilis (Blanchard 1854). Chile: Santiago, Coquimbo.

10. C. incommoda Walker, 1865. México: Mexico City, Durango, Patzcuaro, Jalapa, Costa Rica: Volcán Irazu; Guatemala; Colombia: Bogotá; Perú; Argentina: Mendoza, Neuquén, Esquel, Chubut, Santiago del Estero, Buenos Aires, Comodoro Rivadavia.
C. consueta (Walker 1857) (Junior primary homonimous of Agrotis consueta Walker 1857).
C. peruviana (Walker 1865).
C. margaritella (Dognin 1916).

11. C. maxima (Koehler 1961) n. comb. Argentina: Neuquén, San Martín de Los Andes (December), San Luis.

12. C. mimica Angulo & Olivares 1999. Argentina: La Rioja, Punta Balasto (January).

13. C. murina Angulo, Olivares & Badilla 2001. Chile: Talca, La Mina (January, October and December).

14. C. naenoides (Butler 1882). Chile: Concepción, Camino a Bulnes (January, February,October, November, December). Argentina: Tucumán.
Euxoa editae Angulo & Jana-Sáenz, 1982. n. sin.

15. C. paraturbata Castillo & Angulo 1991. Chile: Iquique, Mamiña (October)

16. C. patagonica Hampson 1906. Argentina: La Rioja, Punta Balasto, Chubut (January), Mendoza, San Juan. Chile: Cautín, Termas de Río Blanco (February).

17. C. purilinea (Mabille 1885). Patagonia, Santa Cruz.

18. C. roseofulva (Koehler 1952) n. comb. Bolivia: Oruro

19. C. sulfurea (Koehler 1973) n. comb. Colombia: Santa Fe de Bogotá. Argentina: Mendoza, Chubut, Covunco, Neuquén (December).

20. C. turbata (H-S 1855). Venezuela. Uruguay. Perú (Valle del Ica). Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala. Mexico.

Argentina: Rio Negro, Neuquén, Potrerillos, Mendoza, Jacanto, Córdoba, La Rioja; Chile: Concepción (January, July, December), Valdivia (January, March and August), Coihueco (January), Talca y San Clemente (September), Santiago (October and November).

21. C. vivax Koehler 1951. n. comb. Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut (December).


The 21 known species of Copitarsia Hampson can be found in two group of species, in accordance to the following characteristics:

Group of species turbata: The uncus vertex is presented dorsally and in a plain manner, without overlapped or noticeable structures; the valve vertex does not carry any corona, only 5 or 6 strong strings; spatulate digitus; the vesical base holds two indented lateral plaques, in addition to the normal thick splinters; here there are 3 species:

C. incommoda Walker
C. paraturbata Castillo & Angulo
C. turbata (H-S)

Group of species naenoides: The uncus vertex holds dorsally two longitudinal plaques with recurved indentations; the valve vertex holds a complete corona and a strong digitus somewhat acute (non spatulate); the vesical base does not have indented plaques, but has normal thick splinters. Here are found the other 18 species as follows:

C. anatunca Angulo & Olivares
C. anguloi Castillo
C. basilinea Koehler
C. belenensis (Koehler)
C. fleissiana (Koehler)
C. clavata Koehler
C. gentiliana (Koehler)
C. gracilis (Koehler)
C. humilis (Blanchard)
C. maxima (Koehler)
C. mimica Angulo & Olivares
C. murina Angulo, Olivares & Badilla
C. naenoides (Butler)
C. patagonica Hampson
C. purilinea (Mabille)
C. roseofulva (Koehler) (with spatulate digitus)
C. sulfurea (Koehler)
C. vivax (Koehler)


The Copitarsia genus is defined by the shape of the elongated valves, 5 or 6 times longer than its medial width, attenuated in the vertex, corona presence, with a well developed ampulla, where the valve stands out in some species, low developed clasper and the presence of digitus that varies in shape for each specie, unique uncus with presence of large or poorly developed splinters, acute saccus with sharp end, digitiform juxta, aedeagus with a corona of splinters surrounding the base of the aedeagus cover, the female genitalia is characterized by the presence of corpus and sub globose bursae cervix and the presence of signa in the corpus bursae formed in vertical lines.

Copitarsia incommoda Walker v/s
Copitarsia turbata (Herrich-Shaeffer)

These two species that are frequently mixed up because they share some agriculture crops as host and they look alike in their external appearance. Angulo et al. (1990) makes reference to the external morphological differences present in both species.

One of the most important is the, C. incommoda Walker (=Copitarsia consueta (Walker)) which makes that the identification for each one of them be very exhaustive.

Without any doubt the characters that allows a reliable and safe identification are the male genitalia characters.

The knowledge of the immature stages within the genus is reduced to only two species: Copitarsia turbata and Copitarsia incommoda. Work has been done recently with C. clavata and the description of its immature stages (Zúniga et al. (in litt.)).

Table I. Comparative table of the species C. incomoda y C. turbata.

Tabla I. Tabla comparativa de las especies C. incomoda y C. turbata.

The synonymy between the genus Copitarsia Hampson and Cotarsina Koehler was emphasized by (Castillo & Angulo 1991), because they do not present any characters that endorse the genus separation.


In addition, the available information concerning the feeding location of Copitarsia Hampson larvae is very little, leading us to know only 3 species:

Copitarsia turbata: raps, grape, alfalfa, chili pepper, artichoke, onion, raspberry, strawberry, chickpea, jojoba, asparagus, corn, apple, sunflower, potato, pistachio, sugar beet, cabbage, tobacco, wheat, garlic, alfalfa, ballica, onion, carnation, feijoa, kiwi (Angulo & Weigert 1975a); (Artigas & Angulo 1973); (Prado 1991); (Artigas 1994) and (Klein-Kock & Watterhouse 2001).

Copitarsia naenoides: ballica, beet root, linen, potato, sugar beet, quinoa, alfalfa, onion, asparagus (op.cit.)

Copitarsia incommoda: asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, coriander, cut flowers (USDA, 2001).

Copitarsia gracilis (Koehler 1961)

In 1989 Poole in his list of species of the genus Copitarsia mentions that C. gracilis Koehler, 1979 is concerned for C. gracilis (Koehler 1961), because in both descriptions he writes n. sp., but in both cases, Koehler used the same specimens in each description and the same genitalia preparations (No. 1005 and 1141). The author therefore, describes twice the same species, remaining because of the priority principle the one written in 1961 as the valid specie.


While reviewing the Koehler type material at the Foundation and Lillo Institute of the Tucuman National University, Argentina, it was found some anecdotic aspect: that some species of Copitarsia were not described and corresponded to museologic listing.

1. Copitarsia giacomellii Koehler. Argentina. La Rioja. Owns a prepared male genitalia No. 1208.

2. Copitarsia orbiculata Koehler. Argentina: Neuquén Province (Anhelo) (October). Owns a prepared male genitalia No. 1130.

3. C. sanjuanina Koehler. n. comb. Argentina: Mendoza province. Without genitalia preparation.

4. C. pallescens Koehler. n. comb. Argentina. Comodoro Rivadavia (February). Without genitalia preparation.

Figure 1 (1-12): C. incommoda (Walker): 1. male valvae and uncus; 2. male vesica insufled 3. apex of uncus; 4. triangular plate of cornuti; 7. suboval plate of cornuti; 8. Arm of yuxta; 11. clasper complex. C. turbata (Herrich-Schaeffer): 5. apex of uncus; 6. triangular plate of cornuti; 9. suboval plate of cornuti; 10. arm of yuxta; 12. clasper complex.

Figura 1 (1-12): C. incommoda (Walker): 1. valva y uncus del macho; 2. vésica macho insuflada; 3. ápice del uncus; 4. Placa triangular del cornuti; 7. Placa suboval del cornuti; 8. yuxta; 11. Complejo del clasper. C. turbata (Herrich-Schaeffer): 5. ápice del uncus; 6. placa triangular del cornuti; 9. Placa suboval del cornuti; 10. yuxta; 12. Complejo del clasper.


We would like to thank Mr. Néstor Bautista from the Postgraduate College, México State, México, because of his submission of material related to the species under study; Dr. Fernando Navarro for his support during the stay at the Koehler Collection and to Mr. Lou Vanechanos, Dr. Juli R. Gould; Rebecca Simmons and Annabella Resczynski USDA - APHIS, through the Copitarsia project. Our gratitude to Ms. Marcela A. Rodríguez inked the drawings and prepared the plates. Also our gratitude to the project 200.113.057-1.0 and 203.113.060-1.0 from the Dirección de Investigación of the Universidad de Concepción.


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Fecha de recepción: 19/03/03
Fecha de aceptación: 16/04/03

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