Larva of Abablemma (Noctuidae) with notes on algivory and lichenivory in Macrolepidoptera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The larva of Abablemma brimleyana (Dyar) (Noctuidae) is described and illustrated based on ex ova larvae reared on green algae (Protococcus viridis). A last instar Abablemma duomaculata (Barnes & Benjamin), collected from and reared on Physcia, a foliose lichen, and its lichen-encrusted cocoon, as well as a last instar Nigetia formosalis Walker ex ova reared on Protococcus, also are figured. Beating samples of lichens in the thorn scrub that yielded the A. duomaculata larva also produced multiple individuals of Cisthene subrufa (Barnes & McDunnough) (Noctuidae: Arctiinae: Lithosiini) and Glenoides lenticuligera A. Blanchard (Geometridae: Ennominae), both of which were reared to maturity on lichens. Abablemma, presently classified in the Araeopteroninae, is shown to be closely related to Nigetia formosalis, a Scolecocampinae according to Fibiger and Lafontaine. Shared larval and life history characters among the Araeopteroninae Fibiger 2005, Eublemminae Forbes 1954, Hypenodinae Forbes 1954, and Scolecocampinae Grote 1883 are discussed: the similarities between Abablemma, Hypenodes, and other genera suggest that the subfamilial classffication for these basal quadrifids has been oversplit. The article concludes with a brief review of lichen and algal feeding in Macrolepidoptera and provides a listing of 38 macrolepidopterans that T.L.M. and D.L.W. have reared from green algae and foliose lichens; included are members of Geometridae: Ennominae (n = 1); and five subfamilies of Noctuidae: Arctiinae (n = 13) (12 of which are lithosiines), Eublemminae (n = 6) (all Metalectra Hübner), Herminiinae (n = 2) (both Zanclognatha Lederer), Scolecocampinae (n = 1), Araeopteroninae (n = 3), Hypenodinae (n = 1), Nolinae (n = 1), and Xyleninae: Elaphriini (n = 10) (all but two of which are Elaphria Hübner).


External organisations
  • New York State Museum
  • University of Connecticut
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Zoology


  • Araeopteroninae, Eublemminae, Glenoides lenticuligera, Hypenodinae, Nigetia formosalis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-52
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of the Entomological Society of America
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jan
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes