North American Lepidoptera Biodiversity LLC


On Line Guide to the Noctuidae of Northern Florida

Part ??: Sigela


Sigela eioides 1 May 04 AEI BTRSigela eioides 6 May 00 ACF UVT4Sigela eioides complex species 3 14 Sep 06


By Hugo L. Kons Jr. & Robert J. Borth


Most Recent Update: 2012


Web Page and Photos Copyright Lepidoptera Biodiversity LLC



*For more detailed information on the distribution, phenology, and habitat association of north Florida Lepidoptera see:


Kons, Hugo L. Jr. and Robert J. Borth.  2006.  Contributions to a study of the diversity, distribution, habitat association, and phenology of the Lepidoptera of Northern Florida.  North American Journal of Lepidoptera Biodiversity.  Volume I: 1-231.



Sigela brauneata


Quandara brauneata 15 Feb 03

Quandara brauneata 1729Quandara brauneata Pinhook 1

Quandara brauneata Pinhook 2


Status: Resident, Multivoltine

Habitat Dependency: Generalist

Abundance: Often uncommon, but can be common at bait at times; also comes to lights.

Recorded Flight Season: L January-E December

Comments:  This is among the smallest Noctuids, and it is often not recognized as a Noctuid by collectors.  Among the minute Noctuidae, this species is most often confused with Parahypenodes quadralis, but P. quadralis  is larger, has broad rounded forewings rather than the narrow and more triangular forewings of Q. brauneata, and it has a plain hindwing (versus mottled in S. brauneata).  It does not resemble other Sigela species in pattern.



Sigela penumbrata


Sigela penumbrata spread 4 March 00

Sigela species 1818

Sigela penumbrata 1717Sigela penumbrata 1803

Status: Resident, Multivoltine.

Habitat Dependency: Many of our specimens are from xeric pine-palmetto flatwoods.  Smaller numbers of specimens have also been collected in longleaf pine/turkey oak sandhills and cypress swamp.  Isolated captures from mesic hardwood forest are probably dispersers.

Abundance: Usually uncommon to rare, but can be locally common in pine-palmetto flatwoods.  Most records are from lights, but it has been found at bait also.

Recorded Flight Season:  L February-May, L Aug-E Oct.

Diagnosis:  The above species is characterized by a grey coloration with no brown or tan scaling, a purple sheen (when fresh), and a subdued pattern of small, diffuse dark markings.  The above species is distinguished from the following three species by its light grey rather than tan coloration.  The following species all lack a purple sheen.

Note:  In Kons and Borth (2006) records for S. penumbrata were split under the names Sigela penumbrata and Sigela species.  HLK now thinks all of these records represent a single species.  Initially, the small series in HLK’s reference collection appeared to segregate into two phenotypic clusters, a larger light grey phenotype and a smaller darker grey phenotype.  However, HLK has subsequently added many new specimens, and it is now evident the variation falls along a continuum. 


Sigela basipunctaria


Sigela eioides 10 May 03 AEI BTR

Sigela eioides 7 March o4 AEI BTRSigela eioides 1 May 04 AEI BTR


Status: Resident, Multivoltine.

Habitat Dependency:  Generalist occurring in many habitat types

Abundance: Often uncommon, but at times common at bait or lights.  This species is more likely to be found at bait than lights when bait is working well.

Recorded Flight Season: L January-M December (probably year round).

Diagnosis:  S. basipunctaria is similar to species 2 (below).  In species 2 the costa is edged with a black band; this band is peppered with whitish scales and interrupted by a series of small whitish patches.  In basipunctaria there is no such dark band along the costa; rather, there is just a series of disjunct black blotches separated by tan scales.  S. basipunctaria has the forewings extensively peppered with black scaling; whereas in species 2 the black scaling is primarily confined to the costa, black blotches along the PM line, a terminal row of black dots, and two prominent black dots basal to the PM line (these black markings are present in basipunctaria in addition to the extensive peppering of black scales basal to the PM line).  In species 2 the remainder of the forewings is almost devoid of black scales.  Some individuals of basipunctaria have the peppering of black scaling forming a series of conspicuous, continuous, undulating black lines, whereas other individuals have the black scales more scattered without distinct lines.  There is a continuum of variation between these conditions.  Eioides has more limited black scaling as in species 2; however, there are numerous differences that separate this species from both basipunctaria and species 2.  Among the most obvious, eioides lacks black scaling along the costa, has brown banding on the forewings, and has a large reniform spot with white scaling inside.  Basipunctaria, eioides, and species 2 may be distinguished from all other eastern U.S. Sigela species by their brownish tan coloration.  All three species have distinct black markings absent in S. penumbrata.

Note:  This is by far the most common and widespread Sigela species in Florida.  It appears to be absent from most localities in east Texas, but a disjunct population occurs in the Ottine Swamp in Gonzales County, Texas.  Two sequenced specimens formed a separate COI sister clade to two sequenced Florida specimens, but wing pattern and female genitalia appear to be the same.

Taxonomic Note:  Specimens reported as basipunctaria from Texas are an undescribed species that occurs in the Sonoran Life Zone and is absent from eastern North America.  In most collections HLK has examined the true S. basipunctaria are determined as S. eioides, and records reported as eioides in Kons and Borth (2006) are actually basipunctaria, as confirmed from examination of the types of eioides and basipunctaria.


Sigela new species [Sigela sp. 2]


Sigela eioides 6 May 00 ACF UVT4Sigela eioides 1795


Status: Resident, Voltinism Unknown.

Habitat Dependency:  Pine flatwoods and longleaf pine-turkey oak savanna.  A specimen from Pinhook Swamp was collected in a cypress swamp, but pine-palmetto flatwoods occurred nearby.  Isolated specimens from mesic hardwood forest are probably dispersers.

Abundance: Often uncommon, but can be locally common in upland pine flatwoods.  A series was collected in pine-palmetto flatwoods on 4 March 2000 in the Austin Cary Forest, where it was flying with both S. basipunctaria and S. penumbrata.  This species often flies with S. basipunctaria, but basipunctaria is much more widespread.

Recorded Flight Season: L February-L May; however, the localities where numbers of this species have been recorded have not been surveyed in the fall.

Diagnosis:  The separation of this species from S. basipunctaria is discussed under S. basipunctaria (above). 


Sigela eoides


Sigela eioides complex species 3 14 Sep 06


Status:  Poorly Known.

Habitat Dependency:  Unknown.  One specimen is from mesic hardwood-pine forest, and two are from a hydric hardwood corridor along a stream through xeric oak-pine uplands.  However, all north Florida records may be strays from south Florida.

Abundance:  We have only collected three specimens from northern Florida, and this may be a south Florida species that rarely strays to northern Florida.  The single A.E.I. record is almost certainly a stray or disperser, as only one specimen has been collected at that locality with years of intensive collecting. 

Recorded Flight Season: M September-L. November.

Diagnosis:  This species differs from basipunctaria and species 2 by having brown banding on the forewing, no black along the costa, and a large reniform spot with light scaling in the center. 


Sigela new species [Sigela sp. 6]


Unknown Sterrhinae 15 Aug 05


Status:  Poorly Known.

Habitat Dependency:  Unknown, most specimens we have collected are from mesic hardwood-pine forest at the American Entomological Institute, but the species occurs sporadically at this site.  We have also collected a specimen from xeric oak forest.  This species may be an ephemeral migrant from farther south that establishes temporary breeding populations during some seasons, as some specimens collected have been in fresh condition.

Abundance:  Usually taken unpredictably as isolated single captures.

Recorded Flight Season: M August-M December

Comments:  This is the most distinctive of all of the eastern United States Sigela species with a highly unique wing pattern.  It has whitish scaling inside of the reniform spot, a possible synapomorphy this species shares with Sigela eioides.  The overall wing pattern is quite divergent from other North American Sigela and small Noctuid species.



{Sigela new species} [Sigela sp. 5]


Sigela basipunctaria


Comments:  The above species has been reported from Texas under the name basipunctaria.  It occurs in the Sonoran Life Zone and we have collected a series of specimens from central and western Texas, and examined specimens from Colorado.


{Sigela new species} [Sigela sp. 4]



Sigela species 4 June 04 Atlanta SP Sigela 1544


Comments:  The above phenotype has sometimes been reported as S. penumbrata.  It is widespread but often uncommon in eastern Texas and western Louisiana.  We have never found it in Florida.


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