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Genus Zanclognatha

Wavy-lined Zanclognatha - Zanclognatha jacchusalis Erebidae, Litter Moth larva, dorsal - Zanclognatha cruralis moth - Zanclognatha Zanclognatha protumnusalis or dentata? - Zanclognatha Zanclognatha laevigata (Variable Zanclognatha) - Zanclognatha laevigata Zanclognatha sp? - Zanclognatha Zanclognatha theralis - male Moth to porch light  - Zanclognatha - male
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Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Herminiinae (Litter Moths)
Genus Zanclognatha
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Zanclognatha (Lederer, 1857)
Zanclognatha was lumped with the Eurasian genus Polypogon by Poole (1989), then split from Polypogon by Fibiger & Hacker (1991), and reinstated as a valid genus by Poole again (1996). The recent European checklist by Nowacki & Fibiger (1998) treats both Zanclognatha and Polypogon as valid genera, and Lafontaine & Troubridge (in press, July 2005) recommend retaining Zanclognatha as a separate genus, based on structural differences listed under "Identification" and "See also" sections below.
Explanation of Names
zanclo = a sickle (Greek); and gnatho = jaw (Greek)...from Borror(1).
So Zanclognatha means "sickle-jaw"...presumably referring to the conspicuously upturned, "sickle-like", labial palps in members of the genus.
Twelve described Zanclognatha species are found in America north of Mexico.
Zanclognatha lituralis (Hübner, 1818)
Zanclognatha theralis (Walker, 1859) - syn. Z. deceptricalis (Zeller, 1873), syn. Z. gypsalis (Grote, 1880), syn. Z. inconspicualis (Grote, 1883)
Zanclognatha laevigata (Grote, 1872)
Zanclognatha pedipilalis (Guenée, 1854)
Zanclognatha martha (Barnes, 1928)
Zanclognatha cruralis (Guenée, 1854)
Zanclognatha marcidilinea (Grote, 1872) - syn. Z. jacchusalis of authors, not (Walker, 1859)
Zanclognatha jacchusalis (Walker, 1859) - syn. Z. ochreipennis (Grote, 1872), ssp. Z. j. lutalba (Smith, 1906), ssp. Z. j. bryanti (Barnes, 1928)
Zanclognatha dentata (Wagner & McCabe, 2011) (2)

All species of Zanclognatha in North America other than lituralis (BOLD:AAB3774) and nr. lituralis (BOLD:ABX5357), laevigata and nr. laevigata (BOLD:ABZ7767, BOLD:ACH2253), and pedipilalis (BOLD:ABZ2935) are placed in a single BIN (BOLD:AAA5206) with sequence divergence mostly within 2%, indicative of rapid recent speciation.
Uniformly-colored wings range from pale to dark; several species have a thin straight line running from wingtip to wingtip - a Zanclognatha trait; at rest, the triangular forewings are held flat in a swept-back position with the inner margins touching, giving the moth a "stealth bomber" appearance.
Labial palpi of Zanclognatha species are upturned with the apical segment slender and blade-like; male antenna has distinctive swelling or "knot" of enlarged scales and/or segments characteristic of many herminiine genera; antenna is slightly bead-like with a long seta on each side of each segment; tarsus is reduced with the apical segments projecting out from under the tibial hood; male valve has one or two additional processes projecting from the dorsal margin of the valve [adapted from Lafontaine & Troubridge, 2005]
In North America, eastern US, southern Canada, and PNW
Usually found in wooded areas on or near the forest floor
Adults fly from May to September
Individuals fly weakly a short distance when flushed, and if approached slowly will usually remain stationary; due to low light levels in the forest and intervening leaves and twigs, getting acceptable photos can be a challenge.
Genus description, species descriptions, key to species, etc. (Many submissions in the Guide refer to this key but caution should be used as species have been revised and some descriptions are no longer valid) - Forbes, 1954. Memoir: Number 329 - Lepidoptera of New York and Neighboring States, Part III, 395(3)
See Also
The Eurasian genus Polypogon differs from Zanclognatha in the following ways: labial palpi directed forward (rather than upturned) with ragged fringe of scales on dorsal surface of apical segment; male antenna bipectinate and lacks "knot" of enlarged scales; male valve bilobed with lightly sclerotized dorsal lobe and tapered ventral lobe; uncus relatively simple (laterally flattened near base but more inflated toward tip, with an apical spine); vesica has many pouches and is covered with patches of conical spines [adapted from Lafontaine & Troubridge, 2005]
Print References
Fibiger, M., and H. Hacker. 1991. Systematic list of the Noctuidae of Europe. Esperiana, 2: 1-109.
Lafontaine, D., and J. Troubridge. 2005. Taxonomic notes on North American Noctuidae 2: The Polypogon group of genera. (in press, July 2005)
Nowacki, J., and M. Fibiger. 1998. Noctuidae. pp. 251-293. In Karsholt, O., and J. Razowski. The Lepidoptera of Europe. A distributional checklist. 380 pp. Stenstrup: Apollo Books.
Poole, R.W. 1989. Lepidopterorum Catalogus (New Series). Fascicle 118 Noctuidae, Parts 1–3: xii + 1-1314. New York: E.J. Brill.(4)
Poole, R. W. 1996. Nomina Insecta Nearctica. A Checklist of the Insects of North America. Volume 3: Diptera, Lepidoptera, Siphonaptera. E.I.S., Rockville, MD. 1143 pp.
David L. Wagner, Timothy L. McCabe, 2011. A new Zanclognatha from eastern North America and a preliminary key to the larvae of the genus... ZooKeys 149: 89-101 (24 Nov 2011)(2)
Smith, J. B., 1895. Contributions Toward A Monograph Of The Insects Of The Lepidopterous Family Noctuidae Of Boreal North America. A Revision Of The Deltoid Moths. Bulletin of the United States National Museum., 48: 57 (5)
Internet References
Images and Info at Barcoding Life
Pinned Adult Images of the 12 species in eastern Canada (CBIF)
Pinned Adult Images of the 5 species in western Canada (CBIF)
Works Cited
1.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
2.A new Zanclognatha from eastern North America and a preliminary key to the larvae of the genus...
Wagner, D.L. & T.L. McCabe. 2011. ZooKeys 149: 89-101.
3.Lepidoptera of New York and Neighboring States, Part III [Noctuidae]
William T. M. Forbes . 1954. Cornell University. Agricultural Experiment Station Memoir: Number 329: 1-433.
4.Noctuidae; Lepidopterorum Catalogus (Lepidopterorum Catalogues New Series Fasc 118) Part 1 & 2)
Poole, R. W. 1989. CRC Press .
5.Contributions toward a monograph of the insects of the Lepidopterous family Noctuidae of boreal North America a ...
John B. Smith. 1895. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, 48: 1-129.