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Genus Compacta

5233 -- Compacta capitalis - Compacta capitalis Compacta Compacta capitalis - Hodges#5233 - Compacta Compacta Compacta hirtalis Compacta hirtalis Compacta hirtalis compacta cap - Compacta capitalis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea (Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths)
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Spilomelinae
Tribe Margaroniini
Genus Compacta
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Compacta Amsel, 1956
3 species in our area. (1)
Wingspan about 35 mm for capitalis and hirtaloidalis, about half of that for hirtalis (~20mm).
Adult: forewing white to grayish, semitransparent, with dark shading at base and along inner margin; at least 2 main black discal spots, an irregular subterminal line, and dark apical blotch present on both wings
C. capitalis: Maryland to Florida, west to Texas and possibly Colorado, north to Illinois
C. hirtalis and C. hirtaloides: southern Texas (?) south to Central America; these species names appear on the and All-Leps lists but no records of North American specimens were found on other Internet sites as of September 2007.
Note: The Mississippi Entomological Museum (MEM) has two specimens of C. hirtalis from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, so it appears that there may actually be two species in the east. -Kyhl Austin
As of 8/1/16, from what I can tell, there are five BIN groups for Compacta at BOLD as follows:
BOLD:AAJ7650 - 3 from OK and IL identified as Compacta capitalis
BOLD:AAR9932 - 1 from Quintana Roo, MX, identified as Compacta sp.
BOLD:ACA2697 - 2 from Costa Rica identified as Compacta hirtalisDHJ02
BOLD:AAC0747 - 3 from Costa Rica identified as Compacta hirtalisDHJ01
BOLD:ABY4442 - 3 from Costa Rica identified as Compacta hirtalis
The samples fall within an approximate 5% range of similarity. There is additionally a species page for Compacta hirtaloidalis with 5 samples, one or more from the US, but none were sequenced and the data for those records are not public so I can’t see any collection info.
All images are fairly similar but capitalis tends to have a cleaner, more white appearance with a smaller obicular, a reniform open toward the costa, a more sinuate outer (st.?) line, and greater separation between the obicular and reniform. The appearance of the reniform is mentioned in the literature but the rest are my observations based on BOLD images. It is unclear as to whether BOLD:ACA2697, BOLD:AAC0747, and BOLD:ABY4442 represent three separate species or are in fact all hirtalis.
The images currently in BugGuide from OK, MO, IL, and TN seem to fit capitalis while those from TX, AL, and LA seem more like BOLD images of hirtalis and hirtaloidalis. The remaining one from AZ also looks more like hirtalis but seems to match the BOLD images of hirtaloidalis even better. Note the reniform contains darker scales which form an inner bar and the much larger apical dark patch. Dyar 2012 notes the wingspan for hirtaloidalis at 34 mm which is a bit bigger but not sure that puts it out of the ball park.
I don’t have copies of Amsel, 1956, Munroe, 1983, or Munroe, 1995 and it may be possible that they contain more information. Aside from these and literature cited on the Info pages, I could find no other sources. Although the descriptions available on line do not seem to contradict the BOLD indentifications, I'm not sure they can be used to separate these species. - Steve Nanz
Print References
Amsel, H. G. 1956 Microlepidoptera Venezolana I. Boletin de Entomologia Venezolana. 10(1–2): 1–336.
Internet References
pinned adult image of C. capitalis plus photos of related species by Jim Vargo (Moth Photographers Group)
pinned adult image of C. capitalis by John Glaser, plus date and status in Maryland (Larry Line, Maryland)
pinned adult image of C. hirtalis by Marcos Saborio from Costa Rica, plus species account in Spanish (National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica)
distribution list of boundary states (Dalton State College, Georgia)
possible presence in Colorado; list of C. capitalis but no indication that specimen was collected in Colorado (U. of Colorado Museum)
presence in Illinois; list of C. capitalis (Illinois State Museum)
authors, dates, and original genera of the 3 species (
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Pyraloidea (Lepidoptera) of America North of Mexico
Scholtens, B.G., Solis, A.M. 2015. ZooKeys 535: 1–136. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.535.6086.