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Species Thurberiphaga diffusa - Thurberia Bollworm - Hodges#9817

Unidentified Moth - Thurberiphaga diffusa Unknown AZ Moth - Thurberiphaga diffusa Moth - Thurberiphaga diffusa Moth - Thurberiphaga diffusa Arizona Moth - Thurberiphaga diffusa Thurberia Bollworm - Thurberiphaga diffusa Thurberiphaga diffusa Arizona Moth - Thurberiphaga diffusa
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Acontiinae (Bird Dropping Moths)
Tribe Chamaecleini
Genus Thurberiphaga
Species diffusa (Thurberia Bollworm - Hodges#9817)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Thurberia Bollworm (Vorhies, 1926)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Thurberiphaga diffusa (Barnes, 1904)
Alaria diffusa Barnes, 1904
Thurberiphaga catalina Dyar, 1919
* phylogenetic sequence #931764
Forewing length 13-15 mm (Powell & Opler, 2009).(1)
Wingspan 25-35 mm (Barnes, 1904; Dyar, 1919).
Larvae mature to 23-26 mm (Vorhies, 1926).
Pupae 10 mm in a dense 15 mm silk cocoon (Vorhies, 1926).
Larva - bright pink and otherwise unmarked, covered with course granules (Crumb, 1956). Vorhies (1926) describes the the first four instars of the larva as not pink at all, but more like ox blood red.
Southern Arizona. Known only from the counties of Santa Cruz, Cochise, Pima ( and Maricopa (USDA, 1971).
At higher elevations it can be found in canyons and at lower eleveations it is almost always in sandy washes, always in close association with its only known host plant (Vorhies, 1926).
Adults fly late July to early September ( Emergence of adults very closely associated with the late budding host plant.
Larvae bore into buds and bolls of Thurber's cotton, also known as tree cotton, (Gossypium thurberi) (Vorhies, 1926; Crumb, 1956; USDA, 1971). Vorhies found that late instar larvae will take cultivated cotton but that this is unlikely to occur in the wild.
Life Cycle
Conspicuous, yet small, white, truncate-conical shaped eggs are laid singly on leaf tips or tips of flower bracts usually in mid-August. Larvae hatch in six days and bore into bolls and buds, of which it will consume several during its lifetime. Pupation occurs underground in a dense coccon (Vorhies, 1926).
Adults attracted to light from 9pm to 12pm (Vorhies, 1926).
Print References
Barnes, W. 1904. New species of North American lepidoptera. Canadian Entomologist 36(8): 238
Crumb, S. E. 1956. The larvae of the Phalaenidae. USDA Technical Bulletin 1135: 346
Dyar, H. G. 1919. A new noctuid from Arizona. Insecutor inscitiae menstruus 7(7-9): 188 (Thurberiphaga catalina)
Poole, R. W. 1995. Moths of America North of Mexico. Fascicle 26.1: p.161, pl.4.53
Powell, J. A. & P. A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. pl.52.23m, p.290 (1)
USDA 1971. Cooperative Economic Insect Report 21(26): 459
Vorhies, C. T. 1926. Life history and habits of the Thurberia Bollworm, Thurberiphaga diffusa Barnes (Noctuid). Technical Bulletin (University of Arizona, Agricultural Experiment Station) No. 7: 141-163
Internet References
Nearctica - species page
Moths of Southeastern Arizona - photograph of pinned adult
Butterflies and Moths of North America - species account with range map
Works Cited
1.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.