Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Dicymolomia opuntialis Dyar, 1908
Explanation of Names
Specific epithet is for the host plant Opuntia.
There are six named species of Dicymolomia
in America north of Mexico. (1)
The original description is available online in the print references below.
Holotype collected in San Diego, California.
Moth Photographers Group
- large map with some distribution data.
Adults are most common from May through September. (1)
The larval host plant is Opuntia
sp. (prickly pear cactus). (4)
The larva form mines in the joints of the cactus pads. (5)
On Dicymolomia opuntialis (below), the outer half of the FW is more uniformly grizzled gray with little internal pattern or just a small black spot; on metalliferalis, this area is more mottled orange, white, and black. There is a fairly conspicuous median white line across the FW on metalliferalis, absent on opuntialis, and the subterminal white crescent on the FW of opuntialis only extends about 1/2 along the outer margin, whereas this same white subterminal line on metalliferalis covers about 7/8 of the outer margin. These features are more easily seen in lateral views than in top views of the moth.
(Left, opuntialis; Right, metalliferalis)
Compare on the pinned plates of Moth Photographers Group
Dyar, H.G. 1908. Descriptions of eleven new North American Pyralidae, with notes on a few others. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 10: 113
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America,pl. 22.11, p. 172. (4)