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Ozamia Ragonot

Thomas J. Simonsen and Richard L. Brown

Last updated:  Dec.15, 2009

Taxonomic Synonymy
Ozamia Ragonot, 1901, Mem. sur les Lep. vol. 8: 34
Type species: Trachonitis lucidalis Walker. By monotypy.

Diagnostic Characters
Ozamia is most similar to Zophodia and Cactobrosis, but differs from other cactus-feeding genera by the following combination of characters: 1) antenna of male serrate and pubescent with dorsal, scale-like sensilla close to the base of the flagellum, 2) maxillary palpus fan-shaped, 3) abdomen 8 of male with paired lateroventral scale tufts, and tergite with a long narrow “bridge” connecting the antecosta and the tergal plate (Heinrich 1939, 1956; Neunzig 1997; Simonsen 2008).

According to Heinrich (1939) and Neunzig (1997) the larvae are dark red to pink, dark grey, or olive-green without spots or bands.

Larval Hosts
Flower and fruit feeders in Opuntia s.s. and Consolea (Heinrich 1956, Mann 1969).

Life History
Eggs laid singly. Larvae are solitary feeders.

Three species are known from South America, one from the Caribbean (incl. Florida Keys), one from Mexico, and three from southwestern USA (Heinrich 1956, Neunzig 1997). According to Neunzig (1997) a yet undescribed species occurs in the Dominican Republic.

Taxonomic Note
Neunzig (1997) excluded the three South American species (hemilutella, punicans, and stigmaferella) from Ozamia based on differences in the male antenna and female genitalia compared to the other species (Heinrich 1939, 1956 also noted that these species form a separate group within the genus). However, since Neunzig neither formally described a new genus for these species, nor assigned them to another genus, they are provisionally retained in Ozamia here until the genus is revised.