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Moths

As a taxonomic reference for moths, I suggest following the North American Checklist with Synonymies at All-Leps. The list was developed by the people named at the bottom of this page, and appears to be the most taxonomically up-to-date list available (moreso even than the relatively up-to-date Butterflies and Moths of the World and Moths of Canada sites).
The list initially shows superfamilies and their included families, but can be expanded to show subfamilies and tribes (when available), plus genera, species, synonyms, and subspecies (when applicable).
Example: superfamily Bombycoidea includes family Saturniidae, which expands to show subfamily Hemileucinae > tribe Hemileucini > genus Automeris > species cecrops plus 5 synonyms and 2 subspecies (cecrops and pamina).
The hierarchal structure of the list is based on taxonomic relationships, but names within each subgroup are arranged alphabetically for convenience.

Another point in favor of the All-Leps list is the quick response of the people maintaining it. Yesterday morning, I noticed that the family Elachistidae was listed twice by mistake (under Gelechioidea and Noctuoidea), so I completed their Comment form and sent it. The mistake was corrected yesterday afternoon.

At BugGuide, I suggest that we create superfamily pages, and put the families listed here into their appropriate groups. I also think it would be helpful to add Hodges numbers to any species pages that currently lack them, for the convenience of those who use BugGuide's Search feature to locate species by number. And lastly, I suggest that the names of taxa within each taxonomic group continue to be arranged alphabetically for the convenience of the general public.

Last year, Joel Kits discussed here using Opler & Warren's list as a taxonomic reference for butterflies, and although All-Leps includes butterflies, I suggest that any comments relating to butterflies be added to the thread that Joel started rather than here.

Update Request
Due to multiple issue with All-leps, this discussion was picked up in another discussion here where it was decided to follow MPG.

The Moth Info still show All-Leps as the authority. I want to change that. Please let me know if there are any objections.

Sounds great
My $0.02: All-leps sounds like a slam dunk to me (although I don't know the field as well as many others). And I think superfamily organization is an excellent idea. I'm willing to do the gruntwork while I'm adding the Hodges #'s, unless you'd rather do it yourself -- let me know.

The only thing here that might be controversial is the ordering within sister taxa. When I'm scanning thumbnails, I like having closely related species together so I can say "ah, getting warm." That's an example of a practical advantage to having sister taxa in some sort of biological order (to the extent that it's possible when turning a binary tree into a linear structure). But fundamentally, it seems to come down to philosophical preference, and folks here seem to be split on the issue.

Of course, the more we can do in the way of organizing things into a tree structure (such as adding the superfamilies), the less important the ordering within them becomes.

-Anita Gould

 
superfamily Noctuoidea added
...and its families have been moved into it but I'm still arranging lower taxa within Noctuidae. I've been adding Hodges numbers only when creating new species pages, so if you'd like to fill in missing numbers on existing pages, that would be great. I'll go ahead and place the remaining families in their respective superfamilies, then check BugGuide's current placement of genera within tribes and subfamilies vs. the All-Leps list placement, and move lower level taxa as needed.

I've noticed when moving multiple genera to non-blank locations that the newly-arriving names get automatically alphabetized with the existing names, which is handy because it makes it easier to keep track of what has gone where. I've come upon several duplications of tribe names in the All-Leps list, and have sent an error report for all of them. Hopefully things will get straightened out in the next few days; I'll keep working at it...

 
All-Leps has images
For certain species. Clicking the name brings up a series of images that have been bar-coded. These images show a nice range of individual variation. I tried this for Acronicta tristis and got about 1 dozen Acronicta tristis but also 2 Arctiids, 1 Habrosyne sp. and 1 Gluphisia sp.
I sent an error report. It seems the images are added to the database soon after bar-coding the specimen and often entry mistakes are made resulting in an image being placed under the wrong species. Such data entries will be corrected as found. One gets a very quick response after submitting an error report.

I agree.
Explained well with clear reasoning. I'm not sure that Hodges' # are needed or are even useful. They are sure to change when the "new Hodges" comes out. It does not seem much of an imposition on people to search by genus or specific epithet. How many of us who want information on, or to see images of, Hyalophora cecropia would know to type 7767? I would simply search for 'cecropia' or 'robin moth'.

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