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Visual Guides to Moth Taxonomy

I recently reworked the Tortricidae section of the Lepidoptera page guide to superfamilies, and I thought it might be useful to create similar guides for some families and superfamilies. Such a guide would be more useful for some groups than for others, so I would add them to only some pages. For example, while there are relatively few tortricid subfamilies and tribes, there are numerous noctuid subfamilies and tribes, many of which have many extremely similar looking species. I already arranged the tortricid section of the order page guide by tribe, according to the phylogenetic numbering system, with two images for most tribes (though only one each for Hilarographini and Microcorsini). However, I figure an alphabetic order would make more sense for guides on family and superfamily pages, especially given that the taxonomy on BugGuide is generally ordered that way. (The Lepidoptera guide is ordered this way as well.)

While such guides obviously would be of limited value for more experienced contributors, they could be helpful for directing people less familiar with identification. I would include a disclaimer about their use at the top of each, similar to the disclaimer on the Lepidoptera page. I believe the only such guide in the moth section of the guide, excluding that on the Lepidoptera page, is the one for Eucosma. I seem to recall that both were created by Kyhl, but maybe I’m mistaken.

Let me know what you think of this idea and, if you like it, on which guide pages you think it would be most useful and what formatting would be best. Any input would be greatly appreciated; I want to establish some sort of consensus before forging ahead.

Below is a hyperlinked list of pages to which I've added visual guides:





Here's a trick we copied from Lynette
Mirid article
The lines sometimes break in strange places which we never bothered to fix, but the names always stay with the images.

no code aces
I get this when I hit the edit button in order to see the code: "You are not authorized to access this page."

sent code by email
We're hoping that many of the articles can be moved to a FAQ tab in 2.0 and be editable by all where appropriate

Would be nice
Lots of old dead articles that could use updating

Sparganothini added
Comprehensive in the style of the Archipini guide.

Display Problems
The images are not lining up with the captions depending on the window size. Same for the other pages where individual thumbnails have captions. These pages are tricky to design. Take a look at the code for the page for Eucosma. Unless a user reduces the page width dramatically, it displays properly. Email me if you need help. The rest of the pages are great.

Window width
This should be a bigger problem for the Archipini page, which is wider, unless there are extraneous spaces added to the Sparganothini page. I want to limit that one to eight images wide, too. The Eucosma page used the same coding style but is much narrower. I think the pages should be possible to display properly on any computer as long as the window is wide. They don’t work at all on my phone, which can’t quite display even the Eucosma page properly.

I see now
I didn't open the window far enough. I think you should make them 5 images wide. Few users will have the window open wide enough for 8 thumbs and it won't occur to them that that is what is required.

I’ve sent you an email
With a more thorough response. To sum: making the lines narrower would come at the cost of the guides becoming significantly longer and more difficult to navigate, and it would also be tricky to keep them all the same width when some species require 2-4 images each. However, I do think I should add a note at the top warning users about the display size issue.


Also, I now see that my issue on mobile is not what I thought it was. My phone can diplay each row of images on the Eucosma page properly – in fact, it can display six images per line on the tort page despite the extra spaces between them. However, the lines with Hodges numbers spill over, meaning that the spaces render wider on mobile. You can see the same issue on a Mac with the command_+ function, which renders everything on the page larger. Even narrower lines just don’t work properly on mobile, unfortunately.


I am considering consolidating some of the smaller genera on single lines with extra spaces between them (e.g. Syndemis+Lozotaenia). I might even mix up the order slightly (e.g. Epiphyas+Ditula, Adoxophyes+Xenotemna). I think I'll test one out to see how it looks.

Archipini added
Unlike the others, this one is comprehensive. All species with live images in the guide are included. Currently 83 species with images, 31 with links to MPG, 2 with links to BOLD, and 3 evidently without images online. Additionally, the 6/7 western species in the Choristoneura fumiferana group are covered jointly. Pohl et al. (2016) list 126 species, and synonymization of Choristoneura biennis with C. occidentalis/freemani by Brunet et al. (2016) leaves a total of 125.

Yponomeutoidea and Lasiocampidae added

Zygaenoidea added

Finished Gelechiidae, added Yponomeutoidea

Thumbs Up!
I think that will be very useful. Nice!

Added for Pyralidae

Added for Tortricidae
In order of nearctic diversity. I've included eight images for all the larger tribes. Any comments or recommendations are welcome.

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