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Tolype dayi - male

Tolype dayi - Male
Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
September 8, 2008
Think this is most likely Tolype dayi but it sure looks like John Davis's photos of T. distincta. Not sure how you would tell them apart. T. distincta is not on the UBC list for BC, nor is it shown on the CBIF site as a Canadian species; however, USDA "Lepidoptera of the Pacific Northwest" (Miller & Hammond) says that T.distincta is widespread in western North America.

Moved from Tolype.

Hi Libby, I personally think T. dayi and distincta are one and the same species. I searched the U of A library and so far i couldn't find any revisions on this genus. The distinction between these two species is clearly not morphological. Perhaps they differ in their genitalia, life cycle or DNA? And if so, how much do they need to differ in order to be considered separate species? These questions are unanswerable for most species unfortunately... In general it is better to lump together uncertain species than to split them (just look at the huge numbers of synonimies out there for different species)

So for now i would suggest going with the classification proposed by CBIF. They only mention dayi for BC.

Thanks a lot Marius. Have run into this type of situation several times now - raises the whole question of "What is a species?" which is interesting in and of itself. Will follow your advice and put it under T. dayi!

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