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Opostega vs. Pseudopostega

We have guide pages for both of these genera. I don't know enough to say for sure, but are we mixing two different taxonomies here? All-Leps has only Pseudopostega, which includes "Opostega quadristrigella." If All-Leps is the standard, this species should be moved to Pseudopostega and Opostega should be deleted. If not, somebody please explain before I do something rash. I think any discrepancies with our default taxonomies should be explained on the guide pages--the synonym is given on the current species page, but there is no explanation as to why Opostega is preferred.

I agree
First of all, Charley, please don't do anything rash. See my note below, under Chuck's comment; I hope it will answer your questions regarding Pseudopostega versus Opostega (which, actually, Chuck already answered; I merely weighed in with backup).

Second, I agree with your statement that "any discrepancies with our default taxonomies should be explained..." More to the point, they need to be cited. We need to be directed to the argument or reason, published under peer review, for any difference in nomenclature and/or classification from that seen in the 1983 checklist.

Thanks for the input
I've deleted Opostega, moved quadristrigella, and added a link to the Davis and Stonis monograph on the guide page for that species.

Very odd...
All the images that preceded the creation of guide pages were IDed by Bob Patterson, using one generic name or the other.

The Pseudopostega page was created by Jeff Hollenbeck March 26, 2007 in response to Bob's ID on this image:

Bob was actually passing on the ID from Richard L. Brown at the Mississippi Entomological Museum, from whom he got the generic name. He mentioned Pseudopostega as a brand-new name from Don Davis' then-unpublished treatment of the family.

The Opostega page was created by Beatriz Moisset, apparently in response to Bob's ID on this image, which was posted a month earlier:

Here, he seems to have forgotten about Pseudopostega and uses the generic name he's familiar with.

The Opostega quadristrigella page was created July 24, 2007 by Tom Murray in response to Bob's ID on this image:

He then moved this image to it:

Bob also had tentatively IDed that one, but it was left under Moths in the guide.

Then I apparently added the synonym to the Opostega quadristrigella page, though I don't specifically remember doing so. The "last modified" date was February 17, 2008. My best guess is that I ran into the genus pages, recognized the contradiction, but didn't have the time to start a forum inquiry about it.

This exemplifies the kind of things I run into all the time: different standards are applied at different times when the IDs are given, and the people who are busily working to keep things from piling up don't take the time to check things against the references. My part was better than doing nothing, but I should have made a note and followed through later. I don't think this is a case of someone deliberately flouting our references, but of people not following through on the steps needed to keep errors from creeping in.

As for the status of Pseudopostega, Butterflies and Moths of the World says that it was first published as a subgenus of Opostega by Koslov in 1985, then raised to an independent genus by Don Davis in this 1989 article. The revision Bob mentioned was actually this 2007 revision of New World Opostegidae.

From the latter, it's apparent that Opostega in the strict sense isn't found in our area, so we'll have to get rid of one of the genus pages. The question of which is correct is one I'm not qualified to address. It may, in fact, boil down to a "splitters vs. lumpers" philosophical disagreement, but I don't know. My best guess is that we should go with Pseudopostega

You're right
The latest and most authoritative word on New World Opostegidae is the 2007 Davis and Stonis monograph that you cited. As of that work, the known Nearctic opostegid fauna consists of Opostegoides scioterma, plus eight species of Pseudopostega (floridensis, albogaleriella, kempella, cretea, parakempella, acidata, texana, and quadristrigella). As you correctly derived, the genus Opostega, as delineated in the Davis 1989 paper and the 2007 D&S work, is not known to occur in our fauna.

I took a quick look at the MPG site earlier, and it appeared that both generic names were in use, possibly even for the same species. I sense that it's a family that very few people pay much attention to. Terry Harrison's website ( and his images on MPG use Pseudopostega. I'm inclined to follow his lead when in doubt, but we can wait a bit and see if anyone has any objections. All-Leps is supposed to be our standard though, barring more recent developments, so I don't expect anyone will.

Which reminds me of another wrinkle...
Terry posted a comment a month or two ago on the image that led to the creation of the Opostega page- he says it's actually a Bucculatrix sp.

That explains it
I was wondering why that moth looked nothing like the others!

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