Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cisthene subjecta Walker, 1854
This species was the first to be assigned to the new genus Cisthene in 1854, many years before other species were recognized and named in the U.S. As a result, there was much confusion and conflation of species in the genus in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries until Knowlton (1967) generally settled the taxonomy.
* phylogenetic sequence #930188
Recognized by a combination of characters:
-- Basal red/yellow streak is separated from the inner forewing margin by gray.
-- Basal streak connects to the red PM spot on the inner margin at it's "top", i.e. at the point closest to the costal margin; that is, the PM spot does not bulge further towards the costa.
-- Reddish PM spot on costal margin is low and flared out widely, often 3X as wide as tall, contrasting with the semicircular spot of Packard's.
Found from n.e. Texas (rare) east to the Atlantic Coast, including all of peninsular Florida. Seems to be less common than Packard's Lichen Moth everywhere except Florida. It is well-documented only in the southern tier of states, north the North Carolina (BugGuide, BOLD, iNaturalist records). It has been reported from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana and further north. Many records outside of the deep south may be misidentified Packard's Lichen Moth (Knowlton 1967).(1)
Packard's and Subject Lichen Moths are frequently confused; both are variable. Name confusion with other (yet to be described) species in early literature is particularly severe.
Packard's Lichen Moth
- basal streak is typically yellow, contrasting with red of thorax and PM spots; basal streak meets PM spot of inner margin in middle; PM spot on costal margin is semi-circular with a steep basal edge at the costa.
Lantham, R. 1956. The status of Cisthene subjecta
(Arctiidae) on Long Island, N.Y.. Lepidopterists' News 10(3-4): 111
Sexton, C., and H. McGuinness. 2017. Identification of lichen moths in the genus Cisthene in the central and eastern U.S. Southern Lep. News (39(4):309-322.