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Clothes Moth - Hodges #0283  - Oenoe hybromella

Clothes Moth - Hodges #0283 - Oenoe hybromella
Mobile (Dog River), Mobile County, Alabama, USA
September 1, 2010
Size: TL≈6mm
EDIT: leaving this image here and at T. tapetzella for comments and until issue is resolved

Oenoe hybromella
Hi Robert - not sure if you got my email from Terry Harrison but here is his response:

"...First of all, T. tapetzella is a much larger moth than Oenoe, which is among the smaller tineids. As to markings and coloration, I agree with the differences noted by Steve. Also, there is a small pale marking in the basal dark area of the forewing of Oenoe, this marking being absent in T. tapetzella. Also, in fresh individuals of Oenoe, the dark basal area of the forewing is bordered along its apical margin by a line of raised scales that are shining whitish, almost metallic; these scales may be absent in worn individuals of Oenoe, but no such thing is ever seen in T. tapetzella. Finally, the head tuft is brown in Oenoe, white in T. tapetzella...So, given all of the info in my previous message, all of the moths on the MPG Oenoe hybromella page are in fact that species, whereas only the spread specimen on the T. tapetzella MPG page actually is that species, the two live moths being O. hybromella."

Your image is one of the two he says should be O. hybromella. I assume we should frass the duplicate under T. tapetzella but didn't to do in case you had reason to do otherwise. If you knew the size it would be helpful since T. tapetzella is 14 mm wing spread while O. hybromella is 8 mm.

Moved to Oenoe hybromella
Moved from Moths.

ID based on similar images at MPG.

Steve ...
I did not realize I had doubled posted this image. I think that this image is correct for Trichophaga tapetzella, as someone originally ID'd on MPG. Notice the difference in the specimens on BOLD:
Trichophaga tapetzella - the basal area of all specimens is dark brown with yellow spot, a yellow mop-head and the wings are wider than ...
Oenoe hybromella - the basal area is not dark, with dark mop-head and the wings are longer and more slender.
Additionally, I think there may be some others that should be ID'd as #0413.

Not Sure
I'm going to contact Bob Patterson on this. I went to All-leps and downloaded images of both. (Same images as BOLD but the resolution is a little higher.) I took your image and those from All-Leps and placed them in layers using Photoshop. I resized, moved, and rotated them so they all had the same wing length, position, and orientation. Here is what I saw:

• The border line between the dark basal area and the pale outer area is angled opposite in the two species. Starting at the coastal margin it angles outward in O. hybromella and inward for T. tapetzella. This seems to be the most obvious and consistent difference. Yours matches O. hybromella.
• I agree that the wings are proportionally more slender for O. hybromella but your image actually seemed to match O. hybromella. This is not conclusive for me, though, because it assumes the wings of the live specimen are spread the same which they are not.
• The pattern of the dark spots in the pale area of the wings seem to match O. hybromella but not T. tapetzella. T. tapetzella has a gray spot near the center of the pale area, lacking in O. hybromella. In O. hybromella there is spot near the outer margin closer to the anal angle. There is also a spot along the costal margin, reduced or lacking in T. tapetzella.

Additionally in looking at all the images at BOLD I see the following:

• The "yellow mop-head" looks complete for T. tapetzella but your image shows a mop-head that gets darker toward the back and I think it's in the range for O. hybromella.
• The basal area of O. hybromella for some specimens is in fact dark brown with a pale spot. See BOLD Sample ID: CNCLEP00038439.

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