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Phycitodes reliquella - Phycitodes mucidella

Phycitodes reliquella - Phycitodes mucidella
In Westwood by porch light; elevation 5100ft, Lassen County, California, USA
June 29, 2009
Size: 12mm in height as posed
ID for this specimen to species Phycitodes reliquella was provided by BOLD Systems via DNA. DNA for this specimen is a 100% match with 20+ specimens of this species; and one specimen of Phycitodes mucidella. Also, this specimen was a 99.85-69% match with 70+ additional specimens of Phycitodes reliquella; and one additional specimen of Phycitodes mucidella.

Concerning the two P. mucidella specimens: one was found in Washington state, and the other in Quebec.
Concerning the 100% P. reliquella matches: most were western specimens; but two were eastern specimens.

See here for BOLD's Public Data Portal - BIN Page for these two species.
And here for this specimen's DNA Record Page at BOLD Systems.

This is a commonly seem moth by the porch light; and fairly consistent in it's appearance as shown in this specimen.

Images of this individual: tag all
Phycitodes reliquella - Phycitodes mucidella Phycitodes reliquella - Phycitodes mucidella Phycitodes reliquella - Phycitodes mucidella


Phycitodes mucidella
Your BOLD link doesn't work now. I believe it is Sample ID: BIOUG00848-A11 here. It is also a 100% match for one of the P. mucidella samples.

DNA barcoding at BOLD does not seem to be able to differentiate between P. reliquellum, currently beleived to be an eastern species, and P. mucidella, beleived to be western. There is only one BIN for all North American samples in Phycitodes with no clumping in the taxon tree with respect to location.

Heinrich (1956:226) treated reliquella and mucidella as subspecies of Rotruda mucidella (Ragonot, 1887). It appears that he found no consistent differences in wing pattern and he noted variations in genitalia within local populations, variations which he seems to suggest had been used previously to separate the two species.

Neunzig (1997) apparently elevated reliquella back to full species but I don't have access to that work. BOLD data, not to be confused with the BOLD identifications, seems to support Heinrich (1956).

Thank you again Steve!
I have updated my link and BOLD data above. Also thank you for the thoughtful look at the issue concerning the identification of these two species.

MPG places Phycitodes reliquellum (Dyar, 1904) in the east; and Phycitodes mucidella (Ragonot, 1887) is placed in the west.

The DNA barcoding at BOLD seems to equate these two species as actually being just one species. The taxonomic trees seem to support this also.

The first specimen to be submitted to BOLD with an ID of Phycitodes reliquellum prior to having is DNA sequenced, would have provided the means of a solid DNA match for all eastern 'and' western specimens summited to and sequenced by BOLD.

But eventually a specimen with a prior ID of Phycitodes mucidella would also be submitted to BOLD for sequencing; which apparently did happen. And so now we have this dilemma.

I suppose the senior species name Phycitodes mucidella (1887) could prevail for all eventually.


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