Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
10 spp. in our area, 19 total(1)(2)
NA (US to Panama), Trinidad, & the Philippines(1)(2)
"Anotia is a problem on several levels. The main issue is that the species are described based on color patterns, but have not been verified by genitalia. It is possible that the color patterns are not diagnostic. I am suspicious that the biological species are different from the names we have applied to the color patterns. I have yet to look into it.
"Aside from the problem of the color taking some time to develop (making tenerals unidentifiable), there is the question of whether the color is really consistent. Anotia burnetii is a particular problem because the diagnostic feature is that the first 3 segments of the abdomen are marked with black - I have confirmed this with the type - unfortunately that says nothing about the wings, and the wings of the type are too faded to tell. I have yet to be fully convinced of any specimen being burnettii outside of the type.
"Aside from burnetti, there are 3 eastern species that have dark coloration over much, following the veins, of the wing - kirkaldyi, bonnetii and westwoodii -- bonnetii has round markings in the cells at the apex of the wing - but I think that is also true of both westwoodii and kirkaldyi, so my claim is that this is not a good feature (although Andy uses it). The difference between kirkaldyi and westwoodii is that the former has at least some veins dark (a well-marked one, see Fig.1 below); but this is sometimes hard. I have started to use the head coloration as well - westwoodi seems to have a dark (not red) marking near the top of the head (most visible laterally - see attached; I do not see a good example on bugguide); this is absent on kirkaldyi and bonnetii; so the real problem is how to tell these two species apart. I suspect that kirkaldyi has 2 red markings on the head in lateral view as well has 1 or more dark veins in the wings; whereas bonnetii has 1 red marking (below and in front of the antennae) and should lack the dark wing vein; thus, most of the specimens in bugguide as bonnetii I would call kirkaldyi. Some I can not tell because the wing pattern is ambiguous and I can't see the head in lateral view. Some (like the one on Fig.2, maybe on Fig.3 (it is marked oddly), and for sure the one on Fig.4 I would call robertsonii (caliginosa is similar, but western).
"But still, sometimes the top of the abdomen is gray/black like on Fig.5, and other times red or white. Not sure why, or if that is somehow diagnostic. It is also possible that the details of the wing coloration pattern may be diagnostic - i.e., which veins have the ajacent dark outline, which do not.
"Anyway, some day I will check the tails. Anotia is photographed a lot because it is weird, but it is not really all that common." --C.R. Bartlett, pers.comm. to =v= 23.vii.2015