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Feralia comstocki - Comstock's Sallow 10008 - Feralia deceptiva

Feralia comstocki - Comstock's Sallow 10008 - Feralia deceptiva
Bay Center 98527 Willapa, Pacific County, Washington, USA
April 11, 2013
Size: Wingspan ~44mm
3871 DSCF5166.JPG
Wingspan ~44mm
Locality: Coastal SW Washington State at the edge of Willapa Bay geo:lat=46 37.273 geo:lon=-123 56.814

Images of this individual: tag all
Feralia comstocki - Comstock's Sallow 10008 - Feralia deceptiva Feralia comstocki - Comstock's Sallow 10008 - Feralia deceptiva

Moved from Comstock's Sallow.

I'm fairly sure this is
Feralia deceptiva

Thanks for your comment David. The taxonomic placement I relied upon is the DNA sequences from other specimens of this genus from this location. I compared this specimen with, as example, the one shown below which has a solid sequence match to Feralia comstocki. In the published database the top highest ten matches from 99.7 to 100% are for F. comstocki. Feralia deceptive is not present in the top 99 matches on the published db. In fact, the validity of Feralia deceptive seems a bit iffy although BOLD does list it. To find a DNA match to F. deceptive to this specimen one would see it at the lowest (99th position out of 100) match at 95% in the species database. I will send this specimen to BOLD when I have sufficient numbers and money to run a batch. If you would like access to my information at the BOLD program let me know. I have over 3000 moth DNA sequences (over 400 species) from 4 plus year-around trapping at this point.

sounds convincing
The specimen in the thumbnail indeed does look like F. comstocki to me.

However, the pattern of the specimen in question really doesn't look like my concept of F. comstocki, while it does look correct for F. deceptiva. I think you have two species from the same location. In fact, I see you have one from the another day, same place, that matches this one quite admirably:

Some things I look for include the dark pattern on the thorax, the small size of the marginal black spots; the closeness of the two arms of the submarginal dark stripe at the costal margin; the large quadrate median green "spot" (usually edged in black) at the costal margin does not appear to continue beyond the discal cell as a dark diagonal bar toward the tornus.

I'll reserve judgment though, since I really don't know the full range of variation seen in each "species" of Feralia, and I have to allow that my own judgement is perhaps flawed (and perhaps F. deceptiva isn't really even a different entity?).

Oh, and yes, I would love to see how this one comes out if you do send it in (and any of the rest of these).

There is quite a debate over the utility of "barcoding" for identification (and for taxonomy), but I don't wan't to get into that debate here. However, there are a number of interesting papers on the subject (that you may have read?). Examples here and here. I don't doubt the value of barcoding, I just doubt that it is as neat, clean, and reliable for identifications as some believe.

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