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Desmia funeralis vs Desmia maculalis

I've been gathering information on Desmia maculalis and D. funeralis and I feel that an ID can be made from field marks that would be reasonably accurate. Here's what I have.

D. maculalis - banded underside of the abdomen. White spots on wings are usually smaller than on funeralis.
D. funeralis - underside of the abdomen is mostly white.

Brian Scholtens says the farther south you go, the less accurate these marks may be but using this combined with size should get it right most of the time.

There is considerable size overlap so it is necessary to sex the moth you are seeing.

Male funeralis are largest, next are male maculalis and female funeralis, and then finally the smallest are female maculalis. These two species can easily be sexed by looking at the antennae which have a notch (or joint) in the middle of the antenna if they are males. Another way to sex these 2 is by the shape of the spot on the HW. On females, the spot is at least partially divided.

Here are albums of some I've photographed this year. I have a plastic bottle with flat sides that works well for getting the underside shots.

So far the marks match the size I would expeect to see on each species.

It would be helpful if others would collect data based on these marks and the wingspan measurement. I'm going to try and do this on most of the Desmia I see this year.

Ventral abdomen view needed?
If I have a clear dorsal view of a D. funeralis/maculalis that allows the sex determination, and I have a wingspan measurement accurate to ~1 mm, is the ventral abdomen view necessary to distinguish the species?

Also, are the wingspan ranges of the 4 combinations of species x sexes available somewhere?

The sizes are on each species
The sizes are on each species page but they aren't written in stone which is why it's important to get a look at the underside of the abdomen.

Is this Desmia maculalis (Grape Leafroller - Hodges#5160) or is it just too worn to tell?

It probably is maculalis but
It probably is maculalis but it's so worn, I wouldn't want to make that call.

I'll frass and try again with the next one.

Hi Ken,
Here are two of mine that I think I've identified correctly - both from western Wisconsin. Thanks for putting all the work into figuring this out!

Both ID's look good.
Both ID's look good.


This one
needs an ID, Desmia funeralis I think.

tried again
I just posted another one to id request, this time with a good underside shot and a wingspan measurement of 28 mm. They have been here regular for several weeks now.

2 of different sizes from MD
I found two of these Desmia moths near my balcony light on the same evening. One was noticeably larger than the other, but they didn't associate with each other in any obvious way. The larger one got away before I could photograph the ventral view or measure it accurately.



Maryland female
Female with 24 mm costal wingspan and 11 mm body.

Other Desmia spp.
Nice Work! In the future, when I see these critters, I'll be sure to pop them in a plastic bag and photo the underside.

Looking at BOLD, I see that both subdivisalis and stenizonalis can occur in the north east. I couldn't find a description for the former and the original description for the latter doesn't seem to match BOLD images. I'm not sure how to eliminate these as possibilities.

Here's some info on Desmia su
Here's some info on Desmia subdivisalis from Brian Scholtens:
"The fringes on the wings are completely white and there is a slight dark halo around the spots. This species tends to have a purplish sheen but that is difficult to see in photos."

I wouldn't be surprised if th
I wouldn't be surprised if that NE record of stenizonalis is an error. Based on the few available images of subdivisalis, that species looks distinctly different IMHO but since there are so few images to look at, that doesn't mean much.

I'll try to remember this, es
I'll try to remember this, especially the clear plastic jug. I have only been taking live shots so underside is almost impossible. I just took one a few days ago in Louisiana of one of these. I'll watch for another.

I have one in a jar in the fr
I have one in a jar in the fridge now. Have never tried to do that before. Can you give me instructions on how lethargic they get, can you take them out on a table, etc. without them flying? How long can they stay in a jar without choking from lack of oxygen, etc.

I plan to photo him later today if you tell me that is enough. I am in Louisiana.

20 minutes or so in the fridg
20 minutes or so in the fridge is all that's needed to slow it down. Dump it out on whatever background you want to shoot on and take your pics and measurements as quickly as possible.

I've been taking my top view shots while the moth is on my sheet. Then I capture it in the plastic bottle, wait until it lands on one of the flat sides and take the underside shot and measurement. This usually takes less that 1 minute and then I release it.

I just posted my shots to the
I just posted my shots to the idrequest with the same title as this forum topic. forgot measure before he flew off, but got good angles.Hopefully it's enough for you.

A Desmia from Maryland
Here's a live specimen from Maryland. I'll keep him in the fridge for a day (but not for two) in case you'd like me to try to photograph another view. I don't have a macro lens though.

In my opinion, there's no dou
In my opinion, there's no doubt this is funeralis. For now, you should move it to the Desmia page.

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