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Species Plataea personaria - Hodges#6922

Plataea ursaria? - Plataea personaria - male Plataea californiaria ? - Plataea personaria Geometrid moth - Plataea personaria - male Plataea californiaria ? - Plataea personaria Unknown Moth - Plataea personaria Blacklight moth - Plataea personaria Plataea californiaria? - Plataea personaria Mystery Moth - Plataea personaria
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Geometroidea (Geometrid and Swallowtail Moths)
Family Geometridae (Geometrid Moths)
Subfamily Ennominae
Tribe Ourapterygini
Genus Plataea
Species personaria (Plataea personaria - Hodges#6922)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Plataea personaria (Hy. Edwards, 1881)
Gorytodes personaria H. Edwards, 1881
Edwards (1881) listed the holotype ♂ wingspan of 1.25".
Rindge (1976) listed the forewing length of both sexes as 13-18 mm. (1)
Rindge (1976) revised description in PDF. (1)
Specimen determined by DNA analysis (BOLD). (2)

The common Plataea in coastal and midland California. Ranges from grey and boldly marked like P. ursaria to more brownish and subtly patterned like P. californiaria. The former end of the variation is very similar to the twice-as-large P. ursaria, which occurs in "montane" habitats further inland in California and in adjacent states. Widely confused in literature with P. californiaria, which is endemic to the immediate coastline from San Luis Obispo to the Bay Area, and differs from subtler forms of personaria by it's more indistinct pattern, with a discal spot that is broader and pale-centered like P. diva. In addition, the outer white margin of the darkened medial area is often much more jagged and deeply toothed, which is apparently never the case in either P. diva or P. californiaria.
Pacific Coast of California to Baja California. (3)
Holotype ♂ from California, Sierra Nevadas, Summit.
January to September, November. (4)
Rindge (1976) listed Artemisia californica Lessing (California sagebrush).
comment added February 6, 2121 by David J. Ferguson -
There is fairly strong molecular evidence, for instance as indicated by specimens examined through BOLD Systems, that two genetically distinct groupings are involved here. However, at this stage it seems unclear how to differentiate them short of nucleotide analysis, and there is need of further analysis and correlation of information. Also, their relationshipe to other species (notably to P. ursaria) needs clarified. It is pretty much certain that both groups are represented by the specimens posted here. As things stand now, it seems impossible to separate the two groups reliably based on color pattern alone, and for now they are grouped together here under the one name. Those specimens previously stated to be a match for P. californiaria here and also at BOLD, are part of one of these two groups, and do not appear to actually belong with that name. Hopefully better understanding along with clarification will come soon.
Print References
Edwards, H., 1881. Descriptions of some new species of Heterocera. Papilio. 1, p. 120.
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler, 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press, pl. 30, fig. 22; p. 218. (3)
Rindge, F.H., 1976. A revision of the moth genus Plataea (Lepidoptera: Geometridae). Americam Museum Novitates, 2595: 11; figs. 11-14, 17, 18, 30. (1)
Works Cited
1.A revision of the moth genus Plataea (Lepidoptera, Geometridae)
Frederick H. Rindge. 1976. American Museum of Natural History Novitates 2595: 1-27.
2.BOLD: The Barcode of Life Data Systems
3.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.
4.North American Moth Photographers Group