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Chytonix Identification - Chytonix

Chytonix Identification - Chytonix
August 21, 2014
This is a comparison of the two Chytonix species in eastern North America, C. palliatricula and C. sensilis. The easiest way to tell them apart is the shape of the PM line.
In C. palliatricula, the PM line is evenly curved throughout, reaching the lower wing margin at an acute angle. (shown in red)
In C. sensilis, there is a distinct bend in the PM line (shown in blue), and the line reaches the lower wing margin at a right angle (shown in green).
In resting moths, the effect of the PM line reaching the margin at a right angle in that the PM lines on the two wings seem to combine to form a perfectly straight line, visible in green on the live specimen photo of sensilis. Compare this to the PM line on the palliatricula live specimen, marked in red.
C. palliatricula is by far the more common of these two species. It is common throughout the East and can be taken in almost any habitat, often in good numbers. C. sensilis is rare throughout most of its range. It is normally associated with recently burned areas, and is often very localized, though when you do find them, they can occur in decent numbers. C. palliatricula has a long flight season with multiple broods over most of its range. C. sensilis flies mainly in August, at least in the Northeast. In the deep south, their flight season is longer.
There is at least one palliatricula misidentified as sensilis on Moth Photographers Group, so hopefully this clears up the identification of the two species.
On a side note, palliatricula has a form with a huge white patch on the wing which you can see pictured at BugGuide. As far as I know, this form has never been found in sensilis, and probably doesn't occur.
Specimen photos are from my collection, both taken in Warren Grove, NJ. Live photos are Ken Childs' photos from BugGuide.

MPG error
The images of C. palliatricula shown under sensilis at MPG have been removed. Thanks.

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