Moth Wing Features

I realised that many people may not understand the names of the moth wing features that I routinely use in identifying moths. I made this, and I hope it is useful (This is Version two - first one had a spelling mistake!).

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Posted by mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata, November 10, 2019 20:36

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Great stuff, thanks @mamestraconfigurata.

Posted by benkeen over 1 year ago (Flag)
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This is outstanding! Thanks for sharing this.
Flagging fellow moth-ers so they can reference it when helping people: @sambiology , @gcwarbler ,@kimberlietx , @annikaml, @ellen5, @thebark, @jordandcochran, @jjmiller , @aguilita, @royaltyler, @mako252, @jeffmci9

Posted by amzapp over 1 year ago (Flag)
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I'm totally bookmarking this, so I don't have to guess

Posted by ellen5 over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Very nice! I use a field guide for the ones I don't know, but it's much better to have an online image so I don't have to get up and walk 3 steps to get the book. Ha! Thanks for posting this! (And thanks for the tag @amzapp!)

Posted by kimberlietx over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Much help to have a nomenclature. Thanks! @starrgirl Worth bookmarking.

Posted by thebark over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Am I right in guessing that the spots (orbicular, claviform and reniform) are more about the shape of the spot (circular, club shaped and kidney shaped) rather than their position on the wing - unlike most of the other parts labelled? asks the moth bystander :)

Posted by marykrieger over 1 year ago (Flag)
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@marykrieger Yes you are correct, although the spots do show up in the same place on the wings. The orbicular is round or oval (occasionally it merges with the reniform in some groups). The reniform is kidney shaped, and often the filling and the colour of the outline are important. The claviform is the really variable one - on many moths it is absent. Keep in mind that this is a rather 'classical' moth and fairly often moths may be missing some these main features, or they may be distorted. Except for the Costa and the inner margin - all moths have those!

Posted by mamestraconfigurata over 1 year ago (Flag)
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super - thanks for the clarification :)

Posted by marykrieger over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thanks all for the feedback. These are the most common field marks, so I hope that this will be useful. A full glossary (wing veins etc.) can be found at http://pnwmoths.biol.wwu.edu/about-moths/glossary/

Posted by mamestraconfigurata over 1 year ago (Flag)
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This is great! Thanks for posting it.

Posted by jordandcochran over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thanks for guide, @mamestraconfigurata, and tag, @amzapp!

Posted by annikaml over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Wonderful. Thank you!

Posted by mothmaniac over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thanks for sharing this!

Posted by jeffmci9 over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Fantastic! Thank you!

Posted by jjmiller over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thanks for sharing!

Posted by aguilita over 1 year ago (Flag)
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@lisa281 For your list

Posted by kimberlietx about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thanks!

Posted by mamestraconfigurata about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Great!!

Posted by mothmaniac about 1 year ago (Flag)
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The Facebook link to the image doesn't work for me (i.e. just reports "URL signature expired"). I came here via this post, however, which I assume includes the originally linked image: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/noctuid-moth-identifying-features/7850/6 . Perhaps you could update your journal post to link to the Discourse image URL which I presume won't expire.

Posted by benarmstrong 12 months ago (Flag)
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I only used facebook to get the picture onto the internet, but have had problems doing that with others. I saw there was no picture at the top - just a little black box. I have transferred the image to Flickr, and re-posted it (that's the route I had to go with the most recent two). The image should be visible now, and I will check the forum post now.

Posted by mamestraconfigurata 12 months ago (Flag)
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Thanks! Looks good.

Posted by benarmstrong 12 months ago (Flag)
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Thank you for letting me know!

Posted by mamestraconfigurata 12 months ago (Flag)
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@mamestraconfigurata - Would you consider putting this under a free license on Flickr so that it can be re-used more widely (for example, under a CC-BY or CC-BY-SA license)? I would love to post this to BugGuide and Wikipedia to help with IDing species there (with attribution to you of course).

Posted by zygy 11 months ago (Flag)
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@zygy It is uploaded on Flickr (I need to do that to get it onto my journal), along with all my other "guides". If I need to do anything else that you need me to do, let me know. I'm new to Flickr, so don't know all the features - it is in an album "Noctuid Identification guides". I want this to be used, so let me know. https://www.flickr.com/photos/187198506@N03/49621976078/in/album-72157713293267287/

Posted by mamestraconfigurata 11 months ago (Flag)
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@mamestraconfigurata - To apply a free license to the image (to make it more sharable), go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/187198506@N03/49621976078 while you are logged into Flickr, scroll down to where it says "All rights reserved", click the little arrow after the text to bring up the other options, and choose a license. The licenses that are accepted on Wikipedia are Public Domain Dedication, Attribution, and Attribution-ShareAlike. Hope that works!

Posted by zygy 11 months ago (Flag)
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@zygy I did that for the one image. Since this one is my photo, I know where it came from. Does that help? I chose 'Public Domain Dedication'. If you want the others done, let me know. Thanks for the help!

Posted by mamestraconfigurata 11 months ago (Flag)
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@mamestraconfigurata - Thanks so much for making this available! I've added it to the "Wing terminology" section of the Lepidoptera page on BugGuide (https://bugguide.net/node/view/57) and to the Moth article on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moth#Gallery). In both cases, if you click the diagram it will take you to another page which has the attribution and licensing info. Let me know if anything needs to be changed.

Posted by zygy 11 months ago (Flag)
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Great! As I said, I want it to be used. They actually look good!

Posted by mamestraconfigurata 11 months ago (Flag)
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Fantastic! Thanks for much for all your hard work.

Posted by juliereid 11 months ago (Flag)
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good effort, many thanks for sharing.
though it's worth noting that there is some parallel naming

especially over the use of ante-medial, synonymous with sub-medial line = fascia (plural fasciae)
claviform = club-shaped
reniform = kidney shaped
orbicular / orbiculate = eye shaped
These terms for stigmata (infilled "spots") in noctuoid moths usually hold true for the position on the wing as illustrated, but please note that in other superfamilies these stigmata may be absent, or different shapes where present, or in different parts of the wing. It is worth (in such cases) referring to the relative position of the stigm (or stigmata) on the wing to aid identification - e.g. a sub-basal claviform stigma; a sub-costal medial orbicular stigma (etc.)
As such, the main pattern elements can be broken down into "spots" "streaks" (longitudinal lines - i.e. directionally from base to termen (outer edge)) and "fasciae" (lines across the wing from costa (leading edge) to dorsum (trailing edge).

Only one correction > your "basal line" is the subbasal line - there is a basal line as well.... really close to the base of the wing.

Posted by hkmoths 6 months ago (Flag)
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@hkmoths Thanks for the feedback. I wasn't specifically aware of other naming systems, but it doesn't surprise me - taxonomic features are notorious for having multiple names. I rarely stray outside of the Noctuinae, staying mostly confined to the groups from Amphipyrinae to Noctuinae (I find them to be enough!), so this is the general configuration I am used to. This rough guide was also intended for folks working in those groups.
I have very little formal Taxonomic education, and what I did do was largely confined to aquatic insects. This was also in the early 1980's, so much has changed. Moth identification was part of my first job, so what I know about it I have gained through experience. If you could point me in the direction of any resources, I would certainly be grateful. I'll fix that error, but it is surprisingly difficult to change things like that.
Again, thank you very much for your helpful comments!
Ian

Posted by mamestraconfigurata 6 months ago (Flag)
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Hi Ian - this ppt may help with resources..... http://www.slideshare.net/hkmoths/practical-moth-recording

Posted by hkmoths 6 months ago (Flag)
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Thank you! Looks good.

Posted by mamestraconfigurata 6 months ago (Flag)
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This is a great resource. Thanks, Ian for sharing this!

Posted by akilee 6 months ago (Flag)

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