IdentiFriday: Anisota pellucida

While contributing identifications to moths in Florida I have noticed a memo posted on many Anisota observations saying “In 2019, the Florida population of Anisota virginiensis was separated into its own species, A. pellucida.”

All observations in FL have been contributed to with A. pellucida and now show a species complex (rather than being reduced to the genus level for some reason), and there are 343 observations remaining to be resolved. Since an ID is already known, I think is fine for a forum post (please let me know if I am mistaken).

If a few people pitch in for #IdentiFriday we could get these records fully identified!

Can’t curators make a swap instead of manual ids?

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Anisota virginiensis is still a valid taxon, just the southern portion was separated.

Yes, and curators can do it for Florida observations only, as they do when new species is added.

Yes, please flag the taxon and tag curators who know this case. This is what taxon splits are for.


That makes a lot of sense, but there are years worth of thousands of IDs effort existing for this one species, I’m very surprised it hasn’t been done before.

Not everyone knows this is an option, and it needs a lot of study to implement. Sometimes there isn’t a knowledgeable curator available. Splits are also one of the more disruptive changes, so if they’re not done properly a lot of damage can be done.


A link to the flag: