Who do you consult when you think Wikipedia is wrong?

I was looking up details for the Grey Chi moth (Antitype chi) and I’m sure the caterpillar on the Wiki page is incorrect, possibly Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) incorrectly identified. In Grey Chi the spiracles should be above the sub-spiracle stripe not within it and the green areas shouldn’t have distinct speckling, according to my field guide anyway. I’m not confident enough to change the page though. Can anyone confirm whether I’m right?

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That’s okay, but in any case you should leave a note expressing your doubt on the article’s talk page. This may spur discussion and even lead to the image’s replacement.


I looked at the UKmoths website. The Wikipedia entry does resemble the illustration in UKmoths.

Grey Chi Antitype chi

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You can click the picture in question to go to its Wikimedia Commons page: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Antitype_chi_larva.jpg
Which shows the source of the picture, someone’s random Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/micks-wildlife-macros/2665376615/in/photostream/

The user who uploaded it to Commons copied the description from Flickr but also put it into the “Unidentified Aphididae” category so sounds like they were not too sure about it either. Someone else must then have used it for the Wikipedia article without double checking.

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I see that Flickr account hasn’t been used since 2016. It also says “Getting, or should I say, finding ID’s is to me one of the most frustrating aspects in all the fields of entomology. I do try, but finding so much controversy, I tend to defer to the experts of whom I am deeply indebted, and forever thankful”
I think I’ll transcribe the description from the field guide with references and add it to the talk page as suggested. I should probably find a verified photo to replace it too.

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One of the best pages for me of (European) Lepidoptera is lepiforum.org. Unfortunately for you it is in German.
Here is the page for Antitype chi: https://lepiforum.org/wiki/page/Antitype_chi
and here for Orthosia gothica: https://lepiforum.org/wiki/page/Orthosia_gothica
They also wrote something about the differences of the two caterpillar, which I have translated for you with the help of DeepL.com:
Orthosia gothica and Antitype chi can be distinguished as caterpillars by the position of the stigmas: In A. chi continuously at the upper edge of the white lateral stripe, but in O. gothica the stigmas (except in front and behind) lie in the middle of this white lateral stripe. Text: Erwin Rennwald in [Forum]

Antitype chi differs from Orthosia gothica in that the dorsal line is much less developed than the subdorsals. In Orthosia gothica it is the other way round. Text: Stefan Ratering in the [Forum].

There are many green owl caterpillars, especially common and similar are the following:

Orthosia cerasi: appears stocky and has a horizontal white stripe at the back, which the other species lack.
Orthosia gothica and Antitype chi: always with a broad white lateral stripe.
Orthosia incerta: dorsal line continuous, whitish mottling; lateral line thinner than in O. gothica and A. chi.
Amphipyra tragopoginis: no whitish mottling and distinct secondary dorsal line.
Phlogophora meticulosa: the skin appears transparent, the markings are blurred marbled; dorsal line interrupted.


It’s worth leaving a note on the article’s talk page, but it may not get seen anytime soon. Article talk pages will have a banner for a Wikiproject related to a particular group of organisms. Click on the link to the Wikiproject, go to the Wikiproject talk page, and leave a note there if you want to be certain somebody will see your concern.

I happen to know the originator of the photo through Flickr. They were a prolific poster of all sorts of invertebrate images, but from around 2010 onwards had problems with arthritis in the hands. Not everything image was correctly identified, but they were pretty reliable.

Rather than trying to work through a diagnosis on that image, it’s probably simpler to find another one taken more recently. The image was added to the page back in 2010 when the range of wikimedia images was more limited. Unfortunately there is only one other photo a larva on Wikimedia Commons, but this could be substituted if there is less ambiguity about the diagnosis.

You can also search iNaturalist images which have a share-alike licence and add those to Wikimedia Commons, taking care to ensure the original photographer is properly credited.

Although having browsed a few some have the spiracle on the stripe. Porter’s guide doesn’t mention the position of the spiracle and his picture is not that informative. I’d regard this as a fairly definitive set of (copyright) images (from an archived version of a great site) as these photos are from reared individuals. There’s a suggestion that the pattern changes over larval instars.

@elias105 the “Unidentified Aphididae” category no doubt refers to the small aphid on the left of the image. The use of wikimedia categories looks entirely consistent here.

Note that I think relatively few experts make an attempt to maintain wikipedia pages on organisms as there are often plenty of well-curated sites with better information and images.


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