Crambus Update

15 January 2023

For the last year I have been trying to add identifications on all observations of the genus Crambus Fabricius from North America that have been posted on iNat. As of 10 January 2023, there have been 22,590 verifiable North American records posted at iNat. Of these 16,780 (74%) have reached research grade (RG). I have personally reviewed 19,314 (85.5%) leaving me with a little more than 3000 observations to review, which I intend to go through by the end of April 2023.

In the last two years, more than 12,000 observations of Crambus have been submitted to iNaturalist. As a result, there are now four species with more than 1000 RG observations: C. agitatellus (7419), C. praefectellus (2385), C. albellus (1592), and C. laqueatellus (1111).

Rounding out the top ten species on iNat are: C. saltuellus (970), C. girardellus (531), C. leachellus (444), C. perlella (414), C. bidens (382) and C. unistriatellus (321). A total of 15 species have more than 100 observations.

Currently there are 43 species in the genus that occur in North America north of Mexico, but two of these (dimidiatellus & angulatus) will be transferred out of the genus with the next revision. Thirty-five species have been recorded on iNat. The unrecorded species are: ainsliellus (which can only be separated from leachellus by dissection); angulatus; bigelovi; cockleellus; johnsoni; leuconotus (there is a record from Mexico on iNat); and trichusalis.

Significant finds in the last year include the following:

Two records of C. awemellus: one from Michigan by @susan_kielb and one from Manitoba by @kkrockytop bring the total number of observations to 3!

Four records of C. cyrilellus, all from NM, bring the total to 14 by @wendybirdsbyrv (two observations), @dull2shinetoo, @adrianj. This is a fairly common species, so the small number of records on iNat may be due to the relative dearth of observations from the southwestern states where it occurs.

The first record of Crambus dimidiatellus on iNat from CO by @adrianj.

Two observations of C. gausapalis, doubling the iNat total, from CA by @tiwane and @yubabirder.

Four observations of C. hamella, all from Quebec, 3 by @jo_gagnon and one by @ygobeil which bring the iNat total to 14.

One additional observation of C. harrisi by @rkostecke brings the total to 16 on iNat, all from TX.

From Quebec, @jo_gagnon added iNat’s second record of C. lyonsellus.

Ten observations of C. multilinellus were added during 2022. The range map for this species is filling out nicely. The only other states where it occurs (based on specimen records) are TN and LA. Adult phenology has also been well circumscribed by iNat.

iNat’s 10th record of C. rickseckerellus was found in CA by @chilipossum.

There were 19 new records of C. whitmerellus, which is about 40% of the iNat total.

Sixteen additional records of C. youngellus increased the number of observations on iNat by 50%.

The range maps for some species are getting fairly impressive, and even for species with a relatively small number of observations, the range map gives a good idea of where the species might be expected.

A Tip for Photography of Crambus
Too many of the photographs submitted to iNat can’t be identified further than genus b/c of poor quality or because the photo is taken in top-view only. It is essential to photograph Crambus, and most micros, in profile to improve the odds of obtaining an identification.

Comments welcome.

I am tagging several people who have photographed or IDed a lot of Crambus as this post may be of interest to them. Feel free to tag others. Apologies in advance for those I have omitted: @a_anctil @joannerusso @jasondombroskie @tcooley @edporopat @treichard @birds_bugs_botany @bobharding @brevan_wagner @btk @lepalot @maractwin @joebartok @arborsphere @henryhawkes @smithsqrd @mercedes-fletcher @thomasirvine @jenniferwhanson @ken_j_allison @sgalick @stubirdnb @suegregoire @jo_gagnon @gis1 @paul_dennehy @dull2shinetoo @garyyankech @allenratzlaff @johntrent @roshan2010 @psweet @markread @marc_belisle_usherbrooke @robpendergast @erikamitchell @michael_butler @michelarrivee @robertdifrusca @md-in-ns15 @hholbrook @mikeburrell @josh_vandermeulen @imbeaul @jollygoodyellow @dan_macneal @joefrechette @seabrookeleckie @driley @lockebeulve @safechrislaurie @finatic @cbuelow45 @joshualincoln @iandavies @gaudettelaura @rayray @pmaxp @bryanpfeiffer @scholtensb

Publicado el 27 de febrero de 2023 por hughmcguinness hughmcguinness


Thanks for the update. I'll add that since the listed date of this update, Crambus cockleellus now has a research grade observation ( by @fmcghee

Publicado por brevan_wagner hace 3 meses (Marca)

Thank you for your work in this genus! Is there a visual key somewhere by which a novice can compare the species side by side to aid in identification beyond the genus level?

Publicado por dull2shinetoo hace 3 meses (Marca)

Thanks, Hugh! Another season of mothing coming up!

Publicado por garyyankech hace 3 meses (Marca)

This is great! Jim Vargo and I have both taken C. multilinellus in New Jersey; I'll post a specimen photo later today to add to the range map.

Publicado por paul_dennehy hace 3 meses (Marca)

Thanks Hugh for IDing/confirming pretty much all my Crambus!

Publicado por rayray hace 3 meses (Marca)

Thank you for all your hard work! Glad I got good enough photos to help with C. cyrilellus.

Publicado por wendybirdsbyrv hace 3 meses (Marca)

Wow this is really fascinating stuff, I'm happy to see so many seldom-observed crambids getting more observations!

Publicado por mercedes-fletcher hace 3 meses (Marca)

Massive appreciation for your curation and dedication to making iNaturalist better, Hugh.
Tagging @gcwarbler to this post as well.

Publicado por sambiology hace 3 meses (Marca)

Great work, Hugh...but what have you been doing in all your free time?? ;-)

Publicado por gcwarbler hace 3 meses (Marca)

Impressive and important work. Thanks!

Publicado por marc_belisle_ushe... hace 3 meses (Marca)

Excellent post! I love these kinds of breakdowns.

Publicado por smithsqrd hace 3 meses (Marca)

Thanks for all your work, but also for sharing your knowledge and helping others become better at identifying Crambus species!

Publicado por a_anctil hace 3 meses (Marca)

Kind of surprised C. leachellus is so common (it's not one you hear of in guides), and I don't have a single observation of C. perlellus but I have seen youngellus and braunellus

Publicado por rayray hace 3 meses (Marca)

There are a few very nice moths in other genera within the Crambinae subfamily, like V. auratella and critica.

Publicado por garyyankech hace 3 meses (Marca)

Awesome! Thank you, Dr. McGuiness!

Publicado por tcooley hace 3 meses (Marca)

Thank you for tagging me :)

Publicado por jollygoodyellow hace 3 meses (Marca)

Thanks for the tag, fascinating stuff :)

Publicado por lockebeulve hace 3 meses (Marca)

nice visuals! Wish I knew how to make these maps

Publicado por rayray hace 3 meses (Marca)

Nice Timothy!

Publicado por garyyankech hace 3 meses (Marca)

@treichard Who do you think you are? Seurat? Those maps hurt my eyes. But your point is well-taken: the range maps of many species of Crambus are now quite good and getting close to complete.

Publicado por hughmcguinness hace 3 meses (Marca)

Thanks f tagging me in this! Very interesting stuff and I'm glad to see that the range maps for this genus are getting filled out.

Publicado por jenniferwhanson hace 3 meses (Marca)

Awesome work and thank so much for all the IDs! Can't wait for another mothing season.

Publicado por dan_macneal hace 3 meses (Marca)

Such amazing and valuable work, Hugh! That's been quite an undertaking. Thanks for all the effort you've put into moths both here and elsewhere over the years. It's all the quiet work put in by knowledgeable folks like yourself that even makes my own work possible.

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