April 06, 2023

Tools & URLs for iNaturalist Data

A note to bookmark some useful iNat search URLs & tool to help with data.

Find a user's rarest observations


Posted on April 06, 2023 07:17 PM by murphyslab murphyslab | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 29, 2022

Notes on Sicya crocearia & Sicya macularia

I'm trying to figure out what distinguishes Sicya crocearia from Sicya macularia. It seems that there may not be any visual cues that clearly distinguish the two species in their adult forms.

Online Reference Comparison

Sicya crocearia

Usual online references:

Sicya macularia

Usual online references:


  • A quick glance at two DNA barcode, one for each species. They were identical.
  • Between the two sets in the C.P. Gillette Museum's collection where images are available, there might be a small difference: Among the specimens labelled S. crocearia the following features appear unique to the set, although not present in all examples:
  • 1. Forewing: Sharper discontinuity in the terminal band, where it transitions from reddish brown to yellow perpendicular to the length of the wing.
  • 2. Forewing: The terminal band widens more at the costa.
  • 3. Forewing: Inner reddish brown band widens more at the inner edge.
  • (Only the 3rd feature seems consistent with the MPG photos.)


Pohl 2018

Suggests that S. crocearia might not be a distinct species:

Sicya Guenée, 1857

crocearia Packard, 1873 (Sicya)

NOTE: This taxon may not be sufficiently distinct from S. macularia to warrant status as a separate species, but it is retained here pending further work.


The problem with Sicya is that there seems no general agreement as to whether S. macularia and S. crocearia are truly separate species, or whether they should be lumped as one. Jeremy Tatum writes: Unlike the case for iridopsis, I have no opinion one way or the other. In looking at published pictures of aduilts [sic] and larvae, I see conflicting evidence. In the adults, there seems to be no consistent reliable feature for telling one from the other, so I would say they are all one species. On the other hand, there seem to be two distinct caterpillars, suggesting that they are separate species. I’ll label Jochen’s moth with an either/or.

Sicya macularia/crocearia (Lep.: Geometridae) Jochen Möhr

Source: "July 16 evening" (blog post), Victoria Natural History Society, Victoria, British Columbia.


Original Descriptions

Sicya macularia Harris 1850

Ennomos macularia, 1850

  • forewings: rust-brown costal spot near the shoulders
  • a transverse row of spots near the base
  • a stigmatical dot
  • three little spots near the tip
  • a very large lozenge-shaped spot at the anal angle, of the same brown color
  • the large spot being bordered before and behind with darker brown

Sicya crocearia Packard 1873

Posted on August 29, 2022 05:38 AM by murphyslab murphyslab | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 05, 2021

Moths + Buterflies of British Columbia, Visual Lists

Sometimes it's useful to browse species visually. I find this feature particularly useful for moths, as although I've photographed several, I lack sufficient expertise and familiarity.

I've used the iNaturalist taxonomy under Moths and Butterflies for moths to create a table of superfamilies to visually browse. The site limits display to the top 500 most frequently observed species within a given search, hence for some superfamilies (SF) such as Noctuoidea, the individual families (F) need to be perused in order to see all of the species identified to date.

Other tools exist, however these tend to display pinned moth specimens, whereas the images on iNaturalist tend to be photographs of live moths with their wings folded. Comparing between your photo of a live moth and pinned specimens can be difficult, hence why there's a benefit to looking at the species list on iNaturalist.

Perhaps this will also be useful to others.

Visual Tools for Lepidoptera Identification

These are other tools that I use regularly:

North American Moth Photographers Group: Plate index of North American moth species.

Pacific Northwest Moths: Photographic Plates. Coverage is limited to the following moth families:

  • S.F. Bombycoidea (only native families: Saturniidae, Sphingidae)
  • S.F. Drepanoidea (only native family: Drepanidae)
  • S.F. Geometroidea (only: Uraniidae) ... not: Geometridae (!)
  • S.F. Lasiocampoidea (Lasiocampidae)
  • S.F. Noctuoidea (Notodontidae, Erebidae, Euteliidae, Nolidae, and Noctuidae)

Lists of BC Moth Species Observed on iNaturalist

Num Species Level Name Taxon num Nickname Visual List (.ca) Visual List (.org)
556 SF Noctuoidea 47607 Owlet Moths and Allies link link
↳6 ↳F Nolidae 52873 Tufted Moths link link
↳420 ↳F Noctuidae 48670 Cutworm Moths and Allies link link
↳29 ↳F Notodontidae 47718 Prominent Moths link link
↳100 ↳F Erebidae 121850 Underwing, Tiger, Tussock, and Allied Moths link link
↳1 ↳F Euteliidae 122126 Euteliid Moths link link
↳0 ↳F Oenosandridae 208620 Oenosandrid Moths link link
258 SF Geometroidea 49531 Geometrid and Swallowtail Moths link link
171 SF Papilionoidea 47224 Butterflies link link
132 SF Tortricoidea 47156 Tortricid Leafroller Moths and Allies link link
131 SF Pyraloidea 49682 Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths link link
64 SF Gelechioidea 55518 Curved-horn Moths link link
28 SF Bombycoide 47214 Hawk, Sphinx, Silk, Emperor, and Allied Moths link link
24 SF Yponomeutoidea 53552 Ermine Moths and Allies link link
22 SF Cossoidea 122746 Carpenter, Leopard, Goat, and Allied Moths link link
18 SF Tineoidea 61414 Bagworms, Clothes Moths, and Allies link link
14 SF Pterophoroidea 47405 (Plume Moths) link link
13 SF Gracillarioidea 61352 - link link
9 SF Adeloidea 51269 link link
9 SF Drepanoidea 84429 Hooktip Moths and Allies link link
8 SF Choreutoidea 67431 - link link
7 SF Lasiocampoidea 56583 - link link
5 SF Hepialoidea 53784 Ghost Moths and Swift Moths link link
3 SF Copromorphoidea 173392 Fruitworm Moths link link
2 SF Nepticuloidea 176535 Pygmy Leafminer Moths link link
2 SF Tischerioidea 244425 Trumpet Leafminer Moths link link
1 SF Alucitoidea 48149 Many-plumed and False Plume Moths link link
1 SF Eriocranioidea 173581 - link link
1 SF Micropterigoidea 173647 Mandibulate Archaic Moth link link
1 SF Schreckensteinioidea 345533 - link link
1 SF Thyridoidea 82789 Picture-winged Leaf Moths link link
1 SF Zygaenoidea 52029 Flannel, Slug Caterpillar, Leaf Skeletonizer, and Allied Moths link link
0 SF Acanthopteroctetoidea 453155 link link
0 SF Agathiphagoidea 479873 link link
0 SF Andesianoidea 874769 - link link
0 SF Calliduloidea 121882 - link link
0 SF Epermenioidea 173636 Fringe-tufted Moths link link
0 SF Galacticoidea 417180 Galacticid Moths link link
0 SF Heterobathmioidea 625199 - link link
0 SF Hyblaeoidea 202663 Teak Moths link link
0 SF Immoidea 52009 - link link
0 SF Lophocoronoidea 752426 - link link
0 SF Mimallonoidea 119526 Sack-bearer Moths link link
0 SF Mnesarchaeoidea 479874 - link link
0 SF Neopseustoidea 736085 - link link
0 SF Palaephatoidea 526833 - link link
0 SF Simaethistoidea 752423 - link link
0 SF Urodoidea 417188 False Burnet Moths link link
0 SF Whalleyanoidea 752419 - link link
0 F Aenigmatineidae 1008068 - link link
0 F Douglasiidae 178892 - link link
0 F Millieriidae 981683 - link link

How was this made?

The above list is just a table. Journals use Markdown formatting, and there is also Markdown formatting for creating tables.

The easiest way to make a Markdown table is to first create the table in a spreadsheet (mine was in Google Docs), then to copy the table and paste it into the Markdown Tables Generator. That site will quickly convert the table into Markdown code. Copy and paste the code into the journal and voilà, you're done.

To make the links, I used a CONCATENATE function, which is commonly found in spreadsheet applications, to place the taxon_id number in each link. Here's an example formula:


If you wish to replicate this for yourself,

Posted on September 05, 2021 12:51 AM by murphyslab murphyslab | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 27, 2021

Sorting the genus Cornus into subgenera

Genus Cornus

This post was originally intended to be a wiki to facilitate the organization of the genus Cornus into subgenera, following a flag which sought to bring together the "dwarf dogwoods" under their subgenus in order to allow for identifiers to offer a narrower ID for the often indistinguishable Cornus canadensis and Cornus unalaschkensis, but which separates them from the trees and shrubs which make up much of the genus.

Qiu-Yun (Jenny) Xiang's 2006 paper (ref 1) appears to be the most recent and most complete treatment of the genus Cornus which includes information on the widely-used subgenera. The authors note that the present division of the subgenera is imperfect, however it is what we have to work with and if is revised in the future, changes can be dealt with then.

One additional group may be required for hybrids which involve parent species from two different subgenera, or otherwise they can be left directly below the genus.

Species List

Current (iNat)

List of species currently listed on iNaturalist. Some species appear to be duplicates. Once merged, please strike the synonym from the list with tildes.

Possible Synonyms

These entries appear to be synonyms of other species. Once merged, please strike the synonym from the list with tildes.

  • Cornus alpina
  • Cornus japonica

Possible Additions

Species not presently included on the list. Once added, please strike the entry from the list with tildes.

  • Cornus austrosinensis
  • Cornus oligophlebia
  • Cornus quinquenervis
  • Cornus eydeana
  • Cornus × rutgersensis

Subgroups & Subgenera

Qiu-Yun (Jenny) Xiang's 2006 paper breaks the genus into 4 clades which contain a total of 10 subgenera. I've organized the species following her arrangement.

I. Blue- or White-fruited Dogwoods



  • POWO: synonym of Cornus macrophylla var. macrophylla

  • Cornus amomum

  • Cornus asperifolia

  • Cornus austrosinensis (Add to iNat)

  • Cornus bretschneideri

  • Cornus drummondii

  • Cornus excelsa

  • Cornus foemina

  • Cornus glabrata

  • Cornus hemsleyi

  • Cornus koehneana

  • Cornus macrophylla

  • ~~Cornus microcarpa~~ (Synonym used in ref-1)

  • Cornus obliqua

  • Cornus oligophlebia (Add to iNat)

  • Cornus quinquenervis (Add to iNat)
    • NOT ON iNAT.
    • POWO: accepted species
    • Synonyms: Cornus paucinervis & Swida paucinervis

  • Cornus racemosa

  • Cornus rugosa

  • Cornus sanguinea

  • Cornus schindleri

  • Cornus sericea

  • Cornus walteri

  • Cornus wilsoniana

  • Cornus × arnoldiana

  • Cornus × friedlanderi

  • Cornus × slavinii

  • Mesomora

    II. Cornelian Cherries



    • Cornus eydeana (Add to iNAT)

    • POWO: accepted species

    • GBIF: accepted species

    • Cornus mas

    • Cornus officinalis

    • Cornus sessilis

    • Sinocornus

      • Cornus chinensis : (Add to iNAT)

      • GBIF: accepted species

      • POWO: accepted species. Has several synonyms & subspecies.

      • III. Big-bracted Dogwoods




      • GBIF: Synonym of Cornus kousa subsp. kousa

      • POWO: Synonym

      • Cornus multinervosa

      • IV. Dwarf Dogwoods

        Arctocrania (Dwarf Dogwoods)

        V. Intrer-Clade Hybrids?

        • Cornus × rutgersensis (Add to iNat?)

        • POWO: This species is an artifical hybrid

        • Hybrid: C. florida × C. kousa

        • Cornus × acadiensis

        • Subgenus not specified

        • POWO: accepted species

        • Cornus iberica

        • Cornus meyeri

        • References

          1. Qiu-Yun (Jenny) Xiang, David T. Thomas, Wenheng Zhang, Steven R. Manchester, Zack Murrell, Species level phylogeny of the genus Cornus (Cornaceae) based on molecular and morphological evidence—implications for taxonomy and Tertiary intercontinental migration, Taxon, 2006, 9-30. DOI: 10.2307/25065525. PDF
          2. Chuanzhu Fan, (Jenny) Qiu-Yun Xiang, Phylogenetic relationships within Cornus (Cornaceae) based on 26S rDNA sequences, American Journal of Botany, 2001, —. DOI: 10.2307/2657096
          3. Zack E. Murrell, Dwarf Dogwoods: Intermediacy and the Morphological Landscape, Systematic Botany, 1994, 539-556. DOI: —
          4. Zack E. Murrell, Phylogenetic Relationships in Cornus (Cornaceae), Systematic Botany, 1993, 469-495. DOI: 10.2307/2419420
          5. QY Xiang, DE Soltis, PS Soltis, Phylogenetic relationships of Cornaceae and close relatives inferred from matK and rbcL sequences, American Journal of Botany, 1998, —. DOI: 10.2307/2446317
          6. Qiu-Yun (Jenny) Xiang, Steve R. Manchester, David T. Thomas, Wenheng Zhang, Chuanzhu Fan, PHYLOGENY, BIOGEOGRAPHY, AND MOLECULAR DATING OF CORNELIAN CHERRIES (CORNUS, CORNACEAE): TRACKING TERTIARY PLANT MIGRATION, Evolution, 2005, 1685-1700. DOI: 10.1111/j.0014-3820.2005.tb01818.x
          Posted on July 27, 2021 11:57 PM by murphyslab murphyslab | 0 comments | Leave a comment

          July 15, 2020

          Species Identification in British Columbia

          A few notes on good, accessible places for information on species found in British Columbia, Canada. I plan to continue editing and adding to this.

          Animals Etc...


          • Atlas of the Breeding Birds of British Columbia. online
          • Rick Howie, "Birds of Kamloops, 2nd Ed.", 2003. online
          • The Feather Atlas, US Fish & Wildlife Service. Search Tool | Browse


          • Monica Pearson, Fraser Valley Frogs and Toads PDF

          Arthropods (Insects, Bugs)

          Butterflies & Moths

          Vascular Plants


          Data Collections

          • Canadensys. (explorer | main)
          • Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility (CBIF). (main)
          • Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). (main)


          • Canadian National Collection: Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes (database)
          • Royal British Columbia Museum: Entomology Collection, Province of British Columbia (database)
          • E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum, University of Alberta. (main)
          • Spencer Entomological Collection | Beaty Biodiversity Museum, UBC. (database / main)
          Posted on July 15, 2020 09:56 PM by murphyslab murphyslab


          Gracias al apoyo de:

          ¿Quiere apoyarnos? Pregúntenos cómo escribiendo a snib.guatemala@gmail.com