Journal archives for February 2023

February 06, 2023

Xerochrysum cleanup

On iNat, there are over 3000 Australian observations of Xerochrysum across 11 species. The majority of these are X. viscosum (>1500) and X. bracteatum (>800). However, Collins et al. ( recently published a comprehensive review of the genus, and there are some big changes. A number of new species have been described, some old species collapsed into others, and, perhaps most significantly, the circumscription of X. bracteatum has significantly narrowed. Xerochrysum bracteatum sensu strictu is now considered to only occur in "south-eastern New South Wales and far-eastern Victoria in the Sydney Basin, South East Corner, and South East Coastal Plain bioregions" (not accounting for garden escapees elsewhere given its commonness in horticulture), greatly reducing its previous distribution. This means there are now a lot of misidentified records on iNat. I'm intending to go through all records and make corrections where I can.

There are now 24 described species:
X. milliganii
X. collierianum
X. alpinum
X. palustre
X. andrewiae
X. subundulatum
X. banksii
X. viscosum
X. boreale
X. neoanglicum
X. macsweeneyorum
X. frutescens
X. copelandii
X. berarngutta
X. murapan
X. strictum
X. gudang
X. macranthum
X. papillosum
X. hispidum
X. interiore
X. bicolor
X. wilsonii
X. bracteatum

There are a further 4 yet to be formally described phrase name species:
X. sp. Chinchilla
X. sp. Blackfellows Gap
X. sp. North Stradbroke Island (L. Durrington 675) Qld Herbarium
X. sp. Tin Can Bay

2 entities are no longer valid:
X. halmaturorum --> now synonymised under X. bicolor
X. sp. Lofty Ranges --> now synonymised under X. bicolor

Tagging top observers and IDers of Xerochrysum for reference + to give heads up about impending notifications
@george_seagull @iancastle @michaelcincotta @yatesy @oneanttofew @onetapir @jackiemiles @quinkin @jimbobo @gtaseski @ninakerr01 @chrisclarke25 @mftasp @craig-r @w_martin @baronsamedi @kjellknable @lee488 @basaltnpepa @gregtasney @reiner @kim-tarpey @andrewborg @lizardview @garry34 @arthur_chapman @lmata @martinbennett @mononymous @adrian2370 @ray_turnbull @richie_south @corchard @linger @nicklambert @possumpete

Posted on February 06, 2023 09:26 AM by thebeachcomber thebeachcomber | 20 comments | Leave a comment

February 13, 2023

Australian Agaristinae


Agaristinae is a charismatic subfamily of moths within the family Noctuidae (although sometimes treated as its own family, Agaristidae). Many species are brightly coloured or well-patterned, are highly active during the day, and are often mistaken for butterflies

According to the Australian Faunal Directory, there are currently 44 described species of Agaristinae in Australia across 21 genera.
This number should actually be 46 (and the genera 23), as there are records of the poorly known species Sarbanissa diana from Christmas Island despite it not being listed by the AFD, and there are now also records of Pseudcraspedia punctata despite it not being listed by the AFD (perhaps under a different name?). I can only assume there are also some undescribed entities (e.g., on BOLD), but for now I assume this covers all the known entities.

So how complete is Agaristinae in Australia on iNaturalist?

As of writing (13th February 2023), there are 4,730 Australian observations across 41/46 species (and within all 23 genera).

Agarista (1 species)
Agarista agricola

Agaristodes (1 species)
Agaristodes feisthamelii

Apina (1 species)
Apina callisto

Argyrolepidia (3 species)
Argyrolepidia aequalis
Argyrolepidia fractus
Argyrolepidia thoracophora

Burgena (1 species)
Burgena varia

Coenotoca (2 species)
Coenotoca subaspersa
Coenotoca unimacula

Comocrus (1 species)
Comocrus behri

Cremnophora (1 species)
Cremnophora angasii

Cruria (6 species)
Cruria donowani
Cruria epicharita --> zero observations
Cruria kochii
Cruria latifascia --> zero observations
Cruria synopla
Cruria tropica

Eutrichopidia (1 species)
Eutrichopidia latinus

Hecatesia (3 species)
Hecatesia exultans
Hecatesia fenestrata
Hecatesia thyridion

Idalima (5 species)
Idalima aethrias --> zero observations
Idalima affinis
Idalima leonora
Idalima metasticta
Idalima tasso

Ipanica (1 species)
Ipanica cornigera

Leucogonia (2 species)
Leucogonia cosmopis
Leucogonia ekeikei

Mimeusemia (3 species)
Mimeusemia centralis
Mimeusemia econia
Mimeusemia simplex --> zero observations

Periopta (2 species)
Periopta ardescens
Periopta diversa

Periscepta (2 species)
Periscepta butleri
Periscepta polysticta

Phalaenoides (2 species)
Phalaenoides glycinae
Phalaenoides tristifica

Platagarista (1 species)
Platagarista macleayi

Pseudcraspedia (1 species)
Pseudcraspedia punctata

Radinocera (2 species)
Radinocera maculosus
Radinocera vagata

Sarbanissa (1 species)
Sarbanissa diana

Zalissa (3 species)
Zalissa catocalina
Zalissa pratti
Zalissa stichograpta --> zero observations

So where should we be looking for the 5 unobserved species according to ALA records?

Cruria epicharita

Cruria latifascia

Idalima aethrias

Mimeusemia simplex

Zalissa stichograpta

Most of the 5 unobserved species have distributions confined to the Wet Tropics, from ~Cairns northwards.

Perhaps the most interesting species is Zalissa stichograpta, which is represented by a single record on the ALA, the type specimen collected in 1930 from the Bunya Mountains in SE Queensland.

@imcmaster @vicfazio3 @nicklambert @dustaway @domf @cher63 @kenharris @wellsii @dianneclarke @daviaker @hdavid @tas56 @reiner @larney @peregrine80 @ecosse28 @dhobern @davidtng @ianmcmillan @mattcampbellaus @kdbishop69 @dhfischer @sarahcobbaus @johnlenagan @jb2602 @urliup-wildlife-sanctuary @matthew_connors @paul2george @koolah @wambledyn @carolynstewart @eremophila @possumpete @dj_maple @d_kurek @gregtasney @bushbandit @kallies @leoncrang @ethanbeaver @ellurasanctuary @gumnut @twan3253 @benkurek__ @cesdamess @elainemcdonald

I have definitely missed out on tagging people here, so please tag anyone that I've forgotten

Posted on February 13, 2023 10:36 AM by thebeachcomber thebeachcomber | 22 comments | Leave a comment

February 16, 2023

Barrage of notifications - an apology

Lately, I've been curating/IDing a lot of old observations, both moving easy stuff to RG, and correcting mistakes that have been sitting around for a while. Thus far, however, I've only been adding my IDs to Needs ID obs, or RG obs that are incorrect. However, I'm going to be adding confirming IDs to a lot of RG obs from here on in for the groups that I'm curating. Aside from molluscs, I almost never do this, as I typically don't see much point in it. But one of the big tasks I've been trying to address recently is adding IDs to the tens of thousands of observations that lost them after the recent account deletion of a major Australian identifier. So for the taxa that I am doing a full review of, I think it probably is worth it to add IDs as an extra layer of protection in the event of future deleted IDs.

So apologies in advance for the notifications I may be generating for people :)

Posted on February 16, 2023 07:59 AM by thebeachcomber thebeachcomber | 4 comments | Leave a comment