Assembly Moth (Samea ecclesialis), not anymore…

Recently while doing some identifications of Moths of Greater Austin, TX, I ran across a taxonomic update for Assembly Moth (Samea ecclesialis). Apparently Samea ecclesialis does not occur north of Mexico and all moths previously “correctly” identified as such are really Stained-glass Moth (Samea castellalis). In fact, if you search for Samea ecclesialis at the Moth Photographers Group site, you’ll hit on Samea castellalis.

From the MPG link above: “Samea ecclesialis is not found north of Mexico and males lack large abdominal tufts.”

If you’re wondering about the “abdominal tufts” you can see them on the male Stained-glass Moth at the link below. They look like a black band on one of the last segments of the moth’s abdomen, close to the tail.

The female moth does not have these abdominal tufts.

Some of you have already noted this name update, as I did find 9 Stained-glass Moth reports for the Greater Austin area. However, many moth observers in Texas and elsewhere in the USA, like me about an hour ago, may still be in the dark.

The current numbers of Assembly Moth observations in iNaturalist are: USA – 1433, Texas – 794, and Greater Austin, TX – 121.

The current numbers of Stained-glass Moth observations in iNaturalist are: USA – 321, Texas – 39, and Greater Austin, TX – 9.

So… if you happen to read this and want to update your Samea observations, go for it. Or, I’ll try to update identifications as I have time.

Additional reading: (Jack’s wakeup call) (Good discussion on update)

And confusingly, you can find reference to Samea ecclesialis as the Stained-glass Moth.

Posted on December 20, 2022 10:03 PM by jcochran706 jcochran706


Curators should do a split and those observations could be automatically reided.

Posted by marina_gorbunova 5 months ago (Flag)

@marina_gorbunova Indeed they should!

Posted by jcochran706 5 months ago (Flag)

I see there is already a flag for it

Posted by marina_gorbunova 5 months ago (Flag)

@marina_gorbunova Cool. Thanks for letting me/us know!

Posted by jcochran706 5 months ago (Flag)

Whew... I tried doing this once with a grass species (bushy bluestem/maritime bluestem - Bothriochloa sp.) and it was a real mess! Hopefully one of the super curators can do a better job of this than I did.

Posted by sambiology 5 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for sharing this information. I’ve updated my 5 Oklahoma observations accordingly. I wouldn’t mind some 2nd verifications.

Posted by zdufran 5 months ago (Flag)

Updated mine. Thanks for the post!

Posted by kimberlietx 5 months ago (Flag)

Less than 600 remaining to be updated in the US!

Posted by smithsqrd 4 months ago (Flag)

Just updated some of mine that are left... Apologies for all of the mis-ID's on these in the past! Whew!

Posted by sambiology 4 months ago (Flag)

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