49.193 Endothenia quadrimaculana, 63.068 Eudonia murana, 70.048 Xanthorhoe decoloraria (Red Carpet),
70.092 Eulithis mellinata (Spinach), 70.161 Eupithecia virgaureata (Golden-rod Pug) added
12 species added to complete Larentiinae
61 species of Ennominae added
49.251 Epinotia rubiginosana removed (misidentification)
816 species presented
Entire website renumbered according to the new RES checklist (see below)
Family thumbnails and Taxonomy page rearranged / rewritten to reflect families and new ordering of families.
Several species are placed in different genera or have altered specific names - these changes have been made in the navigation pages, page titles and image labels, but not yet in all the identification text.
The RES Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the British Isles (Agassiz et al) rearranges the Lepidopteran families into an order that matches the Fauna Europaea and which aims to run from most primitive to most advanced. Several new families are created. Each family is given a number and each species within the family is given a number: 59.023 is Red Admiral, being the 23rd species in the 59th family (Nymphalidae). Adventive species, which have arrived in Britain as accidental imports, have been removed from the main list and placed into Appendix A. A second Appendix B lists species for which all British records are doubtful. I am in the process of removing references to adventive and B list species from the website and plan only to consider the 'Main List'.
In general, benefit of the doubt seems to have favoured placing species in the Main List rather than into either of the appendices. I would probably have favoured reserving the Main List for species which were British beyond doubt. The main list also includes species that have appeared in the Channel Islands and in Ireland but not in Britain - I will make reference to these species on the main family and missing species pages but have no plans to otherwise include them in the British Lepidoptera website.
Within the Ennominae, which have occupied much of my time recently, the new taxonomy implies some surprising affinities eg Plagodis (Scorched Wing, Burnt Umber) with Pachycnemia (Horse Chestnut) in Tribe Hypochrosini; Alsophila (March Moth) with Colotois (Feathered Thorn) in Tribe Colotoini, removing subfamily Alsophilinae.
The greatest upheaval has occurred in Superfamily:Noctuoidea where former families Arctiidae and Lymantriidae have been relegated to subfamilies and placed into a new family Erebidae along with several subfamilies that were formerly in family: Noctuidae. The remainder of family: Noctuidae has also been extensively reordered.
In adopting a new numbering system there should be a clear plan for how a species (or family) new to Britain will be handled and a plan for how the numbering can be adapted in the light of ongoing taxonomic change. Such a plan appears to be lacking, at least in the published document. Will the numbering of species beyond the insertion point of a new species be shuffled along or will we clutter it with a's and b's until we need a further new numbering system? Shuffling the numbers along is easy enough for a spreadsheet based checklist - but far more problematic for a website or book (including the new checklist itself).
I note that the Wikipedia page on (international) Lepidopteran taxonomy has altered since I first adopted it. Many of the changes are consistent with the new British arrangement - but there are several inconsistencies in the position and acceptance of some families. If the Fauna Europaea list alters to reach a more global consensus, will we have to change many of the family numbers? Or will the act of adopting a new numbering system mean we will be resistant to such change - as we have been for too long because of adopting the Bradley-Fletcher system (1986)? Perhaps an overhaul every 25 years or so is the most sensible way of proceeding - but I think we should now consign the Bradley-Fletcher numbers to use for historical reference only.