Scientific name Sympistis deserticola
Sympistis deserticola was a species of moth of the Noctuidae family. It is now considered a synonym of Sympistis major. It was recorded from North America, including California.
It was formerly known as Oncocnemis riparia deserticola , a subspecies of Oncocnemis riparia but was elevated to species level and transferred to the Sympistis genus in 2008. Raising it to species level was mainly on the basis of significant (3.5%) differences in the barcodes (COI mitochondrial DNA sequences) of deserticola as compared with other taxa in the riparia group. This conclusion, however, was based on a population in the Owens Valley. Populations in southwestern California near the type locality of deserticola have the same barcodes as those of Sympistis major from Mono Lake, California and elsewhere in the Great Basin, so deserticola is relegated to the synonymy of S. major. The Owens Valley population may yet prove to be a separate species or a genetically divergent population of S. major.
The wingspan is about 33 mm.