Lepidoptera phylogeny and systematics : the state of inventorying moth and butterfly diversity

  • The currently recognized robust support for the monophyly of the Lepidoptera (and the superorder Amphiesmenoptera comprising Lepidoptera + Trichoptera) is outlined, and the phylogeny of the principal lineages within the order is reviewed succinctly. The state of the taxonomic inventory of Lepidoptera is discussed separately for ‘micro-moths’, ‘macro-moths’ and butterflies, three assemblages on which work has followed historically somewhat different paths. While currently there are about 160,000 described species of Lepidoptera, the total number of extant species is estimated to be around half a million. On average, just over one thousand new species of Lepidoptera have been described annually in recent years. Allowing for the new synonyms simultaneously established, the net increase in species numbers still exceeds 800/year. Most of the additions are foreseeable in the micro-moth grade, but even for butterflies ca 100 species are added annually. Examples of particularly interesting new high-rank taxa that have been described (or whose significance has become realized) since the middle of the 20th century include the non-glossatan lineages represented by Agathiphaga and Heterobathmia and the heteroneuran families Andesianidae, Palaephatidae, Hedylidae and Micronoctuidae. Some thoughts on how present and future systematic lepidopterology might be prioritised are presented.

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Author:Niels P. Kristensen, Malcolm J. Scoble, Ole Karsholt
Parent Title (English):Zootaxa
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2009/07/14
Year of first Publication:2007
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2009/07/14
Tag:Lepidoptera; phylogeny; species numbers; taxonomy
Page Number:51
First Page:699
Last Page:747
Signatur: SZq 4646
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Weitere biologische Literatur (eingeschränkter Zugriff)
Licence (German):License LogoArchivex. zur Lesesaalplatznutzung § 52b UrhG