Chapter

Introduction

Yu-Feng Hsu and Jerry A. Powell

in Phylogenetic Relationships within Heliodinidae and Systematics of Moths Formerly Assigned to Heliodines Stainton (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutoidea)

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780520098473
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916067 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520098473.003.0001
Introduction

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Heliodinidae are small, characteristically metallic-colored, diurnal Microlepidoptera classified in the superfamily Yponomeutoidea (Lepidoptera, Ditrysia). Yponomeutoidea, combined with three other superfamilies—Tineoidea, Gracillarioidea, and Gelechioidea—form the basal lineages of ditrysian moths to the more derived, vast apoditrysian lineages. Heliodinidae occur worldwide but are much more diverse in the Western Hemisphere. This study began in 1990 as a systematic revision of the genus Heliodines Stainton. In addition to outgroup genera in several other families of Yponomeutoidea, the phylogenetic analysis included seven other genera that were regarded as comprising the Heliodinidae s. str. worldwide. The existing genus “Heliodines,” however, proved to be polyphyletic with respect to the other described genera, and the title “species formerly assigned to Heliodines” evolved as a result. The fossil record of Heliodinidae is scarce and probably too recent to be meaningful for inferring anything about heliodinid phylogeny. The life history and larval habits of heliodinids are diverse, with each species exhibiting a specific feeding strategy. The systematics of Heliodinidae can be described as rudimentary.

Keywords: Heliodinidae; Yponomeutoidea; ditrysian moths; heliodinids; phylogeny; systematics; Heliodines; life history

Chapter.  1444 words. 

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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