A great inventory of the small: combining BOLD datamining and focused sampling hugely increases knowledge of taxonomy, biology, and distribution of leafmining pygmy moths (Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae). – In: Scientific abstracts from the 6th Internationa

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2015
Authors:E. J. van Nieukerken, Doorenweerd, C., Mutanen, M., Landry, J. - F., Miller, J., deWaard, J. R.
Date Published:2015-08-16
Keywords:Canada, DNA barcodes, Finland, Lepidoptera, Nepticulidae, USA

The Nepticulidae form an early-radiating family of leaf-mining moths with tight associations with their angiosperm hosts. Around 850 named species in 10 genera form part of an unknown but much larger global diversity. The group offers insights into evolution between insects and host plants. Traditional methods to investigate their diversity and host plant relations require considerable human effort, an impediment further confounded by their extremely small body size (3-8 mm). DNA barcodes can speed up recognition of host plant relations, distribution, and taxonomy. Results:We built a barcode dataset of leaf-mining larvae and emerging adults from focused sampling in many parts of the world, study of museum specimens, and barcoding initiatives such as in Finland (www.finbol.org). We mined the Barcode of Life Datasystems (BOLD) for all barcoded specimens labeled with the family name, and additionally searched for closely-allied Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) lacking family-level taxonomy. We found almost 5500 barcoded specimens, representing 928 BINs and 890 species, of which more than 55% are unnamed or unidentified. A large portion of the specimens (around 2500) originated from the massive Malaise trapping program at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. Most were initially identified only to the ordinal or family level. We use our data for estimating the unknown biodiversity of Nepticulidae, globally and per continent. For North America alone, our results suggest 40 unnamed species, confirm 12 species as Holarctic (including several newly recorded), and link previously unidentified host records to named adults.Significance:Barcoding mass-trapped specimens showed an unprecedented increase in our knowledge of distribution, host plant use, and invasiveness in an intractable and otherwise poorly known group. Such records, however, acquire scientific value only if validated by a solid barcode reference library that has been vetted by taxonomic expertise. We advocate combining large-scale biodiversity inventories with DNA barcoding.

Short Title:Genome
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith