Phylogeny and divergence times of pygmy leafmining moths (Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae), the earliest lepidopteran radiation on angiosperms?

Publication Type:Conference Paper
Year of Publication:2016
Authors:C. Doorenweerd, van Nieukerken, E. J., Hoare, R. J. B.
Conference Name:XXV International Congress of Entomology
Date Published:2016-09-25
Publisher:Entomological Society of America
Conference Location:Orlando, Florida, USA
Keywords:Lepidoptera, Nepticulidae, phylogeny, Time tree

Nepticulidae are amongst the earliest radiating Lepidoptera, with a fossil record of larval leafmines from the Albian onwards. We present a phylogeny and analysis of divergence times based on eight molecular markers, a taxonset of ca 350 exemplars, representing almost all (sub)generic groupings. The support for the monophyly of most clades is high, but not all previous groupings are recovered. Ectoedemia s.l. with several subgenera is not monophyletic, but all subgenera are. The small genus Enteucha is sistergroup to all other Nepticulidae in most analyses, but close to Stigmella in others. The large genus Stigmella is divided in three well supported clades, two of which harbour most tropical species. In our new classification we abandon subgenera and subfamilial ranks. The resulting genera are not only supported by several morphological apomorphies, several have specific biologies, a limited host plant choice and a limited biogeography. Particularly the Neotropics show separate clades. Using two fossil calibration points, we estimate the divergence times of genera and discuss their congruence with other recent insights in Lepidoptera diversification dating estimates. The estimated 95% confidence interval for the origin of Nepticulidae falls almost completely within the Early Cretaceous. Almost all of the currently recognized genera are estimated to have originated before the end of the Cretaceous, 66 mya. Considering that Nepticulidae are the first larger group of Lepidoptera, with 850 named and 2000 assumed species, specialising in angiosperm feeding, we postulate that also geologically the Nepticulidae formed the first larger group of Lepidoptera, radiating on angiosperms.

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