Molecular phylogenetics of Erebidae (Lepidoptera, Noctuoidea).
As a step towards understanding the higher-level phylogeny and evolutionary affinities of quadrifid noctuoid moths, we have undertaken the first large-scale molecular phylogenetic analysis of the moth family Erebidae, including almost all subfamilies, as well as most tribes and subtribes. DNA sequence data for one mitochondrial gene (COI) and seven nuclear genes (EF-1α, wingless, RpS5, IDH, MDH, GAPDH and CAD) were analysed for a total of 237 taxa, principally type genera of higher taxa. Data matrices (6407 bp in total) were analysed by parsimony with equal weighting and model-based evolutionary methods (maximum likelihood), which revealed a well-resolved skeleton phylogenetic hypothesis with 18 major lineages, which we treat here as subfamilies of Erebidae. We thus present a new phylogeny for Erebidae consisting of 18 moderate to strongly supported subfamilies: Scoliopteryginae, Rivulinae, Anobinae, Hypeninae, Lymantriinae, Pangraptinae, Herminiinae, Aganainae, Arctiinae, Calpinae, Hypocalinae, Eulepidotinae, Toxocampinae, Tinoliinae, Scolecocampinae, Hypenodinae, Boletobiinae and Erebinae. Where possible, each monophyletic lineage is diagnosed by autapomorphic morphological character states, and within each subfamily, monophyletic tribes and subtribes can be circumscribed, most of which can also be diagnosed by morphological apomorphies. All additional taxa sampled fell within one of the four previously recognized quadrifid families (mostly into Erebidae), which are now found to include two unusual monobasic taxa from New Guinea: Cocytiinae (now in Erebidae: Erebinae) and Eucocytiinae (now in Noctuidae: Pantheinae).