Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography

The Australian moth family Lophocoronidae and the basal phylogeny of the Lepidoptera – Glossata

ES Nielsen and NP Kristensen

Invertebrate Taxonomy 10(6) 1199 - 1302
Published: 1996


The endemic Australian primitive moth family Lophocoronidae is reviewed. The family was previously known from three species represented by male 'museum' specimens only. The family now consists of one genus, Lophocorona Common, with six species of which three (L. robinsoni, L. commoni and L. flavicosta) are here described as new. L. robinsoni differs markedly from the remaining species in wing pattern and phenology, but all species have very similar male genitalia. Females of two species (L. robinsoni and L. commoni) are described. All species and parts of their male genitalia are illustrated; a key to all species is given. All new distribution records are listed and the known Australian range of the family now extends from east of Perth to south of Sydney.

Lophocoronid structure is surveyed, including information on aspects of the soft anatomy of L. pediasia Common: cephalic, spiracular, abdominal base and male genital musculature, male internal genitalia, alimentary canal, gross structure of the central nervous system (CNS) and thoracic aorta. The most significant findings include the following: extrinsic labral muscles are absent; the relatively well-developed mandibles have no musculature, hence the (unknown) lophocoronid pupa must be adecticous; there is no intrinsic proboscis musculature; the posterolateral comer of the laterocervicale covers the anepisternal tooth; an anterior pronotal plate is present; the mesobasistemum is markedly produced anteriorly; wingsurface scales are largely hollow; a sizeable metapostphragma is present; the female has a piercing oviscapt similar to that of Eriocraniidae and Acanthopteroctetidae; a stomodaeal crop is well developed, extending into the abdomen, and followed by a narrow tubular portion in front of the mesenteron; there are four malpighian tubules, each opening into the gut; the deutocerebral lobes meet in front of the posterionnost pharyngeal sucking pump dilator (forming a 'deutocerebral loop'); the abdominal nerve cord has five ganglionic masses and thick connective tissue on top; the metathoracic aorta touches the dorsal pulsatile diaphragm.

Six basal clades are recognised within the Lepidoptera-Glossata: (1) Eriocraniidae, (2) Acanthopteroctetidae (including Catapterix), (3) Lophocoronidae, (4) Neopseustidae, (5) Exoporia and (6) Heteroneura. Putative autapomorphies are listed and discussed for each. Several structural traits are compared throughout the six clades, and 47 potentially phylogenetically informative characters are identified (Appendices 1 and 2). Analysis of these characters with Hennig86, by using a hypothetical ancestor (reconstructed on the basis of character state distribution within the non-glossatan moth grade), yields a single shortest tree: Eriocraniidae + (Acanthopteroctetidae + (Lophocoronidae + (Neopseustidae + (Exoporia + Heteroneura)))). This tree is compared with a number of competing trees; it is concluded to be the most biologically meaningful one. The formal classification of the Glossata is discussed. The Acanthopteroctetidae are assigned to a superfamily of their own. Redundant taxon names above familygroup (Dacnonypha, Lophocoronina and Neopseustina) are discarded. The new name Coelolepida is introduced for the high-rank taxon comprising all Glossata except the Eriocraniidae; it is characterised primarily by the acquisition of hollow wing-surface scales and an apomorphic configuration of the first thoracic spiracle. Some ecological and conservation-related implications of the new insights in glossatan phylogeny are outlined.

© CSIRO 1996

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