Elusive ditrysian phylogeny: an account of combining systematized morphology with molecular data (Lepidoptera).

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Abstract

Ditrysia comprise close to 99 % of all butterflies and moths. The evolutionary relationships among the ditrysian superfamilies have received considerable attention in phylogenetic studies based on DNA and transcriptomic data, but the deepest divergences remain for large parts unresolved or contradictory. To obtain complementary insight into the evolutionary history of the clade, and to test previous hypotheses on the subdivision of Ditrysia based on morphology, we examine the morphology of larvae, pupae and adult males and females of 318 taxa representing nearly all ditrysian superfamilies and families. We present the most comprehensive morphological dataset on Ditrysia to date, consisting of over 500 morphological characters. The data are analyzed alone and combined with sequence data (one mitochondrial and seven nuclear protein-coding gene regions, sequenced from 422 taxa). The full dataset consists of 473 exemplar species. Analyses are performed using maximum likelihood methods, and parsimony methods for the morphological dataset. We explore whether combining morphological data and DNA-data can stabilize taxa that are unstable in phylogenetic studies based on genetic data only.

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Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Turku
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Evolutionary Biology
Original languageEnglish
Article number260
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Volume15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes