Molecular phylogenetic and morphological studies on the systematic position of Heracula discivitta reveal a new subfamily of Pseudobistonidae (Lepidoptera: Geometroidea)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Heracula discivitta Moore is an uncommon moth species currently recorded from India, Nepal and China. Although this species has traditionally been placed in Lymantriinae, its systematic position in Macroheterocera has been enigmatic due to its unique morphological features. Here we used molecular and morphological data to explore the systematic position of H. discivitta. Our molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate that this species is sister to Pseudobiston pinratanai Inoue, a member of a recently established monotypic family Pseudobistonidae. The examinations of morphological features further show that H. discivitta shares synapomorphies with Pseudobistonidae. Based on the analysis results, we propose a new subfamily of Pseudobistonidae (Heraculinae subfam.n.) to accommodate H. discivitta. The resemblance of the habitus to that of the brahmaeid genus Calliprogonos Mell & Hering is discussed. This published work has been registered on ZooBank,


External organisations
  • South China Agricultural University
  • Natural History Museum, London
  • Stockholm University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Systematics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-225
Number of pages15
JournalSystematic Entomology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 3
Publication categoryResearch