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A molecular phylogenetic study of the Drepanoidea based on the EF-1alpha sequences and combined EF-1alpha and COI sequences was carried out in order to infer higher classification at and above the subfamily level. The sample contained 14 taxa representing 13 genera recognized in the Drepanoidea. The results revealed that the Drepaninae, Thyatirinae and Cyclidiinae respectively form monophyletic groups. The sister relationship between the Drepaninae and the Thyatirinae was validated. The monophyly of the Cyclidiinae with the Drepaninae+Thyatirinae was supported robustly. Hypsomadius insignis and Oreta vatama within the traditional definition of the Drepaninae formed an individual clade with robust support (100%) and constitutes a sister relationship to a clade containing the rest of the Drepaninae in all the topologies, which means that the subfamily Oretinae of the Drepanidae should be restored. The family Drepanidae is divided into four subfamilies: Drepaninae, Oretinae, Thyatirinae and Cyclidiinae in this work. The family Epicopeiidae formed a monophyly with high bootstrap values. The result of combined analysis of EF-1alpha and COI showed that the Epicopeiidae have a closer phylogenetic relationship with the Geometridae than with the Drepanidae and belong to neither the Drepanoidea nor the Geometroidea.


C G Wu, H X Han, D Y Xue. A pilot study on the molecular phylogeny of Drepanoidea (Insecta: Lepidoptera) inferred from the nuclear gene EF-1alpha and the mitochondrial gene COI. Bulletin of entomological research. 2010 Apr;100(2):207-16

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PMID: 19580687

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