Processionary moths belong to a group of about 100 species well known for their social behaviour and their urticating systems. The genus Thaumetopoea s.l. includes about 15 species and has been divided into three genera (Helianthocampa, Thaumetopoea s.s., and Traumatocampa) in the last revision, based on key morphological features of the adults and on the host plants of the larvae. We performed a total evidence approach to resolve the phylogeny of the genus Thaumetopoea s.l., analysing all valid taxa included in this group, plus a broad array of close relatives. Thaumetopoea was monophyletic and supported by several apomorphies. Further subclades corroborated by synapomorphies were identified. Our phylogeny suggests that Thaumetopoea must be regarded as a single genus. The mapping of key life history traits on the total evidence tree allowed us to sketch a plausible identikit of the Thaumetopoea ancestor and to track the evolution of the genus. The ancestor originated in the eastern Mediterranean area, and used broadleaved host plants. Subsequently, a switch to conifers occurred, just once, in a large subclade. The ancestor pupated in the soil, like several current species, but in a few taxa this trait was lost, together with the related morphological adaptations.

A total evidence phylogeny for the processionary moths of the genus Thaumetopoea (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae: Thaumetopoeinae)

Negrisolo, Enrico
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Battisti, Andrea
Supervision
;
Cerretti, Pierfilippo
Membro del Collaboration Group
2017

Abstract

Processionary moths belong to a group of about 100 species well known for their social behaviour and their urticating systems. The genus Thaumetopoea s.l. includes about 15 species and has been divided into three genera (Helianthocampa, Thaumetopoea s.s., and Traumatocampa) in the last revision, based on key morphological features of the adults and on the host plants of the larvae. We performed a total evidence approach to resolve the phylogeny of the genus Thaumetopoea s.l., analysing all valid taxa included in this group, plus a broad array of close relatives. Thaumetopoea was monophyletic and supported by several apomorphies. Further subclades corroborated by synapomorphies were identified. Our phylogeny suggests that Thaumetopoea must be regarded as a single genus. The mapping of key life history traits on the total evidence tree allowed us to sketch a plausible identikit of the Thaumetopoea ancestor and to track the evolution of the genus. The ancestor originated in the eastern Mediterranean area, and used broadleaved host plants. Subsequently, a switch to conifers occurred, just once, in a large subclade. The ancestor pupated in the soil, like several current species, but in a few taxa this trait was lost, together with the related morphological adaptations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3252439
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