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Revised higher classification of the Noctuoidea (Lepidoptera)

  • J. Donald Lafontaine (a1) and Michael Fibiger (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2012

The higher classification of the families of the Noctuoidea with a quadrifid forewing (Nolidae, Strepsimanidae, Arctiidae, Lymantriidae, Erebidae, and Noctuidae) is reviewed from the perspective of recent classifications and the distribution of derived character states. On the basis of recent morphological and molecular studies, we propose a more inclusive definition of the family Noctuidae that adds the subfamilies Nolinae, Strepsimaninae, Arctiinae, Lymantriinae, and Erebinae to the subfamilies more traditionally included in the Noctuidae. Consequently, the superfamily Noctuoidea comprises the families Oenosandridae, Doidae, Notodontidae, Micronoctuidae, and Noctuidae. The tribe Cosmiini, currently in the subfamily Xyleninae, is downgraded to the status of subtribe Cosmiina and placed in the tribe Xylenini. The tribe Balsini, currently in the subfamily Xyleninae, is elevated to the status of subfamily Balsinae. The tribe Phosphilini is transferred from the subfamily Psaphidinae to the Xyleninae.


Nous révisons la classification supérieure des familles de Noctuoidea possédant une aile antérieure quadrifide (Nolidae, Strepsimanidae, Arctiidae, Lymantriidae, Erebidae et Noctuidae) à la lumière de classifications récentes et des répartitions actuelles des états dérivés des caractères. D'après des études morphologiques et moléculaires récentes, nous proposons une définition plus compréhensive de la famille des Noctuidae qui ajoute les sous-familles Nolinae, Strepsimaninae, Arctiinae, Lymantriinae et Erebinae à celles qui sont plus traditionnellement incluses dans les Noctuidae. La superfamille des Noctuoidea comprend donc les familles Oenosandridae, Doidae, Notodontidae, Micronoctuidae et Noctuidae. La tribu des Cosmiini, présentement dans la sous-famille des Xyleninae, est réduite au niveau de sous-tribu des Cosmiina et placée dans la tribu des Xylenini. La tribu des Balsini, couramment placée dans la sous-famille des Xyleninae, est élevée au rang de sous-famille des Balsinae. La tribu Phosphilini est transférée de la sous-famille des Psaphidinae à Xyleninae.

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A. Mitchell , S. Cho , J.C. Regier , C. Mitter , R.W. Poole , and M. Matthews 1997. Phylogenetic utility of elongation factor-1″ in Noctuoidea (Insecta: Lepidoptera): the limits of synonymous substitution. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 14: 381390.

A. Mitchell , C. Mitter , and J.C. Regier 2000. More taxa or more characters revisited: combining data from nuclear protein-encoding genes for phylogenetic analyses of Noctuoidea (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Systematic Biology, 49: 202224.

A. Mitchell , C. Mitter , and J.C. Regier 2006. Systematics and evolution of the cutworm moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): evidence from two protein-coding nuclear genes. Systematic Entomology, 31: 2146. doi:10.1111/j.1365–3113. 2005.00306.x.

W. Speidel , H. Fänger , and C.M. Naumann 1996. The phylogeny of the Noctuidae (Lepidoptera). Systematic Entomology, 21: 219251.

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The Canadian Entomologist
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