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Annotated checklist of the moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Canada and Alaska

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Annotated checklist of the moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Canada and Alaska

Abstract

A definitive species list is the foundation of biodiversity and conservation work. As we deal with massive climatic changes in the Anthropocene, knowing which species make up our diverse ecosystems will be critically important if we wish to protect and restore them. The Lepidoptera, moths and butterflies, are the fourth-largest insect order in terms of global diversity, with approximately 158,000 described species. Here we report the distributions of 5431 species that occur in Canada and Alaska, as well as 53 species that have been reported from the region but not yet verified. Additionally, 19 species are listed as interceptions or unsuccessful introductions, and 52 species are listed as probably occurring in the region. The list is based on records from taxonomic papers, historical regional checklists, and specimen data from collections and online databases. All valid species and their synonyms, and all Nearctic subspecies and synonyms are included, except for butterfly subspecies (and their synonyms) that have never been reported from the region. The list is presented in taxonomic order, with the author, date of description, and original genus provided for each name.
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... Crambini account for 40% of the described crambine species and represent the bulk of crambine diversity in temperate areas (e.g. 80% of the Crambinae fauna in Canada) (Pohl et al., 2018). Our analysis, including part of the diversity of the Crambini (25 of the 61 described genera), recovered the Holarctic genera Platytes, Agriphila and Catoptria as the earliest diverging lineages of Crambini, suggesting that diversification of the tribe took place there. ...
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Crambinae (2047 spp.) and Scopariinae (577 spp.) are two major groups of pyraloid moths with a worldwide distribution. Their larvae feed predominantly on Poales and Bryophyta, with many cereal crop pests. We present the first molecular phylogeny of the two groups based on five nuclear genes and one mitochondrial gene (total = 4713 bp) sampled for 58 crambine species representing 56 genera and all tribes, 33 scopariine species representing 12 genera, and species in several other crambid lineages. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of the molecular data resolve suprageneric relationships in Crambinae and Scopariinae, whereas relationships between these and other subfamilies remain ambiguous. Crambinae and Scopariinae are each recovered as monophyletic groups, and Erupini, formerly regarded as an ingroup of Midilinae, is recovered as a possible sister group of Crambinae. The tree topology suggests the following two major changes within Crambinae: Prionapterygini Landry syn.n. of Ancylolomiini Ragonot stat. rev. and Myelobiini Minet syn.n. of Chiloini Heinemann. Argyriini Munroe is monophyletic after the transfer of Pseudocatharylla Bleszynski and Vaxi Bleszynski to Calamotrophini. Crambini, Diptychophorini and Haimbachiini are monophyletic after the exclusion of Ancylolomia Hübner, Euchromius Guenée, Micrelephas Dognin and Miyakea Marumo from Crambini, as well as Microchilo Okano from Diptychophorini. Euchromiini tribe n. is described for Euchromius. Microcramboides Bleszynski syn.n. and Tortriculladia Bleszynski syn.n. are synonymized with Microcrambus Bleszynski. In Scopariinae, Caradjaina Leraut syn.n. and Cholius Guenée syn.n. are synonymized with Scoparia Haworth, and, in addition, Dasyscopa Meyrick syn.n., Dipleurinodes Leraut syn.n. and Eudipleurina Leraut syn.n. are synonymized with Eudonia Billberg. Micraglossa melanoxantha (Turner) (Scoparia) comb.n. is proposed as a new combination. We analysed 27 morphological characters of wing venation, tympanal organs, male and female genitalia, as well as host plant data and egg‐laying behaviour. The ancestral character‐state reconstructions confirmed previous apomorphies and highlighted new apomorphies for some of the newly recovered clades. The derived, nonadhesive egg‐dropping behaviour is found to have evolved at least twice in Crambinae and is associated with the use of Pooideae as host plants. This published work has been registered in ZooBank, http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:1A84282D‐930A‐4C32‐8340‐D681BFF27A12. The Crambinae + Scopariinae phylogeny is reconstructed with five nuclear genes and one mitochondrial gene (total = 4713 bp) sampled for 91 taxa representing 68 genera. The tribal classification in Crambinae is revised and Euchromiini tribe n. is described, and in Scopariinae, five genera found nested within the species‐rich Eudonia and Scoparia are synonymized. The behaviour of dropping nonadhesive eggs is found to have evolved at least twice in Crambinae and is associated with the use of Pooideae as host plants.
... Restricting our comparison to continental faunas we conclude that the level of faunistic knowledge decreases substantially from Fennoscandia to the East (Fig. 3a). Of course, the absolute numbers of species recorded (Sinev 2008); Mur, Murmansk oblast, Russia (Kozlov & Kullberg 2010); Ark, Arkhangelsk oblast, Russia (Kozlov et al. 2014(Kozlov et al. , 2017; NAO, continental part of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia (present study); Tay, Taymyr Peninsula, Russia (Kozlov et al. 2006); Ala, Alaska, USA (Pohl et al. 2018). in different regions depend on both their area and climate, but the ratio between "microlepidoptera" and "macrolepidoptera", which serves an index of the completeness of the faunistic inventory (Sinev 2008), decreases from 1.5-1.6 in Finland and Murmansk oblast to 1.1 in the Arkhangelsk oblast and NAO and then to 0.5-0.6 in the Taymyr Peninsula and Alaska. The percentage of butterfly species in these faunas seems to increase towards the north, from 5 to 10%; however, the question remains whether this increase reflects real changes in the structure of regional faunas or is an artefact of the level of faunistic knowledge. ...
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Until very recently, Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO), located in the northeastern part of European Russia, was the least studied region of Russia in terms of itsmoth fauna. Intensive sampling in the surroundings of Naryan-Mar, combined with critical revision of earlier publications and evaluation of museum collections, resulted in the discovery of a relatively rich fauna of Lepidoptera. The first regional checklist of moths and butterflies of the continental part of NAO includes 324 species (169 species of microlepidoptera and 155 species of macrolepidoptera), 178 of which are reported fromNAOfor the first time.We estimate that 40 to 180 species remain to be found in the study region. The recorded speciesmostly belong to residents of northern boreal forests and bogs. The fauna of moths and butterflies of NAO clearly differs from the fauna of Fennoscandia, due to the relatively higher proportion ofEast Palaearctic andBeringian species.
... *Udea itysalis Walker, 1859. A variable Holarctic species, which was described from North America, where it is widely distributed (Pohl et al. 2018). In Russia, this species was earlier recorded from Chukotka, Kamchatka and Magadan oblast (Sinev 2008). ...
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Faunistic data are scarce for the Lepidoptera from the Arctic islands of European Russia. New sampling and revision of the earlier findings have revealed the occurrence of 60 species of moths and butterflies on Kolguev, Vaygach and Dolgij Islands and on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. The faunas of Kolguev and Dolgij Islands (19 and 18 species, respectively) include typical moths of the northern taiga (Aethes deutschiana, Syricoris lacunana and Xanthorhoe designata), and the low numbers of species discovered on these islands have resulted primarily from low collecting efforts. By contrast, the fauna of Vaygach Island (22 species) is relatively well known and includes several high Arctic species, such as Xestia aequaeva, X. liquidaria and X. lyngei. Nevertheless, Vaygach Island is depauperated even relative to the fauna of Amderma (29 species), which is located on the continent next to the Vaygach Island. The fauna of Novaya Zemlya totals 30 species, but only eight of these were collected from the Northern Island, mostly near Matochkin Shar strait. Noteworthy is the record of Plutella polaris from Novaya Zemlya: this species was recently re-discovered in Svalbard, where the type series was collected in 1873. Udea itysalis, described from North America, is reported here for the first time from Europe. The fauna of the Russian Arctic islands in the Barents Sea is dominated by holarctic species, many of which are confined to tundra habitats. We estimate that some 40–60 moth species remain to be found in this region.
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The Mottled duskywing (Erynnis martialis) butterfly is endangered, living in pine forests and oak barrens in Canada and the eastern United States of America. While host plants and larval behaviour is documented in Mottled duskywing’s eastern range, these life components are poorly known in Manitoba. We observed adult behaviour, host plant species used and larval foraging to better understand these biological aspects of E. martialis. We observed eggs laid exclusively on Ceanothus herbaceus, and larvae consuming C. herbaceus in leaf shelters near the periphery of plants. Early instar larvae tied leaves together with cells of silk creating partly open shelters while later instar larvae completely sealed shelters. Shelters constructed out of young leaves at the edge of plants are likely easier to digest. Later-instar larvae may nocturnally harvest food to consume in shelters during the day to reduce predation risk. Larvae were found in clearings adjacent to Pinus banksiana dominated forests, with these openings likely providing suitable microhabitats for egg development and larval feeding. We observed newly emerged adults during weeks 1 to 5 of the flight period; eggs, larvae and adults overlapped. We recommend direct observations of larval foraging—during the day and night, as well as transitions into and out of diapause—to more accurately describe their behaviour and physiology. We started to characterise microhabitats, however further research is needed. Our research may help to guide critical habitat designations, leading to successful Mottled duskywing recovery in Manitoba.
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1. The effects of timber harvest in the moist coniferous forests of western North America are not well documented for ecologically important arthropods such as moths. 2. We assessed the response of macromoth community structure (abundance, sample size‐corrected estimates of species richness and diversity, and overall community composition) to time since deforestation at 20 previously logged sites (1–95 years post‐harvest), and compared the macromoth communities at these stands to four old growth stands. 3. As stand age increased following timber harvest, the number of macromoths captured in ultraviolet light traps increased and the relative abundance of dietary generalists declined, but sample size‐corrected estimates of species richness and diversity did not vary. Macromoth community composition of the youngest stands (<10 years post‐harvest) differed markedly from each other but converged soon thereafter. 4. Macromoth communities at old growth sites featured higher capture rates, lower dominance by dietary generalists, and higher sample size‐corrected estimates of species richness and diversity than at previously logged sites. Community composition profiles for old growth sites differed from all previously logged sites, but the differences were subtle except in comparison to the youngest logged sites. None of the 188 species we sampled were old growth specialists. 5. Our results reveal dramatic initial impacts of deforestation on macromoth communities in moist coniferous forests of western North America. Such effects are largely reversed within two decades post‐harvest but some effects persist for at least 95‐years following logging.
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Incurvariapirinella Junnilainen, Kaitila & Mutanen, sp. nov. is described from Bulgaria based on specimens collected by netting and artificial light from several low-elevation localities in Bulgaria. The species is morphologically and genetically most similar to I.triglavensis Hauder, 1912. Differences between these two species are present in external appearance and genitalia of both sexes. Additionally, I.pirinella shows a distance of 4.74% to its nearest neighbour I.triglavensis in the standard DNA barcoding marker (COI-5P). We provide preliminary observations of phylogenetic affinities of European Incurvaria and briefly discuss habitat preferences of some species. All species have distinct barcodes with minimum K2P divergences between species averaging 7.05% (range 1.2–12.8%). A world checklist of Incurvaria Haworth, 1828 is provided and DNA barcodes for all European species are here released. Finally, we document morphological variation in male genitalia within I.triglavensis Hauder, 1912.
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The reliable taxonomic identification of organisms through DNA sequence data requires a well parameterized library of curated reference sequences. However, it is estimated that just 15% of described animal species are represented in public sequence repositories. To begin to address this deficiency, we provide DNA barcodes for 1,500,003 animal specimens collected from 23 terrestrial and aquatic ecozones at sites across Canada, a nation that comprises 7% of the planet’s land surface. In total, 14 phyla, 43 classes, 163 orders, 1123 families, 6186 genera, and 64,264 Barcode Index Numbers (BINs; a proxy for species) are represented. Species-level taxonomy was available for 38% of the specimens, but higher proportions were assigned to a genus (69.5%) and a family (99.9%). Voucher specimens and DNA extracts are archived at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics where they are available for further research. The corresponding sequence and taxonomic data can be accessed through the Barcode of Life Data System, GenBank, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and the Global Genome Biodiversity Network Data Portal.
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Nearly a century ago, wing venation was introduced in gracillariid taxonomy as a means to diagnose closely related genera and species groups. Recent advances in non-destructive virtual micro-dissections suggest promising approaches with which to revisit the relevance of wing venation characters on historic primary type specimens. Many unique type specimens in Gracillariidae and other microlepidoptera groups preserved in museum collections are in poor condition, and over the course of history have suffered loss or damage to their abdomens. Consequently, genitalia morphology is not available for diagnoses and comparisons. In this paper we emphasize the need to include the type species and type specimens into the broader context of taxonomic studies on micro-moths in general and the family Gracillariidae in particular. The genus Caloptilia has a world-wide distribution and has been the subject of research for more than 200 years, yet the generic boundaries and groupings within the genus are still unresolved due to the lack of a reliable set of taxonomic characters obtained from the primary types. We describe a method of virtual descaling of the fore- and hindwings using the unset micro-moth type specimen of Caloptilia stigmatella Fabricius, 1781, in order to demonstrate that the study of historic and fragile type specimens and diagnoses of their internal morphological characters becomes possible by applying new and non-destructive technology.
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Beach plum, Prunus maritima Marshall, 1785 not Wangenh., 1787 (Rosaceae), currently under development as a potential crop, represents an under-acknowledged host plant for several Lepidoptera that have undergone declines in the northeastern USA. The Coastal Heathland Cutworm, Abagrotis nefascia (Smith, 1908), and the Dune Noctuid, Sympistis riparia (Morrison, 1875), are unrelated species of psammophilic noctuines (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) regularly encountered on a localized basis in coastal southern New England and New York, and whose precise life history requirements are undocumented. We inferred and, based on field observation and rearing, corroborated beach plum as a larval host for these species in Massachusetts; the plant’s role in sustaining other moths with limited or contracting regional distributions is discussed. Sympistis riparia, belonging to a widely distributed complex of closely related species, has been associated specifically with both maritime and freshwater dunes. The eastern populations of Abagrotis nefascia represent a conspicuous range disjunction, separated from the nearest western populations by more than 2000 miles, and originally described by Franclemont as race benjamini of A. crumbi, both later synonymized with A. nefascia. Following examination of types and other material, an evaluation of putatively diagnostic features from both the original description and our own observations, genitalic characters, and the results of provisional barcode analyses, Abagrotis benjamini Franclemont, stat. rev., is elevated to the rank of a valid species rather than representing eastern populations of Abagrotis nefascia (=crumbi) to which it originally referred.