Zilli (2021) had additional feedback on the traditionally fraught idea of Ophiusini. As famous in my earlier submit, ‘Ophiusini’ has traditionally been recognised as a cosmopolitan group of moths however molecular research have result in its restriction to the Outdated World, North American exemplars being transferred to the associated tribe Poaphilini. Nevertheless, although the 2 teams are every supported as monophyletic by molecular information, they don’t seem to be nicely outlined morphologically. Characters beforehand thought distinct to at least one or the opposite don’t all the time maintain true. Ophiusini have been described as having diminished coremata however some ophiusins have coremata bigger than these of some poaphilins. Ophiusins have been presupposed to lack the waxy bloom on the pupa present in different noctuoids however some species do certainly have such a bloom. Some have pointed to the usage of Euphorbiaceae as host vegetation by Poaphilini however not Ophiusini, however not all poaphilins feed on Euphorbiaceae and their use of this plant household is mostly correlated with species being extra generalist feeders general.
One character which will but distinguish the 2 tribes is the placement of the androteca, a groove alongside the highest of one of many leg segments within the male that accommodates a protracted brush of dense hairs (I am unsure simply what the perform of this construction is supposed to be however I’d suspect one thing to do with dispersing pheromones). In Ophiusini, this construction is discovered on the femur of the fore leg. In Poaphilini, it’s on the tibia of the mid leg. Nonetheless, Zilli (2021) questions the reliability of this function: each arrangments are present in different tribes and neither alone is diagnostic.
Conversely, molecular phylogenies assist the 2 tribes as sister taxa, and so they share a lot of distinctive options of the terminalia. Whereas he doesn’t formalise the suggestion, Zilli (2021) appears to really feel that we is perhaps higher served by a return to a broader Ophiusini uniting the 2 tribes as one. I commented in my earlier submit that noctuoid classification has been in a steady flux for so long as it has been a factor. It will be presumptuous to consider that it has lastly been settled.
Zahiri, R., J. D. Holloway, I. J. Kitching, J. D. Lafontaine, M. Mutanen & N. Wahlberg. 2012. Molecular phylogenetics of Erebidae (Lepidoptera, Noctuoidea). Systematic Entomology 37: 102–124.
Zilli, A. 2021. Tabwecala robinsoni gen. nov., sp. nov., from Vanuatu and its systematic postion within the ‘Ophiusini-Poaphilini’ clade (Lepidoptera, Erebidae). Nota Lepidopterologica 44: 193–211.