Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny 75(2): 281-301, doi: 10.3897/asp.75.e31905
Revision of the endemic Brazilian 'neotheorid' hepialids, with morphological evidence for the phylogenetic relationships of the basal lineages of Hepialidae (Lepidoptera: Hepialoidea)
expand article infoThomas Simonsen, Niels P. Kristensen
‡ Natural History Museum Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark
Open Access
We revise the little known South American primitive Hepialidae genus Neotheora Kristensen, and describe two new species, N. meyi sp.n. and N. mielkeorum sp.n. from Brazil based on two female singletons. Furthermore, we describe a new genus, Paratheora gen.n., with a single species, P. speideli sp.n., of primitive Hepialidae from Brazil based on one male, and a female without the postabdomen. Although the new genus is clearly closely related to Neotheora as demonstrated by a unique tentorium modification found in both genera, it is also sufficiently different to warrant its own genus. To explore the phylogenetic relationships of Paratheora, we carried out a phylogenetic analysis of 16 terminal taxa in Hepialidae sensu lato based on 18 morphological characters scored from adult morphology. The results confirm that Neotheora and Paratheora are sister taxa, and together these two ‘neotheorid genera’ comprise the sister group of the remaining Hepialidae Within the latter, the Australian genus Anomoses Turner is the sister group of the remaining taxa. The southern African genus Prototheora Meyrick is the sister group of a clade comprising the four ‘palaeosetid genera’, the four so-called ‘primitive’ Hepialidae genera, and Hepialidae s.str. The ‘palaeosetid genera’ comprise a monophyletic clade, which is the sister group to a clade comprising the ‘primitive’ Hepialidae, and Hepialidae s.str. While the exact relationships between the four ‘primitive’ Hepialidae, and Hepialidae s.str. cannot be resolved based on our data, the two ‘primitive’ hepialids from sub-Saharan Africa, Afrothora Nielsen & Scoble and Antihepialus Janse are likely sister taxa, and the Holarctic Gazoryctra Hübner is likely the sister of that clade. Similarly, the four genera selected to represent Hepialidae s.str. appear monophyletic in the analysis.
Neotheora, new species, new genus, Hepialoidea phylogeny