Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


A new family of Macrolepidoptera discovered


After a long time puzzling over the moth Pseudobiston pinratanai, scientists have now described the new moth family Pseudobistonidae.

A moth searching for its relatives: it may take many years from the discovery of a species and its scientific description to its systematic classification. For the moth family “Pseudobistonidae” it took 26 years of research.

One collection specimen of Pseudobiston pinratanai in the lepidoptera collection of State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart.

Copyright: SMNS

Now an international research cooperation with experts from the Natural History Museums in Stuttgart and Bonn (Germany) scientifically described the new family. The results of this study have been published in the scientific journal Scripta Zoologica.

The first specimen of the moth Pseudobiston pinratanai was captured in 1989 in northern Thailand and was described in 1994 by Japanese lepidopterist Hiroshi Inoue.

This specimen belonged to an unknown species and genus. However, its higher systematic placement was also unclear. The combination of the morphological characters of Pseudobiston pinratanai at first did not allow a consistent classification within Macrolepidoptera. As no genetic data were available at that time, scientists could not solve the puzzle until much later.

Together with colleagues from the Natural History Museums in Bonn and Paris as well as the Universities of Vienna and Turku, Dr. Hossein Rajaei has worked since 2012 on a scientific research study to define the systematic position of Pseudobiston pinratanai. In a combined integrative approach of classic morphological and molecular methods, the scientists were able to unravel the systematic position of this enigmatic species. The molecular results confirmed what the experts had already suspected:

Pseudobiston pinratanai does not belong to the family of so-called geometer moths (Geometridae), but instead represents a separate lineage within Macrolepidoptera and shows a close relationship to the species-poor Asian family Epicopeiidae. In the second part of their study, the researchers found multiple morphological characters that confirmed the molecular results.

They compared characters of all major body parts, especially the head, thorax, and wings, and compared them to other families of Macrolepidoptera. Thus Pseudobiston pinratanai was assigned as sole member of the new family Pseudobistonidae.

“This research shows how important the synthesis of comparative and molecular genetic methods is for the determination of species. Integrative taxonomy, the interplay of these different methods, is a critical area of expertise of natural history research museums. The discovery of Pseudobistonidae also makes it clear how productive collaborations between natural history museums can be.

I congratulate my colleagues on this great success”, states Johanna Eder, director of the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart. “Integrative taxonomy must be seen as a very useful instrument to support scientific work within the framework of ecological research”, adds Prof. Dr. Bernhard Misof, Deputy Director of the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig - Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity in Bonn.

Establishing a new family of butterflies is a rare event: The last description of a new family of Macrolepidoptera was published over 20 years ago.

“We were able to explore family relationships and other characteristics during this extensive research, which has given us new insights into the evolution and development of butterflies. The discovery of a new family of large butterflies is for me of course spectacular”, enthuses Dr. Hossein Rajaei, entomologist and Lepidoptera expert at the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart. Two specimen of Pseudobiston pinratanai are part of the collections of the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart.

Rajaei H., Greve, C., Letsch, H., Stüning, D., Wahlberg, N., Minet, J., Misof, B. (2015). Advances in Geometroidea phylogeny, with characterization of a new family based on Pseudobiston pinratanai (Lepidoptera, Glossata). Scripta Zoologica. doi:10.1111/zsc.12108

Weitere Informationen:

Meike Rech | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When fat cells change their colour
28.10.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Aquaculture: Clear Water Thanks to Cork
28.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>