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.
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
Meike Rech | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University
Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences