Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 11:17 AM

Phylogeny of the cactus-feeding Phycitinae and their allies (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) based on adult morphology and mitochondrial DNA

Thomas J. Simonsen,, University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences, Biological Sciences Centre, Edmonton, AB, Canada and Felix A. H. Sperling,, University of Alberta, Biological Sciences, CW405 Biological Sciences Centre, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

It has long been assumed that the cactus-feeding genera and their closest allies in the subfamily Phycitinae in the lepidopteran family Pyralidae may comprise a possible monophyletic group within the subfamily. However, the hypothesis has never been tested based on modern phylogenetic methods. Indeed, hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships within the Phycitinae are few and far between. Here we present a phylogenetic study focused on the cactus associated genera within Phycitinae based on mitochondrial DNA as well as 73 characters from adult morphology of both sexes. The main aims of the study are: to test the monophyly of the group and identify possible apomorphies, and identify possible monophyletic groups within the cactus associated genera.

Species 1: Lepidoptera Pyralidae Melitara dentata (blue cactus borer)
Species 2: Lepidoptera Pyralidae Cactoblastis cactorum (prickly pear cactus moth, cactus moth)
Species 3: Lepidoptera Pyralidae Zophodia grossulariella