Preliminary next-gen phylogeny of Philodoria (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), the endangered leaf miners of Hawaii

Monday, November 17, 2014: 9:00 AM
Portland Ballroom 256 (Oregon Convention Center)
Chris A. Johns , McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL
Daniel Rubinoff , Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, HI
Akito Y. Kawahara , Department of Entomology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
The leaf mining moth genus Philodoria (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) includes 30 poorly studied species that are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. Most species are monophagous, feeding internally within the leaf of a single endemic plant species, but the genus as a whole is known to feed on as many as 12 different plant families. Approximately 75% of the group’s host plants are threatened or endangered, making these moths a conservation priority. A comprehensive systematic treatment has not been conducted in over thirty years, and the systematics, phylogenetics, and conservation status of many of these moths remains largely unknown. Here, we present a preliminary molecular phylogeny of Philodoria constructed from next-gen data and discuss future plans to study the biogeography and population connectivity of the group. In addition, we outline our efforts to raise awareness for Philodoria conservation in both conservation and public audiences alike.