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The wing pattern of Moerarchis Durrant, 1914 (Lepidoptera: Tineidae) clarifies transitions between predictive models

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ABSTRACT

The evolution of wing pattern in Lepidoptera is a popular area of inquiry but few studies have examined microlepidoptera, with fewer still focusing on intraspecific variation. The tineid genus Moerarchis Durrant, 1914 includes two species with high intraspecific variation of wing pattern. A subset of the specimens examined here provide, to my knowledge, the first examples of wing patterns that follow both the ‘alternating wing-margin’ and ‘uniform wing-margin’ models in different regions along the costa. These models can also be evaluated along the dorsum of Moerarchis, where a similar transition between the two models can be seen. Fusion of veins is shown not to effect wing pattern, in agreement with previous inferences that the plesiomorphic location of wing veins constrains the development of colour pattern. The significant correlation between wing length and number of wing pattern elements in Moerarchis australasiella shows that wing size can act as a major determinant of wing pattern complexity. Lastly, some M. australasiella specimens have wing patterns that conform entirely to the ‘uniform wing-margin’ model and contain more than six bands, providing new empirical insight into the century-old question of how wing venation constrains wing patterns with seven or more bands.

No MeSH data available.


Watercolour illustrations showing two views of the same specimen, belonging to the species Moerarchis australasiella. Courtesy of Celia L. Curtis.
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RSOS161002F2: Watercolour illustrations showing two views of the same specimen, belonging to the species Moerarchis australasiella. Courtesy of Celia L. Curtis.

Mentions: Tineidae are not generally considered to be colourful, but Moerarchis is very charismatic (figure 2) and has been noted for its ‘striking’ wing patterns [21]. Moerarchis australasiella was even featured as adornment on the cover of Tineid Genera of Australia (Lepidoptera) [19] and is one of three insect species included in the logo of the Australian National Insect Collection. Moerarchis australasiella was also the first tineid species described from Australia [18]. The high intraspecific variation of wing pattern in Moerarchis provides an opportunity to explore the evolution of this character in microlepidoptera.Figure 2.


The wing pattern of Moerarchis Durrant, 1914 (Lepidoptera: Tineidae) clarifies transitions between predictive models
Watercolour illustrations showing two views of the same specimen, belonging to the species Moerarchis australasiella. Courtesy of Celia L. Curtis.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383847&req=5

RSOS161002F2: Watercolour illustrations showing two views of the same specimen, belonging to the species Moerarchis australasiella. Courtesy of Celia L. Curtis.
Mentions: Tineidae are not generally considered to be colourful, but Moerarchis is very charismatic (figure 2) and has been noted for its ‘striking’ wing patterns [21]. Moerarchis australasiella was even featured as adornment on the cover of Tineid Genera of Australia (Lepidoptera) [19] and is one of three insect species included in the logo of the Australian National Insect Collection. Moerarchis australasiella was also the first tineid species described from Australia [18]. The high intraspecific variation of wing pattern in Moerarchis provides an opportunity to explore the evolution of this character in microlepidoptera.Figure 2.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

The evolution of wing pattern in Lepidoptera is a popular area of inquiry but few studies have examined microlepidoptera, with fewer still focusing on intraspecific variation. The tineid genus Moerarchis Durrant, 1914 includes two species with high intraspecific variation of wing pattern. A subset of the specimens examined here provide, to my knowledge, the first examples of wing patterns that follow both the ‘alternating wing-margin’ and ‘uniform wing-margin’ models in different regions along the costa. These models can also be evaluated along the dorsum of Moerarchis, where a similar transition between the two models can be seen. Fusion of veins is shown not to effect wing pattern, in agreement with previous inferences that the plesiomorphic location of wing veins constrains the development of colour pattern. The significant correlation between wing length and number of wing pattern elements in Moerarchis australasiella shows that wing size can act as a major determinant of wing pattern complexity. Lastly, some M. australasiella specimens have wing patterns that conform entirely to the ‘uniform wing-margin’ model and contain more than six bands, providing new empirical insight into the century-old question of how wing venation constrains wing patterns with seven or more bands.

No MeSH data available.