Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory

Creating a taxonomic e-science

A global food plant dataset for wild silkmoths and hawkmoths and its use in documenting polyphagy of their caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Bombycoidea: Saturniidae, Sphingidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2020
Authors:L. Ballesteros-Mejia, Arnal, P., Hallwachs, W., Haxaire, J., Janzen, D., Kitching, I. J., Rougerie, R.
Keywords:COSTA RICA, DATABASE, ECOLOGY, FOODPLANT, HERBIVORY, LIFE HISTORY, POLYPHAGY, SATURNIIDAE, SPHINGIDAE, TRAITS
Abstract:

"Background

Herbivorous insects represent a major fraction of global biodiversity and the relationships they have established with their food plants range from strict specialists to broad generalists. Our knowledge of these relationships is of primary importance to basic (e.g. the study of insect ecology and evolution) and applied biology (e.g. monitoring of pest or invasive species) and yet remains very fragmentary and understudied. In Lepidoptera caterpillars of families Saturniidae and Sphingidae are rather well known and considered to have adopted contrasting preferences in their use of food plants. The former are regarded as being rather generalist feeders, whereas the latter are more specialist.

New information

To assemble and synthesise the vast amount of existing data on food plants of Lepidoptera families Saturniidae and Sphingidae, we combined three major existing databases to produce a dataset collating more than 26,000 records for 1256 species (25% of all species) in 121 (67%) and 167 (81%) genera of Saturniidae and Sphingidae, respectively. This dataset is used here to document the level of polyphagy of each of these genera using summary statistics, as well as the calculation of a polyphagy score derived from the analysis of Phylogenetic Diversity of the food plants used by the species in each genus."

URL:https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.8.e60027
DOI:10.3897/BDJ.8.e60027
Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith