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      Multivariate indices as estimates of dry body weight for comparative study of body size in Lepidoptera

      Nota Lepidopterologica

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Comparative studies on the size of adult Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) frequently rely on single linear estimates of body size, namely of forewing length or wingspan. As the shape of the wings of these insects – in fact, of all body parts – differs from one taxon to another, such estimates of body mass may not be adequate for comparisons across a wide taxonomic range. Using the length and width of the forewing, thorax and abdomen, as well as the wing area of 375 species and their correlations with dry body weight, several composite indices were determined that might be used in different circumstances. As the coefficients of determination from the multivariate regression models were rather high (R2>0.96), the results are believed to be reliable. A critical re-evaluation of the results indicates that important variations in the regression slopes described here would be expected, if at all, only from species with unusual body shapes. Incidentally, the bivariate relationships are in agreement with former comparative work on Lepidoptera and other terrestrial insects in that the relationship between body weight and single linear measurements follows a slightly negatively allometric trend, implying comparatively lighter bodies at the largest body sizes and relatively heavier ones at the shortest body sizes.

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          Most cited references 30

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          A taxonomic distinctness index and its statistical properties

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            A Large-Scale, Higher-Level, Molecular Phylogenetic Study of the Insect Order Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies)

            Background Higher-level relationships within the Lepidoptera, and particularly within the species-rich subclade Ditrysia, are generally not well understood, although recent studies have yielded progress. We present the most comprehensive molecular analysis of lepidopteran phylogeny to date, focusing on relationships among superfamilies. Methodology / Principal Findings 483 taxa spanning 115 of 124 families were sampled for 19 protein-coding nuclear genes, from which maximum likelihood tree estimates and bootstrap percentages were obtained using GARLI. Assessment of heuristic search effectiveness showed that better trees and higher bootstrap percentages probably remain to be discovered even after 1000 or more search replicates, but further search proved impractical even with grid computing. Other analyses explored the effects of sampling nonsynonymous change only versus partitioned and unpartitioned total nucleotide change; deletion of rogue taxa; and compositional heterogeneity. Relationships among the non-ditrysian lineages previously inferred from morphology were largely confirmed, plus some new ones, with strong support. Robust support was also found for divergences among non-apoditrysian lineages of Ditrysia, but only rarely so within Apoditrysia. Paraphyly for Tineoidea is strongly supported by analysis of nonsynonymous-only signal; conflicting, strong support for tineoid monophyly when synonymous signal was added back is shown to result from compositional heterogeneity. Conclusions / Significance Support for among-superfamily relationships outside the Apoditrysia is now generally strong. Comparable support is mostly lacking within Apoditrysia, but dramatically increased bootstrap percentages for some nodes after rogue taxon removal, and concordance with other evidence, strongly suggest that our picture of apoditrysian phylogeny is approximately correct. This study highlights the challenge of finding optimal topologies when analyzing hundreds of taxa. It also shows that some nodes get strong support only when analysis is restricted to nonsynonymous change, while total change is necessary for strong support of others. Thus, multiple types of analyses will be necessary to fully resolve lepidopteran phylogeny.
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              The Allometry of Growth and Reproduction

               Michael Reiss (2009)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nota Lepidopterologica
                NL
                Pensoft Publishers
                2367-5365
                0342-7536
                April 30 2015
                April 30 2015
                : 38
                : 1
                : 59-74
                Article
                10.3897/nl.38.8957
                © 2015
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