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Official Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa
1997, Metamorphosis Volume 8, Issue 6: 142 - 155
Publication Date : 1997-12-31
Author/s : Rolf G. Oberprieler

Title :

Classification of the African Saturniidae (Lepidoptera) - the quest for natural groups and relationships

Abstract :

The development of the higher classification of the African Saturniidae is reviewed, concluding that the current system, which dates back to Bouvier (1936), is typologically orientated and largely obscures the indicated natural, phylogenetic relationships of this fauna. The five major groups of these moths, viz. Micragonini, Urotini, Bunaeini, Saturniini and Attacini, are briefly discussed, rectifying several nomenclatural errors (such as the homonymy and synonymy of Ludiini and Pseudapheliini auctt.), giving some diagnostic characters of possible phylogenetic significance and commenting on the composition of these groups. It is concluded that a natural classification of the African Saturniidae is only possible by conducting a careful and thorough phylogenetic analysis of all features, especially of preimaginal characters, which were largely ignored in the past, and also of genetic and molecular aspects.

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