Taxonomic heirarchy for Oklahoma Moths

Lepidoptera is the order of insects that includes moths and butterflies. There are about 180,000 known species within this order, the majority of which (90-95%) are moths. This huge number is broken up into 126 families and 46 superfamilies.

I thought it would be interesting to spend a little time looking at the taxonomical breakdown of our "Moths of Oklahoma" project. We have the most observations from the following superfamilies (bold) and families:

  • Noctuoidea (2514 observations; 318 species)
    • Erebidae (1259 observations; 131 species)
    • Noctuidae (1027 observations; 157 species)
  • Pyraloidea (948 observations; 139 species)
    • Crambidae (685 observations; 98 species)
    • Pyralidae (239 observations; 41 species)
  • Geometroidea (663 observations; 89 species)
    • Geometridae (661 observations; 88 species)
  • Bombycoidea (518 observations; 46 species)
    • Sphingidae (363 observations; 32 species)
    • Saturniidae (153 observations; 13 species)

A couple of quick notes:
  1. I pulled these numbers at the beginning of February 2019. They can and will change over time as more Oklahoma observations of Lepidoptera are submitted to iNaturalist.
  2. I am omitting a lot of superfamilies and families and only listing the most populous (those with more than 600 observations). For instance, we have Oklahoma observations in 6 families within the Noctuoidea superfamily, but I only listed the two with significant numbers.
  3. Something that I have gleaned after looking at all of these family and superfamily names is that superfamilies end in "-idea" while families end in "-idae."
I plan to do a separate post on each of the 7 families list above. Stay tuned for each of those posts!

Posted by zdufran zdufran, February 07, 2019 21:23


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