Phylogeny and Classification

Fossil Amphiesmenoptera (the stem group from which the Lepidoptera and its sister group Trichoptera evolved) are known from the Permian period. A variety of wing fragments from the Middle and Upper Jurassic, initially claimed to be those of early Lepidoptera, remain controversial, and the earliest undisputed members of the order (Archaeolepis mane and Eolepidopterix jurassica) are from the Lower and Upper Jurassic, respectively (Whalley, 1986). These early forms presumably fed on pollen and spores as adults and perhaps mosses in the caterpillar stage, much as do the living Micropterigidae. Though the ingestion of fluids, including plant exudates and nectar, cannot be ruled out, there is no indication that these early forms had a proboscis. Indeed, the earliest haustellate (proboscis-bearing) fossils do not appear until the Late Cretaceous. Central to early discussions on the evolution of the order were the Micropterigidae, which possess a combination of lepidopteran, trichopteran, mecopteran, and specialized features. According to the relative significance with which earlier authors viewed these characters, the family was placed in the Lepidoptera, Trichoptera, or in its own order Zeugloptera. More recent analyses (most notably that of Kristensen, 1984) have confirmed that the Micropterigidae are archaic Lepidoptera, though sufficiently distinct from other members of the order as to warrant separate subordinal status. The Lepidoptera appear to have remained a small group until the Cretaceous, when they underwent a remarkable radiation in conjunction with the evolution of flowering plants. Many fossils, frequently assignable to extant families and including scales, eggs, and larval fragments, are known from this period.

Historically, a variety of systems have been suggested for classifying Lepidoptera, for example, division of the group on the basis of butterflies (Rhopalocera) and moths (Heterocera), size (Macrolepidoptera and Microlepidoptera), and wing-coupling mechanism (Jugatae and Frenatae), all of which were unnatural. The system adopted here is that of Nielsen and Common (1991), which is slightly modified from the versions presented by Kristensen (1984) and Nielsen (1989). Four suborders are recognized: Zeugloptera, Aglossata, Heterobathmiina, and Glossata, the latter (proboscis-bearing forms) including more than 99% of all Lepidoptera and being divided into several infraorders. A proposed phylogeny of the order is shown in Figure 9.25.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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