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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Panorpida
Cladus: Amphiesmenoptera
Ordo: Lepidoptera
Subordo: Glossata
Cladus: Coelolepida
Cladus: Myoglossata
Cladus: Neolepidoptera
Infraordo: Heteroneura
Cladus: Eulepidoptera
Cladus: Ditrysia
Cladus: Apoditrysia
Cladus: Obtectomera
Superfamilia: Mimallonoidea

Familia: Mimallonidae
Subfamiliae: Aurorianinae – Cicinninae – Druenticinae – Lacosominae – Meneviinae – Mimalloninae – Roelofinae – Zaphantinae
Overview of genera

AceclostriaAdalgisa – Aleyda – Alheita – Arcinnus – Arianula – Auroriana – Bedosia – Bedosiallo – Biterolfa – Cerradocinnus – Cicinnus – Citralla – Cunicumara – Druentica – Eadmuna – Euphaneta – Fatellalla – Gonogramma – Herbinalla – Isoscella – Lacosoma – Lepismalla – Lurama – Macessoga – Menevia – Micrallo – Mimallo – Naniteta – Pamea – Perophora – Procinnus – Psychocampa – Ptochopsyche – Reinmara – Roelmana – Roelofa – Tarema – Thaelia – Tolypida – Tostallo – Trogoptera – Ulaluma – Ulmara – Vanenga – Zaphanta

Mimallonidae Burmeister, 1878

Burmeister, H. 1878. Description physique de la République Argentine... Vol. 5: Lépidoptères (1). Paris & Buenos Aires, vi+524pp, 24 pls. BHL Reference page.
Herbin, D. 2012. Descriptions of a new genus and ten new species of Mimallonidae (Lepidoptera: Mimallonoidea). The European Entomologist 4(1): 1–31. full article (PDF). Reference page.
Herbin, D. & Mielke, C.G.C. 2014. Preliminary list of Mimallonidae from Feira Nova do Maranhão, Maranhão, northern Brazil with descriptions of some new species (Lepidoptera Heterocera Mimallonoidea). Antenor [[1]] 1(2): 130–152. Reference page.
Herbin, D. 2015. Description de nouvelles espèces d’Hétérocères de Guyane française avec notes taxinomiques (Lepidoptera Mimallonidae et Apatelodidae). Antenor 2(1): 81–105. Reference page.
Herbin, D. 2016. Description de nouveaux genres et de nouvelles espèces de Mimallonidae de Guyane française, complétée de notes taxinomiques. Antenor 3(2): 165–207. Reference page.
Herbin, D. 2019. Nouveaux Mimallonidae du Plateau des Guyanes (Lepidoptera Mimallonoidea). Antenor 6(1): 65–73. Reference page.
Herbin, D. & Monzón Sierra, J. 2020. Biodiversity in Guatemala: description of five new species of Mimallonidae (Lepidoptera Mimallonoidea). Antenor 7(1): 69-79. Reference page.
van Nieukerken, E.J., Kaila, L., Kitching, I.J., Kristensen, N.P., Lees, D.C., Minet, J., Mitter, C., Mutanen, M., Regier, J.C., Simonsen, T.J., Wahlberg, N., Yen, S-H., Zahiri, R., Adamski, D., Baixeras, J., Bartsch, D., Bengtsson, B.A., Brown, J.W., Bucheli, S.R., Davis, D.R., de Prins, J., de Prins, W., Epstein, M.C., Gentili-Poole, P., Gielis, C., Hättenschwiler, P., Hausmann, A., Holloway, J.D., Kallies, A., Karsholt, O., Kawahara, A.Y., Koster, S., Kozlov, M.V., Lafontaine, J.D., Lamas, G., Landry, J-F., Lee, S., Nuss, M., Park, K-T., Penz, C.M., Rota, J., Schintlmeister, A., Schmidt, B.C., Sohn, J-C., Solis, M.A., Tarmann, G.M., Warren, A.D., Weller, S., Yaklovlev, R.V., Zolotuhin, V.V. & Zwick, A. 2011. Order Lepidoptera Linnaeus, 1758. Pp 212–221 In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (ed.) 2011. Animal biodiversity: an outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa 3148: 1–237. Open access. Reference page. PDF. Reference page.
Pitkin, B. & P. Jenkins. Butterflies and Moths of the World: Generic Names and their Type-species. Natural History Museum.[2]
Schaus, W., 1928. Familie Mimallonidae. In: Seitz A (Ed.) Die GrossSchmetterlinge der Erde. 6. Die amerikanischen Spinner und Schwärmer: 635-672. BHL Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A. 2016. Revisions of the genera Lurama Schaus, 1928 and Ulmara Schaus, 1928 (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae) with the descriptions of three new Ulmara species and a new genus. ZooKeys 611: 57-92. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.611.9058. Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A., Giusti, A. & Herbin, D. 2017. Revision of the genus Biterolfa Schaus, 1928 (Mimallonoidea: Mimallonidae) with the descriptions of two new species. Tropical Lepidoptera Research 27(2): 86-95. full article (PDF). Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A. & Herbin, D. 2017. Revision of the genus Vanenga Schaus, 1928 (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae) with the description of a new species. ZooKeys 644: 89-104. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.644.10705. Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A., Herbin, D. & Mielke, C.G.C. 2017. Revision of the genus Tarema Schaus, 1896 (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae) with the description of a new species from southeastern Brazil. ZooKeys 646: 119-137. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.646.10897. Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A., Herbin, D. & Mielke, C.G.C. 2017. Revision of the genus Reinmara Schaus, 1928 (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae) with the descriptions of four new species from South America. ZooKeys 677: 97—129. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.12435. Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A., Hamilton, C.A. & Kawahara, A.Y. 2018. Museum specimens provide phylogenomic data to resolve relationships of sack‐bearer moths (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae). Systematic Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12301 Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A. & Kawahara, A.Y. 2019. Reclassification of the Sack-bearer Moths (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae). Zookeys, 815: 1–114. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.815.27335 Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A. & McCabe, T.L. 2017. The identity of Arhodia egenaria Walker, 1866 (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae) and a new synonym of Cicinnus melsheimeri (Harris, 1841). Zootaxa 4254(3): 379–381. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4254.3.7. Full article (PDF) Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A. & Mielke, C. 2016. Three new genera of Neotropical Mimallonidae (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae) with descriptions of three new species. ZooKeys 566: 117-143. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.566.7344. Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A. & Dombroskie, J. 2016. Revision of the genus Menevia Schaus, 1928 (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae) with the description of 11 new species. ZooKeys 566: 31-116. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.566.6982.Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A. & Carvalho, A.P.S. 2017. A New Genus of Andean Mimallonidae (Mimallonoidea), with the Descriptions of Four New Species Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 71(2):92-108. DOI: 10.18473/lepi.71i2.a4. Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A., Mielke, C.G., Herbin, D., Dexter, K.M. & Kawahara, A.Y. 2020. A new target capture phylogeny elucidates the systematics and evolution of wing coupling in sack-bearer moths. Systematic Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12421 Reference page.
St Laurent, R.A., Herbin, D. & Kawahara, A.Y. 2020. Revision of Roelofa Schaus, 1928 (Lepidoptera, Mimallonidae, Roelofinae) with a description of a new species. Zootaxa 4877(3): 505–538. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4877.3.6. Paywall. Reference page.

Mimallonidae Burmeister (mimallonids), sometimes known as "sack-bearer" moths for the larval case-building behavior, are a family of Lepidoptera containing over 300 named species in 43 genera.[1][2][3] These moths are found only in the New World, with most taxa occurring in the Neotropics.[4] Adult moths are externally similar to those belonging to some of the other Macroheterocera families Bombycoidea and Drepanoidea, and thus have been variously treated as belonging to either one of these or other superfamilies.[4][5]


Mimallonids are restricted to the New World, and are distributed in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean (specifically Cuba and The Bahamas).[2] The vast majority of genera and species are found in the tropical regions of the New World, with only five described species from the United States.[6][2]

Not much has been published on the natural history of adult Mimallonidae, though most species are thought to be nocturnal.[4] At least three species have diurnal males.[7][8] Young caterpillars live inside of folded leaves or beneath silken networks, and build portable or semi-portable cases out of silk, frass, and plant material as they grow.[4] The cases are open on either end and vary from irregular in structure to spindle-shaped.[4] The openings of the cases can be blocked by the head and/or the flattened anal plate of the last segment of the body.[4] The sack-like case-making behavior of the caterpillars have earned them the common name "sack-bearers".[9]

Mimallonidae larvae feed on several families of plants, including (but not limited to): Anacardiaceae, Clusiaceae, Combretaceae, Fagaceae, Melastomataceae, Myrtaceae and Rubiaceae.[4][10] Research at the Area de Conservación, Guanacaste, Costa Rica has resulted in the rearing of many species of Mimallonidae, including some from several additional families of plants.[10]
Systematics and evolution

The current consensus, especially in works based on phylogenetic results, consider Mimallonidae to be the sole family of Mimallonoidea.[5][11][12] Other phylogenetic studies of all major Lepidoptera lineages support the placement of Mimallonidae as sister to all Macroheterocera, but within the broader clade Obtectomera.[11][12] This phylogenetic placement means that mimallonid moths are not more closely related to any one family of Lepidoptera, but are equally related (share a common ancestor with) all members of the extremely diverse clade Macroheterocera.[11] Morphological features, particularly of the larvae, support the uniqueness of this family and distinctness from Macroheterocera.[4][9]

The systematic relationships with Mimallonidae have been subject to two revisions, resulting in two different classification schemes. William Schaus revised the family and named most of the genera, he then separated the genera into two subfamilies: Lacosominae and Mimalloninae.[13] These subfamilies were based on the presence (Lacosominae) or the absence (Mimalloninae) of the frenulum.[13] It was later realized that this character varies within genera, and thus was deemed a sympleisiomorphy.[4][14] Using molecular phylogenetics, specifically with the technique of anchored hybrid enrichment, the family was reorganized based on the recognition and naming of robustly supported clades, which were further strengthened with morphological apomorphies.[1][5] The clades which were robustly supported across all analyses were assigned subfamily status, resulting in recognition of seven subfamilies in Mimallonidae.[1][5] Using both molecular and morphological phylogenetics, all 42 genera (including some newly described ones) were assigned to the named clades.[1][2][5] The 300+ species of the family, too, have been formally classified according to their phylogenetic arrangement.[2]

Recently, many of the species formally placed in the genus Cicinnus have been transferred to Gonogramma, making Gonogramma one of the most diverse mimallonid genera.[1]
Subfamilies, tribes, and genera

Below are the named clades of Mimallonidae, with their constituent genera assigned to their subfamily and tribe (wherever applicable).[2]

Zaphanta Dyar, 1910
Roelofa Schaus, 1928
Cunicumara St Laurent, 2016
Menevia Schaus, 1928
Tolypida Schaus, 1928
Auroriana St Laurent and C. Mielke, 2016
Eadmuna Schaus, 1928
Macessoga Schaus, 1928
Mimallo Hübner, 1820
Mimallodes St Laurent and Becker, 2020
Tostallo St Laurent and C. Mielke, 2016
Adalgisa Schaus, 1928
Alheita Schaus, 1928
Arianula Herbin, 2012,
Fatellalla St Laurent and Kawahara, 2019
Herbinalla St Laurent and Kawahara, 2018
Tarema Schaus, 1896
Thaelia Herbin, 2016
Citralla St Laurent and Kawahara, 2019
Lacosoma Grote, 1864
Vanenga Schaus, 1928
Reinmara Schaus, 1928
Trogoptera Herrich-Schäffer, [1856]
Druentica Strand, 1932
Lepismalla St Laurent and Kawahara, 2019
Micrallo St Laurent and C. Mielke, 2016
Pamea Walker, 1855
Procinnus Herbin, 2016
Ulaluma St Laurent and Kawahara, 2018
Lurama Schaus, 1928
Ulmara Schaus, 1928
Bedosia Schaus, 1928
Bedosiallo St Laurent and Kawahara, 2018
Aceclostria Vuillot, 1893
Aleyda Schaus, 1928
Arcinnus Herbin, 2016
Cicinnus Blanchard, 1852
Cerradocinnus St Laurent, MIelke, and Kawahara, 2020
Gonogramma Boisduval, 1872
Euphaneta Schaus, 1928
Isoscella St Laurent and Carvalho, 2017
Roelmana Schaus, 1928
Biterolfa Schaus, 1928
Psychocampa Grote and Robinson, 1867

Importance to humans

Mimallonidae have been reported as pests of some economically significant crops. In Surinam, Mimallo amilia has been noted as a pest of guava (Psidium gaujava).[15] In Brazil, M. amilia is a known pest of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus urophylla) and Psychocampa callipius a pest of cashew (Anacardium occidentale).[16][17]

In addition to some Mimallonidae species being regarded as pests, others have been considered as potential biological controls of invasive plants. Species belonging to the genus Druentica have been considered as potential control agents of Miconia calvescens (where it is invasive throughout the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii and Australia) and Clidemia hirta in Hawaii.[18][19][20] Aceclostria mus has been evaluated as a potential control agent of the Brazilian pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius) in the United States.[21]

St Laurent, Ryan A.; Mielke, Carlos G. C.; Herbin, Daniel; Dexter, Kelly M.; Kawahara, Akito Y. (2020). "A new target capture phylogeny elucidates the systematics and evolution of wing coupling in sack-bearer moths". Systematic Entomology. 45 (3): 653–669. doi:10.1111/syen.12421. ISSN 1365-3113.
St Laurent, Ryan A.; Kawahara, Akito Y. (2019-01-10). "Reclassification of the Sack-bearer Moths (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae)". ZooKeys (815): 1–114. doi:10.3897/zookeys.815.27335. ISSN 1313-2970. PMC 6336762. PMID 30670925.
St Laurent, Ryan A.; Becker, Vitor O. (2020). "A New Genus and Species of Mimalloninae (Lepidoptera: Mimallonidae), with Updated Distributional and Phenological Data for Tostallo albescens (Jones)". Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 122 (1): 172–183. doi:10.4289/0013-8797.122.1.172. ISSN 0013-8797. S2CID 211228448.
Lemaire, Claude; Minet, Joël (1998). "18. The Bombycoidea and their Relatives.". In Kristensen, Niels P. (ed.). Band 4: Arthropoda, 2 Hälfte: Insecta, Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies, Teilband/Part 35 Vol 1: Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 322–353. ISBN 978-3-11-080474-4.
St Laurent, Ryan A.; Hamilton, Chris A.; Kawahara, Akito Y. (2018). "Museum specimens provide phylogenomic data to resolve relationships of sack-bearer moths (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea, Mimallonidae)". Systematic Entomology. 43 (4): 729–761. doi:10.1111/syen.12301. ISSN 1365-3113.
St Laurent, Ryan A.; Reeves, Lawrence E.; Kawahara, Akito Y. (2020-04-30). "Cicinnus chambersi: a new species of sack-bearer moth (Lepidoptera, Mimallonidae, Cicinninae) from southeastern Arizona, USA". ZooKeys (931): 49–71. doi:10.3897/zookeys.931.50203. ISSN 1313-2970. PMC 7205858. PMID 32405241.
St Laurent, Ryan A; Carvalho, Ana Paula S. (2017). "Report of Diurnal Activity in Mimallonoidea with Notes on the Sexual Behavior of Lacosoma chiridota Grote, 1864". The Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. 71 (1): 12–15. doi:10.18473/lepi.v71i1.a3. ISSN 0024-0966. S2CID 89990990.
St Laurent, Ryan A.; Carvalho, Ana Paula S.; Kawahara, Akito Y. (2019-03-01). "Two New Species of Psychocampa and a Possible Case of Visual Mimicry in the Sack-Bearer Moths (Lepidoptera: Mimallonoidea)". Insect Systematics and Diversity. 3 (2). doi:10.1093/isd/ixz003.
Stehr, F. W. (1987). "Mimallonidae (Mimallonoidea)". In Stehr, F. W. (ed.). Immature Insects. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing. pp. 508–509.
Janzen, Daniel H.; Hallwachs, Winnie. "Dynamic database for an inventory of the macrocaterpillar fauna, and its food plants and parasitoids, of Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica". Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
Bazinet, Adam L.; Cummings, Michael P.; Mitter, Kim T.; Mitter, Charles W. (2013-12-04). "Can RNA-Seq Resolve the Rapid Radiation of Advanced Moths and Butterflies (Hexapoda: Lepidoptera: Apoditrysia)? An Exploratory Study". PLOS ONE. 8 (12): e82615. Bibcode:2013PLoSO...882615B. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082615. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3853519. PMID 24324810.
Kawahara, Akito Y.; Breinholt, Jesse W. (2014). "Phylogenomics provides strong evidence for relationships of butterflies and moths". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 281 (1788): 20140970. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0970. PMC 4083801. PMID 24966318.
Schaus, William (1928). "Familie Mimallonidae". In Seitz, Adalbert (ed.). Die amerikanischen Spinner und Schwärmer, Bd 6: Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde. Stuttgart: A. Kernen. pp. 635–672.
Pearson, H. R. (1951). "Contribuição ao conhecimento do gênero "Mimallo" Huebner, 1920 (Lepidoptera, Mimallonidae)". Revista Brasileira de Biologia. 11: 315–332.
Van Dinther, J. B. M. (1960). "Insect pests of cultivated plants in surinam". Bulletin Agriculture Experimental Station Suriname. 76: 1–159.
Zanuncio, Teresinha Vinha; Zanuncio, José Cola; Zanuncio Junior, José Salazar; Zanuncio Junior, José Salazar; Santos, Germini Porto; do Carmo Queiroz Fialho, Maria; Bernardino, Aline Sales (2005). "Aspectos biológicos e morfológicos de Mimallo amilia (Lepidoptera: Mimallonidae) em folhas de Eucalyptus urophylla". Revista Árvore (in Portuguese). 29 (2): 321–326. doi:10.1590/S0100-67622005000200015. ISSN 0100-6762.
Mesquita, A. L. M.; Fancelli, M.; Sobrinho, R. B. (2010). "Importância, comportamento e sugestões de manejo da lagarta-saia-justa em cultivo orgânico de cajueiro-anão". Essentia. 11: 57–64.
St Laurent, Ryan A.; Cock, Matthew J. W. (2017). "Annotated list of Mimallonidae (Lepidoptera, Mimallonoidea) from Trinidad and Tobago, with the description of a new species of Cicinnus Blanchard, 1852 and taxonomic notes". Zootaxa. 4268 (1): 053–070. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4268.1.3. PMID 28610382.
Morais, Elisangela G. F.; Picanço, Marcelo C; Semeão, Altair A.; Barreto, Robert W.; Rosada, Jander F.; Martins, Julio C. (2012). "Lepidopterans as potential agents for the biological control of the invasive plant, Miconia calvescens". Journal of Insect Science. 12 (1): 63. doi:10.1673/031.012.6301. PMC 3481469. PMID 22938203.
Nakahara, L. M.; Burkhart, R. M.; Funasaki, G. Y. (1992). "Review and status of biological control of Clidemia in Hawaii" (PDF). In Stone, C. P.; Smith, Clifford W.; Tunison, J. Timothy (eds.). Alien Plant Invasions in Native Ecosystems of Hawai'i: Management and Research. Honolulu: Cooperative National Park Resource Study Unit, University of Hawai'i Press. pp. 452–465.

Mc Kay, Fernando; Oleiro, Marina; Walsh, Guillermo Cabrera; Gandolfo, Daniel; Cuda, James P.; Wheeler, Gregory S. (2009). "Natural Enemies of Brazilian Peppertree (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae) from Argentina: Their Possible Use for Biological Control in the USA". Florida Entomologist. 92 (2): 292–304. doi:10.1653/024.092.0213. ISSN 0015-4040.


Firefly Encyclopedia of Insects and Spiders, edited by Christopher O'Toole, ISBN 1-55297-612-2, 2002
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