Fine Art

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: Papilionoidea

Familia: Hedylidae
Genus: Macrosoma

Hedylidae Guenée, 1857: 521.

Guenée, A. In Boisduval, J.A.B. & Guenée, A. 1857. Histoire naturelle des insectes. Spécies général des Lépidoptères. X. Uranides et Phalénites. Tome II. 10: 1–584. BHL Reference page.
Scoble, M.J., 1990: A catalogue of the Hedylidae (Lepidoptera: Hedyloidea), with descriptions of two new species. Insect Systematics & Evolution 21 (2): 113–119. DOI: 10.1163/187631290X00094.
Scoble, M.J., 1990: An identification guide to the Hedylidae (Lepidoptera: Hedyloidea). Insect Systematics & Evolution 21 (2): 121–158. Abstract: DOI: 10.1163/187631290X00102.
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.
Heikkilä, M., Kaila, L., Mutanen, M., Peña, C. & Wahlberg, N. 2011. Cretaceous origin and repeated tertiary diversification of the redefined butterflies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279(1731): 1093–1099. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1430 Open access. Reference page.
Espeland, M., Breinholt, J.W., Willmott, K.R., Warren, A.D., Vila, R., Toussaint, E.F.A., Maunsell, S.C., Aduse-Poku, K., Talavera, G., Eastwood, R., Jarzyna, M.A., Guralnick, R., Lohman, D.J., Pierce, N.E. & Kawahara, A.Y. 2018. A Comprehensive and Dated Phylogenomic Analysis of Butterflies. Current Biology 28(5): 770–778. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.061 Reference page.

Vernacular names
中文: 喜蝶科

Hedylidae, the "American moth-butterflies", is a family of insects in the order Lepidoptera, representing the superfamily Hedyloidea. They have traditionally been viewed as an extant sister group of the butterfly superfamily Papilionoidea. In 1986, Scoble combined all species into a single genus Macrosoma, comprising 35 currently recognized and entirely Neotropical species, as a novel concept of butterflies.[1]

Taxonomy and systematics

Hedylidae were previously treated as a tribe of Geometridae: Oenochrominae, the "Hedylicae".[1][2] Prout[3] considered they might even merit treatment as their own family. Scoble first considered them to be a hitherto unrecognised group of butterflies and also suggested Hedylidae might possibly constitute the sister group of the "true" butterflies (Papilionoidea), rather than of (Hesperioidea + Papilionoidea). Weintraub and Miller[4] argued against this placement (but see[5]). In 1995, Weller and Pashley[6] found that molecular data did indeed place Hedylidae with the butterflies and a more comprehensive study in 2005[7] based on 57 exemplar taxa, three genes and 99 morphological characters, recovered the genus Macrosoma as sister to the ("Papilionoidea" + Hesperioidea). However, the most recent phylogenetic analyses shows that skippers are true butterflies and therefore within the clade Papilionoidea, whereas the hedylids are a sister group that may be closely related to the obtectomeran moths.[8] This is contrary to some earlier studies that had shown both the skippers and hedylids as being nested within the Papilionoidea.[9][10]

Since there are no obvious gaps between supposed species groups, according to basic morphological structure, Scoble (1986) synonymised the five pre-existing genera of Hedylidae (33 of which had been described in Phellinodes) into just one genus. However, a phylogenetic analysis of all Macrosoma species is still needed.
Nomenclatural notes

In zoological nomenclature, numerous junior homonyms of Macrosoma (Hübner, 1818) exist,[11] (Macrosoma Leach 1819 (a reptile), Macrosoma de Haan 1826 (Odonata), Macrosoma Robineau-Desvoidy 1830 (Macrosoma multisulcata Berlese 1913 and M. floralis, Diptera: Muscidae), Macrosoma Brandt 1835 (Coelenterata), Macrosoma Hope 1837 (Coleoptera), Macrosoma Lioy 1864 or 1865 (Diptera: Sarcophagidae), Macrosoma Hammer 1979[12] (M.rugosa; Acarina: Oribatidae). To add to this potential confusion in lists of names, there exist two junior homonyms of Hedyle Guenée, 1857: Hedyle Bergh, 1895 (sea slugs in the order Opisthobranchia: superfamily "Acochlidioidea", family Hedylopsidae Odhner, 1952[13] that are currently placed in the genus Hedylopsis Thiele, 1931),[14] and Hedyle Malmgren 1865 (a polychaete worm).[15] The sea slug family name "Hedylidae Bergh, 1895" (type species Hedyle weberi Bergh, 1895) is thus also invalid.
Morphology and identification

The eggs of hedylid moths have an upright configuration and are variable in shape: in Macrosoma inermis they are particularly narrow and spindle-shaped,[16] resembling those of some Pieridae, and in the case of M. tipulata they are more barrel-shaped,[17] like certain Nymphalidae. The larvae resemble (probably convergently) those of Apaturinae.[16] Adult hedylids resemble geometer moths. They share many morphological and genetic characteristics with both the superfamilies Papilionoidea and the Hesperioidea. The abdomen is very long and slim, like many Neotropical butterflies of the subfamilies Ithomiinae and Heliconiinae, hence the name of one Macrosoma species "heliconiaria". Unlike other butterflies, however, the antennae are un-clubbed, but rather filiform or bipectinate.[18] Unlike the family Geometridae, in which they had been placed by the geometer expert L.B.Prout, hedylids lack tympanic organs at the base of the abdomen, but have them on the wings (see under Behaviour). Unlike other butterflies, however (except the unique case of the remarkable Australian skipper butterfly Euschemon rafflesia, whose males possess these structures), the single-spined frenulum and retinaculum are not lost or reduced in males, except in three Macrosoma species where there is no functional wing coupling system. The retinaculum is always lost in females, and the frenulum may be vestigial.[1] The family have been fully catalogued[16] and illustrated in an identification guide.[19]
Butterfly-like characteristics of Hedylidae

"Mesoscutum" with "secondary line of weakness" near median "notal" wing process,[20] as in some representatives of Papilionidea and Hesperioidea (potentially unique butterfly character;[21]
Mesothoracic aorta with horizontal chamber, as in other butterflies (not Papilionidae), but as also in Cossidae;[18][21]
Metathoracic "furca" resembling a blunt arrowhead;[1] this a variable but potentially unique character in butterflies;[21]
Second median plate of forewing base lying partly under the base of vein "1A+2A", unlike the configuration in moths;[1]
"Postspiracular bar" on first abdominal segment;[1]
Female genitalic "anterior apophyses" reduced;[1]
Male genitalia relatively "deep" dorso-ventrally;[1]
Abdomen curved (especially in males), as in papilionoids;[1]
Abdominal first tergal segment is strongly "pouched" (Scoble 1986; as also in Thyatirinae moths;[21]
"Precoxal" sulcus joining "marginopleural" sulcus;[1]
Male Foreleg pretarsus lost, thus fused into two elements[22] as in nymphalid butterflies, with the mid and hindlegs used for perching, but apparently redeveloped in hesperiids;[1]
Egg upright, spindle-shaped and ribbed[23] as in some Pieridae (e.g. the orange tip butterfly), some other butterflies, and as in some moth groups also;[21]
Larva with "anal comb",[24] as in some Hesperioidea (not however Megathyminae) and Pieridae, but not in other Papilionoidea except one species (and also independently in Tortricidae), that is used for propulsion of frass away from the caterpillar;[21]
Caterpillar with horn-like processes and a "bifid" tail as in many Nymphalidae;[23][25]
Caterpillar with "secondary setae", as in Pieridae;[23]
Ventral larval proleg "crochet" hooks not forming a complete circle, unlike configuration in hesperiids and papilionoids;[1]
Pupa affixed to the substrate via a silken girdle around the 1st abdominal segment,[26][27] like in Pieridae (as also in some Geometridae, especially the subfamily Sterrhinae (in which the girdle is around the abdomen), but lost in many Papilionoidea);[1]
Pupal cocoon lost, as in papilionoids, and a few other groups of Lepidoptera;[1]
"Temporal cleavage line" lost in the pupa (as in papilionoids).[1]


Hedylidae range in North America south from central Mexico and in South America through the Amazon from southern Peru (where there are a full 26 species,[28] up to 12 at a single site:[29] to central Bolivia and southwestern Brazil[19]). In the Caribbean, they also occur in Cuba, Jamaica, and Trinidad.[19][29]

Hedylids are attracted to artificial lights, but occasionally some species can be found flying by day.[30] Thus, they may be involved in some mimicry complexes with Ithomiinae (e.g. the female only of Macrosoma lucivittata).[31] A few species are white[32] and resemble pierid butterflies (e.g. Macrosoma napiaria). Based on a study of Macrosoma heliconiaria, it has been found that hedylids have tympanic organs on their forewings for hearing[33] apparently homologous to the "Vogel's organ" in some Papilionoidea[34] that would help them evade bats at night. They have been shown to exhibit typical moth evasive behaviour towards bats such as erratic spiralling movements and dives.[35] The resting posture is often at a curious angle,[36] with the thorax tilted and the posterior edge of the hindwings nearly touching the substrate (Scoble, 1986). The larvae which lack the prominent horns in the first instar tend to rest on the midrib of the leaf and often skeletonise leaves or at either side produce an untidy patchwork of holes.[37] The elegant pupa is attached by a cremaster and silken girdle[38] and sometimes resembles a bird dropping.[39]
List of species

This list of species is largely based on phenetic characters.[16][19]

Macrosoma albida
Macrosoma albifascia
Macrosoma albimacula
Macrosoma albipannosa
Macrosoma albistria
Macrosoma amaculata
Macrosoma bahiata
Macrosoma cascaria
Macrosoma conifera
Macrosoma coscoja
Macrosoma costilunata
Macrosoma hedylaria
Macrosoma heliconiaria
Macrosoma hyacinthina
Macrosoma intermedia
Macrosoma klagesi
Macrosoma lamellifera
Macrosoma leptosiata
Macrosoma leucophasiata
Macrosoma leucoplethes
Macrosoma lucivittata
Macrosoma minutipuncta
Macrosoma muscerdata
Macrosoma napiaria
Macrosoma nigrimacula
Macrosoma paularia
Macrosoma pectinogyna
Macrosoma rubedinaria
Macrosoma satellitiata
Macrosoma semiermis
Macrosoma stabilinota
Macrosoma subornata
Macrosoma tipulata
Macrosoma uniformis
Macrosoma ustrinaria

Biology and host plants

The life history of Macrosoma heliconiaria was originally described from plants of Byttneria aculeata in Mexico.[30] This was a historical breakthrough into the biology of hedylids. In this study, Kendall commented notably "I thought the larvae might represent a satyr species, but when the first larva pupated I was sure it was a pierid. The first adult emerged as a complete surprise. The secured by girdle and cremaster, not unlike a pierid". Macrosoma cascaria was later also reared on this plant in Panama.[23] More life histories are now known. From these data, known host plants span a wide range of (according to the APG II system) rosid dicotyledonous plants, including the rosid order Myrtales family Melastomataceae (genera Miconia, Conostegia, and Ossaea), the eurosid I order Malpighiales, families Euphorbiaceae (Croton), and Malpighiaceae (Byrsonima), the eurosid II orders Sapindales, family Rutaceae (Zanthoxylum) and more commonly[40] Malvales, family Malvaceae, tribes: Bombacoideae (Ochroma), Malvoideae (Hampea and also Hibiscus,[19] Byttnerioideae (Byttneria aculeata, Theobroma) and Grewioideae (Luehea). The "green lizard caterpillar" Macrosoma tipulata[41] attacks an economically important local fruit tree "Cupuaçu" (Theobroma grandiflorum) in Brazil and can defoliate saplings; the biology of this species has been studied and illustrated in some detail.[17] The larva of this species lives about 15 days in 5 instars, the pupal stage lasts about 7 days and the adult lives about 10 days. M. tipulata and many other species can be found as adults through most of the year.[19]
DNA sequences

A few species have been sequenced for the mitochondrial genes "cytochrome oxidase I", and "ND1" and nuclear genes "Wingless" and "Ef-1?",[42] including Macrosoma semiermis. Some species are currently being barcoded.[43]
Cited literature

Scoble MJ (1986). "The structure and affinities of the Hedyloidea: a new concept of the butterflies". Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 53: 251–286.
Prout LB (1910). "Lepidoptera Heterocera, Fam. Geometridae, Subfam. Oenochrominae". Genera Insectorum. 104: 1–119.
Prout LB (1931). "The American Geometridae". The Macrolepidoptera of the World. 8: 1–144.
Weintraub JD, Miller JS (1987). "The structure and affinities of the Hedyloidea: a new concept of butterflies". Cladistics. 3 (3): 299–304. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.1987.tb00512.x. S2CID 221574665.
Scoble, Malcolm J. (1988). "Hedylidae: a response to Weintraub and Miller". Cladistics. 4 (1): 93–6. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.1988.tb00470.x. PMID 34933497. S2CID 85579049.
Weller SJ, Pashley DP (September 1995). "In search of butterfly origins". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 4 (3): 235–46. doi:10.1006/mpev.1995.1022. PMID 8845961.
Wahlberg N, Braby MF, Brower AV, et al. (August 2005). "Synergistic effects of combining morphological and molecular data in resolving the phylogeny of butterflies and skippers". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 272 (1572): 1577–86. doi:10.1098/rspb.2005.3124. PMC 1560179. PMID 16048773.
Heikkilä, Maria; Mutanen, Marko; Wahlberg, Niklas; Sihvonen, Pasi; Kaila, Lauri (2015). "Elusive ditrysian phylogeny: An account of combining systematized morphology with molecular data (Lepidoptera)". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 15: 260. doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0520-0. PMC 4654798. PMID 26589618.
Heikkila, M.; Kaila, L.; Mutanen, M.; Pena, C.; Wahlberg, N. (2011). "Cretaceous origin and repeated tertiary diversification of the redefined butterflies". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 279 (1731): 1093–1099. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.1430. PMC 3267136. PMID 21920981.
Kawahara, A. Y.; Breinholt, J. W. (2014). "Phylogenomics provides strong evidence for relationships of butterflies and moths". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 281 (1788): 20140970. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0970. PMC 4083801. PMID 24966318.
"Synonymy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2007-04-15.
Hammer, M. (1979). Investigations on the oribatid fauna of Java. K. Dan. Vidensk. Selsk. Biol. Skr., 22(9): 34.
"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2020-01-11.
"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-03-31. Retrieved 2007-04-15.
"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2007-04-15.
Scoble, M.J. (1990a). A catalogue of the Hedylidae (Lepidoptera: Hedyloidea), with descriptions of two new species. Entomologica Scandinavica, 21: 113-119.
Lourido, G., Silva, N.M., Motta, C.S. 2007. Biological Parameters and Damage by Macrosoma tipulata Hübner (Lepidoptera: Hedylidae), in Cupuaçu tree [Theobroma grandiflorum (Wild ex Spreng Schum)] in Amazonas, Brazil. Neotropical Entomology, 36(1):102-106.
Scoble, M.J. (1995). The Lepidoptera: Form, Function and Diversity. The Natural History Museum and Oxford University Press, London.
Scoble, M.J. (1990b). An identification guide to the Hedylidae (Lepidoptera: Hedyloidea). Entomologica Scandinavica, 21: 121-158.
Minet, J. (1991). Tentative reconstruction of the ditrysian phylogeny (Lepidoptera: Glossata). Entomologica Scandinavica, 22: 69-95.
de Jong, R., Vane_Wright, R.I. and Ackery, P.R. 1996. The higher classification of butterflies (Lepidoptera): problems and prospects. Entomologica Scandinavica, 27: 65-102.
Ackery, P.R., de Jong, R and Vane-Wright, R.I. (1999). The Butterflies: Hedyloidea, Hesperioidea and Papilionoidae. Pp. 263-300 in Kristensen, N.P. (Ed.). Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies. Volume 1: Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography. Volume IV/Part 35: 491 pp. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York.
Scoble, M.J., Aiello, A. (1990). Moth-like butterflies (Hedylidae: Lepidoptera): a summary, with comments on the egg. Journal of Natural History, 24(1): 159-164.
Scoble, M.J., 1992. Guía de las Mariposas Hedílidas de Costa Rica (Lepidoptera: Hedylidae). In: Guía de Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, 1: v, 30 pp, + 61 figs.
Image of bifid tail
Image of 1st abdominal segment
Image of 1st abdominal segment
Lamas, G. and Grados, J. (1998). Sinopsis de los Hedylidae (Lepidoptera) del Perú. Revista Peruviana Entomologia, 40: 107-109.
Grados, J. (1998). Pp 119-120 in Alonso, A. and F. Dallmeier (eds). Biodiversity Assessment of the Lower Urubamba Region, Peru: Cashiriari-3 Well Site and the Camisea and Urubamba Rivers. SI/MAB Series #2. Smithsonian Institution/MAB Biodiversity Program, Washington, DC.
Kendall, R.O., (1976). Larval foodplants and life history notes for eight moths from Texas and Mexico. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 30(4): 264-271.
Beccaloni, G.W. (1997). Ecology, natural history and behaviour of ithomiine butterflies and their mimics in Ecuador (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Ithomiinae). Tropical Lepidoptera, 8(2): 103-124.
A white species of Macrosoma
Organ of hearing
Rydell, J., Kaerma, S., Hedelin, H. and Skals, N. (2004). Evasive response to ultrasound by the crepuscular butterfly Manataria maculata. Naturwissenschaften, 90(2): 80-83.
Yack, J.E. and Fullard, J.H. (1999). Ultrasonic hearing in nocturnal butterflies. Nature, 403: 265-266.
"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-04-07.[bare URL image file][bare URL image file][bare URL image file]
Janz, N. and Nylin, S. (1998). Butterflies and Plants: A Phylogenetic Study. Evolution, 52(2): 486-502.
Image of Macrosoma tipulata
Nucleotide sequences

DNA Barcodes for Macrosoma


Scoble, M.J. (1986). The structure and affinities of the Hedyloidea: a new concept of the butterflies. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Entomology Series, 53: 251-286.

Insects, Fine Art Prints

Insects Images

Biology Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Home - Hellenica World