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Superregnum: Eukaryota
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
Cladus: Macroheterocera
Superfamilia: Noctuoidea
Familiae (6): ErebidaeEuteliidaeNoctuidaeNolidaeNotodontidaeOenosandridae


Noctuoidea Latreille, 1809.

Notodontoidea Stephens, 1829

Primary references

Latreille, P.A. 1809. Genera crustaceorum et insectorum secundum ordinem naturalem in familias disposita, iconibus exemplisque plurimis explicata. Tomus quartus et ultimus. Parisiis: A. Koenig, 399 pp. BHL Reference page.

Additional references

Fibiger, M. & Hacker, H.H. 2005. Systematic List of the Noctuoidea of Europe (Notodontidae, Nolidae, Arctiidae, Lymantriidae, Erebidae, Micronoctuidae, and Noctuidae). Esperiana 11: 93–205. ISBN 3-938249-01-3. Reference page.
Fibiger, M.; Lafontaine, J.D. 2005: A review of the higher classification of the Noctuoidea (Lepidoptera) with special reference to the Holarctic fauna. Esperiana, 11: 7–92.
Kühne, L., 2010: Taxonomische Ergebnisse der bearbeitung der nachtfalterfauna des südlichen Afrikas (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea). Esperiana Memoir 5: 433–456.
Kuznetzov, V.I.; Stekolnikov, A.A. 2004: The musculature of the female terminal segments and its implication for the systematics of the superfamilies Notodontoidea and Noctuoidea (Lepidoptera, Noctuiformes). Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie, 83(2): 286–307.
Lafontaine, J.D. & Fibiger, M. 2006. Revised higher classification of the Noctuoidea (Lepidoptera). Canadian entomologist 138(5): 610–635. DOI: 10.4039/n06-012 Reference page.
Lafontaine, J.D. & Schmidt, B.C. 2010. Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico. Zookeys 40: 1–239. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.40.414 Reference page.
Lafontaine, J.D. & Schmidt, B.C. 2011. Additions and corrections to the check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico. ZooKeys 149: 145–161. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.149.1805 Reference page.
Lafontaine, J.D. & Schmidt, B.C. 2013. Comments on differences in classification of the superfamily Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) between Eurasia and North America. ZooKeys 264: 209–217. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.264.4441 Reference page.
Lafontaine, J.D. & Schmidt, B.C. 2013. Additions and corrections to the check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico. ZooKeys 264: 227–236. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.264.4443 Reference page.
Lafontaine, J.D. & Schmidt, B.C. 2015. Additions and corrections to the check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico III. Zookeys 527: 127–147. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.527.6151 Preview (PDF) Reference page.
Mitchell, A.; Mitter, C.; Regier, J.C. 2000: More taxa or more characters revisited: combining data from nuclear protein-encoding genes for phylogenetic analyses of Noctuoidea (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Systematic biology, 49: 202–224. DOI: 10.1080/10635159950173816 PDF
Regier, J.C., Mitter, C., Mitter, K., Cummings, M.P., Bazinet, A.L., Hallwachs, W., Janzen, D.H. & Zwick, A. 2017. Further progress on the phylogeny of Noctuoidea (Insecta: Lepidoptera) using an expanded gene sample. Systematic entomology 42(1): 82–93. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12199 Reference page.
Schmidt, B.C., Lafontaine, J.D. & Troubridge, J.T. 2018. Additions and corrections to the check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico IV. Pp 241–252 In Schmidt, B.C. & Lafontaine, J.D. (eds.) 2018. Contributions to the systematics of New World macro-moths VII. ZooKeys 788: 1–252. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.788.28500 Reference page.
Speidel, W.; Naumann, C.M. 2004: A survey of family-group names in noctuoid moths (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Systematics and biodiversity, 2: 191–221. DOI: 10.1017/S1477200004001409
Zahiri, R., Kitching, I.J., Lafontaine, J.D., Mutanen, M., Kaila, L., Holloway, J.D. & Wahlberg, N. 2011. A new molecular phylogeny offers hope for a stable family level classification of the Noctuoidea (Lepidoptera). Zoologica Scripta 40(2): 158–173. DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2010.00459.x Full article (PDF). Reference page.
Zahiri, R., Holloway, J.D., Kitching, I.J., Lafontaine, J.D., Mutanen, M. & Wahlberg, N. 2011 (online) 2012 (print). Molecular phylogenetics of Erebidae (Lepidoptera, Noctuoidea). Systematic Entomology 37(1): 102–124. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2011.00607.x Reference page.

Links Catalogue of Life: 2019 Annual Checklist
Noctuoidea – Taxon details on Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
Zicha, Ondřej et al. Noctuoidea – Taxon details on Biological Library (BioLib).

Vernacular names
العربية: فراشات ليلية
فارسی: جغدی‌واران
suomi: Yökkösmäiset
magyar: Bagolylepkeszerűek
日本語: ヤガ上科
한국어: 밤나방상과
русский: Совкообразные
українська: Совкоподібні
中文: 夜蛾總科

Noctuoidea is the superfamily of noctuid (Latin "night owl") or "owlet" moths, and has more than 70,000 described species, the largest number of for any Lepidopteran superfamily. Its classification has not yet reached a satisfactory or stable state. Since the end of the 20th century, increasing availability of molecular phylogenetic data for this hugely successful radiation has led to several competing proposals for a taxonomic arrangement that correctly represents the relationships between the major lineages.

Briefly, the disputes center on the fact that in old treatments (which were just as unable to reach a general consensus) the distinctness of some groups, such as the Arctiidae or Lymantriidae, was overrated due to their characteristic appearance, while some less-studied lineages conventionally held to be Noctuidae are in fact quite distinct. This requires a rearrangement at least of the latter family (by simply including anything disputed within it). This is quite unwieldy, and various more refined treatments have been proposed in response to it. While there is general agreement on what the basal families of Noctuoidea are, the more diverse advanced group may be treated as one all-encompassing Noctuidae, two huge and two smaller, or even (if Arctiidae or Lymantriidae are kept distinct) more than four families, which are in some cases still quite sizeable.

1 Recent developments
2 Systematics
3 References
4 External links

Recent developments

There are several recent studies suggesting a radical change in the traditional family level classification. Recent works in redefining the families within the Noctuoidea has been carried out by Kitching (1984), Poole (1995), Kitching and Rawlins [1998], Speidel et al. (1996), Mitchell et al. (1997, 2000, 2006), Fibiger and Lafontaine (2005), Lafontaine and Fibiger (2006) and Zahiri et al. (2010).

The Noctuoidea can be divided into two broad groups, those with a trifid forewing venation (Oenosandridae, Notodontidae and Doidae), and those with a quadrifid forewing venation (e.g., Arctiidae, Lymantriidae, Nolidae, Noctuidae). What has emerged from these investigations is that the quadrifid Noctuoidea form a monophyletic group. In 2005, Fibiger and Lafontaine arranged the quadrifid (forewing) group into several families, including the quadrifine (hindwing) Erebidae and trifine (hindwing) Noctuidae, based on evidence that suggested that the trifine noctuid subfamilies were derived from within the quadrifine subfamilies, so the family Erebidae would not be strictly monophyletic.

Lafontaine and Fibiger in 2006 then redefined the Noctuidae to include the entire quadrifid group, believing the Arctiidae, Lymantriidae, and Nolidae to be derived from within this expanded concept of Noctuidae (and closely related to the subfamily Catocalinae). In essence, groups such as the Arctiidae, which had previously been treated as a separate family, were more closely related to groups within the Noctuidae than to non-noctuid families. In order to address this, a revised classification would have meant either recognizing over 20 (often weakly defined) families, or a single well-defined family with numerous subfamilies. The latter was adopted (Lafontaine and Fibiger 2006).

More recent evidence from nuclear genes (Zahiri et al. 2010) confirms that the quadrifid (forewing) noctuoids form a monophyletic group, but also that this group can be further arranged into four monophyletic subgroups: 1) the quadrifine subfamilies; 2) the trifine subfamilies; 3) the Nolinae; and 4) the Euteliinae. Considering the massive size of the family, and the large number of subfamilies, tribes, and subtribes to arrange into a classification, Zahiri et al. (2010) chose the option of recognizing these four groups as families, namely Erebidae, Noctuidae, Nolidae, and Euteliidae, in addition to the basal trifid families.

Ambox current red Americas.svg

This follows Lafontaine & Fibiger (2006), with the additions of Thiacidinae Hacker & Zilli, 2007 and taxa in Micronoctuidae Fibiger, 2005. Note that the placement of Arctiidae, Lymantriidae and Nolidae as subfamilies of Noctuidae has been largely rejected by subsequent authors. An updated classification for North American Noctuoidea has recently been published (Lafontaine & Schmidt, 2010) and further changes are imminent for a global molecular review of the superfamily (Zahiri et al., in press).

Family Oenosandridae Miller, 1991
Family Doidae Donahue & Brown, 1987
Family Notodontidae Stephens, 1829
Subfamily Thaumetopoeinae Aurivillius, 1889
Subfamily Pygaerinae Duponchel, 1845
Subfamily Platychasmatinae Nakamura, 1956
Subfamily Notodontinae Stephens, 1829
Tribe Notodontini Stephens, 1829
Tribe Dicranurini Duponchel, 1845
Subfamily Phalerinae Butler, 1886
Subfamily Dudusinae Matsumura, 1925
Tribe Dudusini Matsumura, 1925
Tribe Scranciini Miller, 1991
Subfamily Hemiceratinae Guenée, 1852
Subfamily Heterocampinae Neumogen & Dyar, 1894
Subfamily Nystaleinae Forbes, 1948
Subfamily Dioptinae Walker, 1862
Family Micronoctuidae Fibiger, 2005
Subfamily Micronoctuinae Fibiger, 2005
Subfamily Pollexinae Fibiger, 2007
Subfamily Belluliinae Fibiger, 2008
Tribe Belluliini Fibiger, 2008
Tribe Medialini Fibiger, 2008
Subfamily Magninae Fibiger, 2008
Tribe Magnini Fibiger, 2008
Tribe Faeculini Fibiger, 2008
Subfamily Parachrostiinae Fibiger, 2008
Tribe Duplexini Fibiger, 2008
Tribe Parachrostiini Fibiger, 2008
Family Noctuidae Latreille, 1809
Subfamily Rivulinae Grote, 1895
Subfamily Boletobiinae Grote, 1895
Subfamily Hypenodinae Forbes, 1954
Subfamily Araeopteroninae Fibiger, 2005
Subfamily Eublemminae Forbes, 1954
Tribe Eublemmini Forbes, 1954
Tribe Pangraptini Grote, 1882
Subfamily Herminiinae Leach, 1815
Subfamily Scolecocampinae Grote, 1883
Subfamily Hypeninae Herrich-Schäffer, 1851
Subfamily Phytometrinae Hampson, 1913
Subfamily Aventiinae Tutt, 1896
Subfamily Erebinae Leach, 1815
Subfamily Calpinae Boisduval, 1840
Tribe Anomini Grote, 1882
Tribe Calpini Boisduval, 1840
Tribe Phyllodini Guenée, 1852
Subfamily Catocalinae Boisduval, 1828
Tribe Toxocampini Guenée, 1852
Tribe Acantholipini Fibiger & Lafontaine, 2005
Tribe Arytrurini Fibiger & Lafontaine, 2005
Tribe Melipotini Grote, 1895
Tribe Euclidiini Guenée, 1852
Tribe Panopodini Forbes, 1954
Tribe Ophiusini Guenée, 1837 (= Omopterini Boisduval, 1833, suppressed older syn.)
Tribe Catocalini Boisduval, 1828
Tribe Anobini Holloway, 2005 (= Anobini Wiltshire, 1990, nomen nudum)
Tribe Sypnini Holloway, 2005
Tribe Hypopyrini Guenée, 1852
Tribe Tinolini Moore, 1885
Tribe Hulodini Guenée, 1852 (= Speiredoniinae Swinhoe, 1900)
Tribe Ommatophorini Guenée, 1852
Tribe Pericymini Wiltshire; 1976
Tribe Pandesmini Wiltshire, 1990, nomen nudum
Tribe Catephiini Guenée, 1852
Tribe Ercheini Berio, 1992
Subfamily Cocytiinae Boisduval, 1874
Subfamily Stictopterinae Hampson, 1894
Subfamily Euteliinae Grote, 1882
(Subfamily Nolinae) Bruand, 1846, stat rev.
Tribe Nolini Bruand, 1846, stat rev.
Tribe Chloephorini Stainton, 1859, stat rev.
Subtribe Chloephorina Stainton, 1859, stat rev.
Subtribe Sarrothripina Hampson, 1894, stat rev.
Subtribe Camptolomina Mell, 1943, stat rev.
Subtribe Careina Moore, 1883, stat rev.
Subtribe Ariolicina Mell, 1943, stat rev.
Tribe Westermanniini Hampson, 1918, stat rev.
Tribe Eariadini Hampson, 1912, stat rev.
Tribe Blenini Mell, 1943, stat rev.
Tribe Risobini Mell, 1943, stat rev.
Tribe Collomenini Kitching & Rawlins, 1998, stat rev.
Tribe Afridini Kitching & Rawlins, 1998, stat rev.
Tribe Eligmini Mell, 1943, stat rev.
Subfamily Aganainae Boisduval, 1833
(Subfamily Arctiinae Leach, 1815), stat. nov.
Tribe Lithosiini Billberg, 1820, stat. rev.
Subtribe Phryganopterygina Bendib & Minet, 1999, stat. rev.
Subtribe Aesalina Bendib & Minet, 1999, stat. rev.
Subtribe Eudesmiina Bendib & Minet, 1999, stat. rev.
Subtribe Cisthenina Bendib & Minet, 1999, stat. rev.
Subtribe Nudariina Börner, 1920, stat. rev.
Subtribe Endrosina Börner, 1932, stat. rev.
Subtribe Lithosiina Billberg, 1820, stat. rev.
Tribe Syntomini Herrich-Schäffer, 1846, stat. rev.
Subtribe Syntomina Herrich-Schäffer, 1846, stat. rev.
Subtribe Thyretina Butler, 1876, stat. rev.
Tribe Arctiini Leach, 1815, stat. rev.
Subtribe Arctiina Leach, 1815, stat. rev.
Subtribe Callimorphina Walker, 1865, stat. rev.
Subtribe Pericopina Walker, 1865, stat. rev.
Subtribe Phaegopterina Kirby, 1892, stat. rev.
Subtribe Ctenuchina Kirby, 1837, stat. rev.
Subtribe Euchromiina Butler, 1876, stat. rev.
(Subfamily Lymantriinae) Hampson, 1893, stat. nov.
Tribe Lymantriini Hampson, 1893, stat. rev.
Tribe Orgyiini Wallengren, 1861, stat. rev.
Tribe Arctornithini Holloway, 1999, stat. rev.
Tribe Leucomini Grote, 1895, stat. rev.
Tribe Nygmiini Holloway, 1999, stat. rev.
Subfamily Strepsimaninae Meyrick, 1930, stat rev.
Subfamily Plusiinae Boisduval, 1828
Tribe Abrostolini Eichlin & Cunningham, 1978
Tribe Argyrogrammatini Eichlin & Cunningham, 1978
Tribe Plusiini Boisduval, 1828
Subtribe Autoplusiina Kitching, 1987
Subtribe Euchaciina Chou & Lu, 1979
Subtribe Plusiina Boisduval, 1828
Subfamily Eustrotiinae Grote, 1882
Subfamily Bagisarinae Crumb, 1956
Tribe Bagisarini Crumb, 1956
Tribe Cydosiini Kitching & Rawlins, 1998
Subfamily Acontiinae Guenée, 1841
Tribe Hypercalymniini Fibiger & Lafontaine, 2005
Tribe Acontiini Guenée, 1841
Tribe Armadini Wiltshire, 1961
Tribe Aediini Beck, 1960
Subfamily Pantheinae Smith, 1898
Subfamily Diphtherinae Fibiger & Lafontaine, 2005
Subfamily Dilobinae Aurivillius, 1889
Subfamily Raphiinae Beck, 1996
Subfamily Balsinae Grote, 1896, stat. rev.
Subfamily Acronictinae Heinemann, 1859
Subfamily Metoponiinae Herrich-Schäffer, 1851
Subfamily Sinocharinae Speidel, Fänger & Naumann, 1996
Subfamily Lophonyctinae Speidel, Fänger & Naumann, 1996
Subfamily Agaristinae Herrich-Schäffer, 1858
Subfamily Eucocytiinae Hampson, 1918
Subfamily Cuculliinae Herrich-Schäffer, 1850
Subfamily Oncocnemidinae Forbes & Franclemont, 1954
Subfamily Amphipyrinae Guenée, 1837
Subfamily Psaphidinae Grote, 1896
Tribe Psaphidini Grote, 1896
Tribe Feraliini Poole, 1995
Tribe Nocloini Poole, 1995
Tribe Triocnemidini Poole, 1995
Subfamily Stiriinae Grote, 1882
Tribe Stiriini Grote, 1882
Tribe Grotellini Poole, 1995
Tribe Azenini Poole, 1995
Subfamily Heliothinae Boisduval, 1828
Subfamily Condicinae Poole, 1995
Tribe Condicini Poole, 1995
Tribe Leuconyctini Poole, 1995
Subfamily Eriopinae Herrich-Schäffer, 1851
Subfamily Bryophilinae Guenée, 1852
Subfamily Xyleninae Guenée, 1837
Tribe Pseudeustrotiini Beck, 1996
Tribe Phosphilini Poole, 1995, stat. rev.
Tribe Prodenilni Forbes, 1954
Tribe Eiaphriini Beck, 1996
Tribe Caradrinini Boisduval, 1840
Subtribe Caradrinina Boisduval, 1840
Subtribe Athetina Fibiger & Lafontaine, 2005
Tribe Dypterygiini Forbes, 1954
Tribe Actinotiini Beck, 1996
Tribe Phlogophorini Hampson, 1918
Tribe Apameini Guenée, 1841 (= Nonagriini Guenée, 1837, suppressed older syn.)
Subtribe Oxytripiina Gozmany, 1970
Subtribe Apameina Guenée, 1841
Subtribe Sesamiina Fibiger & Goldstein, 2005
Tribe Arzamini Grote, 1883
Tribe Episemini Guenée, 1852
Tribe Xylenini Guenée, 1837
Subtribe Xylenina Guenée, 1837
Subtribe Cosmiina Guenée, 1852, stat. rev.
Subtribe Antitypina Forbes & Franclemont, 1954
Subtribe Ufeina Crumb, 1956
Subfamily Hadeninae Guenée, 1837
Tribe Orthosiini Guenée, 1837
Tribe Tholerini Beck, 1996
Tribe Hadenini Guenée, 1837
Tribe Leucaniini Guenée, 1837
Tribe Eriopygini Fibiger & Lafontaine, 2005
Tribe Glottulini Guenée, 1852
Subfamily Noctuinae Latreille, 1809
Tribe Agrotini Rambur, 1848
Subtribe Austrandesiina Angulo & Olivares, 1990
Subtribe Agrotina Rambur, 1848
Tribe Noctuini Latreille, 1809
Subtribe Axyliina Fibiger & Lafontaine, 2005
Subtribe Noctuina Latreille, 1809

Fibiger, Michael (2007). "Revision of the Micronoctuidae (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea). Part 1, Taxonomy of the Pollexinae" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1567: 1–116. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.1567.1.1.
Fibiger, Michael (2008). "Revision of the Micronoctuidae (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea). Part 2, Taxonomy of the Belluliinae, Magninae and Parachrostiinae" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1867: 1–136. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.1867.1.1.
Hacker, Hermann H. & Zilli, Alberto (2007). Esperiana Buchreihe zur Entomologie Memoir 3: 179–246.
Kitching, Ian J. & Rawlins, John E. (1999). "The Noctuoidea". In: Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies, Volume 1: Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography, ed. N. P.Kristensen, pp. 355–401. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.
Lafontaine, J. Donald & Fibiger, Michael (2006). "Revised higher classification of the Noctuoidea (Lepidoptera)". Canadian Entomologist. 138 (5): 610–635 doi:10.4039/n06-012
Lafontaine, J. Donald; Schmidt, B. Christian (2010). "Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico". ZooKeys (40): 1–239. doi:10.3897/zookeys.40.414. ISBN 9789546425355.
O'Toole, Christopher (ed.) (2002). Firefly Encyclopedia of Insects and Spiders. ISBN 1-55297-612-2.
Zahiri, Reza; Kitching, Ian J.; Lafontaine, J. Donald; Mutanen, Marko; Kaila, Lauri; Holloway, Jeremy Daniel; Wahlberg, Niklas (2010). "A new molecular phylogeny offers hope for a stable family level classification of the Noctuoidea (Insecta: Lepidoptera)" (PDF). Zoologica Scripta. 40: 158–173. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2010.00459.x. S2CID 55916815. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016.

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