Eur. J. Entomol. 106 (4): 643-650, 2009 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2009.080

Molecular phylogeny of the genus Lythria and description of the male genitalia of L. venustata (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Sterrhinae)

Erki ÕUNAP1,2,3, Vladimir MIRONOV4, Jaan VIIDALEPP3
1 Department of Zoology, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Vanemuise 46, 51014 Tartu, Estonia; e-mail: erkio@ut.ee
2 Museum of Zoology, University of Tartu, Vanemuise 46, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
3 Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Riia 181, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
4 Department of Insect Systematics, Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab. 1, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russia; e-mail: pugs@zin.ru

We present a molecular phylogeny incorporating all five species of the Palaearctic geometrid genus Lythria, based on a 2810-bp combined data matrix comprising the full sequence of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase subunit one (COI) and fragments of the nuclear genes elongation factor 1 alpha (EF-1α) and wingless (wgl). L. venustata, which was recently rediscovered from Kazakhstan, is shown to be sister taxon to all other members of the genus. The remaining species within the genus form two pairs of sister species: L. purpuraria groups together with L. plumularia, and L. cruentaria with L. sanguinaria. The phylogeny is well supported by characters of the male genitalia of all Lythria species. In addition to the molecular phylogeny of the genus Lythria, we illustrate the external appearance of L. venustata for the first time and describe the anatomy of its male genitalia.

Keywords: Geometridae, Sterrhinae, Lythria, phylogeny, morphology, genitalia, COI, EF-1a, wingless

Received: April 17, 2009; Accepted: August 25, 2009; Published: November 20, 2009

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