Eur. J. Entomol. 111 (1): 121-136, 2014 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2014.013

Evaluation of criteria for species delimitation of bagworm moths (Lepidoptera: Psychidae)

Veronica CHEVASCO1, Jelmer A. ELZINGA1, Johanna MAPPES2, Alessandro GRAPPUTO3
1 Department of Biological and Environmental Science, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland; e-mails: vchevasco@gmail.com; jelmer.elzinga@jyu.fi
2 Center of Excellence in Biological Interactions, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland; e-mail: johanna.r.mappes@jyu.fi
3 Department of Biology, University of Padova, Via Ugo Bassi 58/B, I-35121 Padova, Italy; e-mail: alessandro.grapputo@unipd.it

Accurate identification of species is fundamental for biological research and necessary for species conservation. DNA barcoding is particularly useful when identification using morphological characteristics is laborious and/or unreliable. However, barcodes for species are dependent on the availability of reference sequences from correctly identified specimens. The traditional use of morphology to delimit the species boundaries of Finnish bagworm moths (Lepidoptera: Psychidae: Naryciinae: Dahliciini) is controversial because there is overlap in their morphological characteristics. In addition, there are no suitable molecular markers. We verified the delimitation of seven out of eight previously described taxa, by using the currently standardized COI barcode and phylogenetic inference based on fragments of mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear genes (MDH). Moreover, we compared the results of molecular methods with the outcome of geometric morphometrics. Based on molecular identification, our findings indicate that there are five sexual species (Dahlica and Siederia spp.) and two parthenogenetic species (D. fennicella and D. triquetrella) in Finland. We suggest that molecular methods, together with geometric morphometrics of male genitalia are an effective way of delimiting species of bagworm moths.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Psychidae, Dahlica, Siederia, DNA barcoding, COI

Received: May 30, 2013; Accepted: July 26, 2013; Published: January 9, 2014

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