Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Superfamily Noctuoidea - Owlet Moths and kin

moth - Lithophane bethunei Trichocosmia inornata Caterpillar Identification? - Orgyia detrita Acronicta near longa - Acronicta Moth - Lycomorpha fulgens Pink-legged Tiger? - Spilosoma latipennis Spodoptera ornithogalli Moth - Ptichodis vinculum
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Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Pronunciation
nawk-too-OID-ee-ah
Numbers
Five families occur in North America; a tiny sixth family (Oenosandridae) is limited to Australasia.
Remarks
The higher taxonomy of this group was in considerable flux until molecular phylogenetic analysis by Zahiri et al. (2010) established six well-supported lineages within Noctuoidea: Noctuidae, Erebidae, Notodontidae, Nolidae, Euteliidae, and Oenosandridae.
Taxa represented in our area that were considered at various times to be families include most notably Arctiinae (Erebidae), Lymantriinae (Erebidae), and Dioptinae (Notodontidae).
Multiple molecular analyses have revealed the minor family Doidae to not belong within Noctuoidea.
Print References
Kitching, I.J., and J.E. Rawlins. 1999. (The Noctuoidea, pp. 355-401 in Kristensen N.P. (editor). Lepidoptera: Moths and butterflies. Volume 1: Evolution, systematics and biogeography. Handbook of Zoology/Handbuch der Zoologie. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin/New York).
Zahiri, R., I.J. Kitching, J.D. Lafontaine, M. Mutanen, L. Kaila, J.D. Holloway, and N. Wahlberg. 2010. A new molecular phylogeny offers hope for a stable family level classification of the Noctuoidea (Lepidoptera). Zoologica Scripta 40: 158–173.(1)
Works Cited
1.A new molecular phylogeny offers hope for a stable family level classification of the Noctuoidea (Lepidoptera)
Zahiri, R., I.J. Kitching, J.D. Lafontaine, M. Mutanen, L. Kaila, J.D. Holloway, and N. Wahlberg. 2010. Zoologica Scripta 40: 158–173.