Specimen 319 : Claire Elliott and Heather Humphry

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Location of collection: GGC Site 1

Date of collection: November 2012

Shannon-Wiener Index of Biodiversity: 2.82522

Photo: Lepidoptera 319.jpg


Distinguishing morphological features of Order:

Lepidoptera have large, membranous wings. The forward wings are a little longer than the hind wings. The wings are largely or entirely covered with scales. The mouthparts are sucking in the form of a coiled tube at rest. Generally, the labial palps are visible, but the maxillary palps are not. The antennae are slender and long, sometimes plumose in moths. they are always knobbed in butterflies.

Sub-order ? Family ? After sequencing, genus and species ?

Lepidoptera are split up into three different groups: moths, butterflies, and skippers. Moths' distinguishing features are their feather antennae and their "tented" wings at rest. Their pupa are above ground in silk cocoons. The caterpillars dig into the ground to pupate. Butterflies unlike moths, are active during the day. They have knobbed antennae, and their pupa can be found in chrysalis form. Skippers are a separate group of butterflies that can rest with their wings spread or closed. They are mostly active during the day.


Geographical Distribution:

Lepidoptera can be found over a wide range of geographical locations.


Life cycle:

Lepidoptera undergo complete metamorphisis with four stages to their life cycle. The first stage is the egg followed by the larval stage or the caterpillar. During the larval stage, most eating and growing occurs then. Caterpillars are most active during the spring and summer. Next is the pupa (chrysalis or cocoon) stage where the caterpillar transforms into the adult form. Most caterpillars pupate through the winter. The last stage is the adult stage. Adults usually emerge when plants are flowering. This is where mating and death occur.


Sexual dimorphism:

Lepidoptera reproduce sexually and lay eggs on plants. Eggs can be targets of parasitoids.


What it eats:Larval/nymphal stage Adult stage

Adult Lepidoptera consume nectar from flowers. Caterpillars eat the leaves of certain kinds of plants. Adult Lepidoptera will lay their eggs on plants that caterpillars will consume. Some cases of predatory caterpillars have been seen.


Habitat: Larval/nymphal stage Adult stage

Caterpillar habitats revolve around their food source. They will basically live on their food source. Adult Lepidoptera will generally live in the same area as they did as caterpillars, however, some may migrate over long distances.


Ecological Importance: Larval/nymphal stage Adult stage

Adult Lepidoptera are responsible for plant pollination while feeding. The eggs laid can be a source for parasitoids to lay their eggs in providing a food source for the larval parasitoids.


Economic/agricultural/human health importance: Larval/nymphal stage Adult stage

Plant pollination is always beneficial in agriculture.


PCR product: gel picture?


Sequence data: NONE

Return to Lepidoptera Spring 2013 page.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/57 Order Lepidoptera

The bug #319 I did not get a sequence back from UGA, so I could not put it into BLAST and BOLD. -Heather Humphrey

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