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Overview

Brief Summary

Tiger moths are stout, hairy moths with broad wings and bright colors. They are often poisonous. The conspicuous colors, particularly those on the back wings, warn birds that they are inedible. The caterpillars look a lot like a mini hairy bear, which explains the Dutch name 'beervlinder' ('bear moth'). A number of these species are found specifically on dune plants.
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Introduction

Introduction:

The Arctiidae tend to be a colorful, charismatic lineage. Over 11,000 species have been described. Arctiids represent roughly 6% of lepidopteran species diversity worldwide (Watson and Goodger, 1986; Goodger and Watson, 1995) and are an important component of Neotropical communities (Conner 2008). Their bright colors most likely function in predator defense, warning of the moths’ unpalatability. Many species are protected by compounds they produce themselves (e.g. histamines) or by compounds they acquire from their larval host plants (e.g., cardiac glycosides, pyrrolizidine alkaloids). Some chemically protected arctiids participate in Müllerian mimicry rings and may resemble other poisonous Lepidoptera or wasps. Some species are nearly identical with their wasp models (Simmons and Weller, 2006) and even mimic wasp behaviors (Blest, 1964).  Arctiid larvae typically have secondary setae arranged on verrucae on all segments except the head, hence their common name “wooly bears.” The caterpillar of *Pyrrharctia isabella* (J.E. Smith) is familiar to many North Americans. Not all caterpillars, though, have secondary setae.

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Diversity

Diversity description:

Over 11,000 species have been described. Most recent Arctiids represent roughly 6% of lepidopteran species diversity worldwide (Watson and Goodger, 1986; Goodger and Watson, 1995) and are an important component of Neotropical communities (see Chapter 16 in Conner 2008). Although the family is cosmopolitan, some lineages are restricted in their distribution.

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Comprehensive Description

Arctiidae (Tiger Moths, Wasp Moths)
These small- to medium-large moths have whip-like antennae and are usually brightly colored. Their caterpillars construct cocoons consisting primarily of larval hairs

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Distribution

Geographical Distribution

Geographic Range:

Nearctic, Palearctic, Oriental, Ethiopian, Neotropical, Australian, Oceanic Island

Geographic Distribution:

Although the family is cosmopolitan, some lineages are restricted in their distribution.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Larvae Morphology

Secondary setae:

present

Body setae on verrucae:

present

Body setae on scoli:

absent

Spinneret:

present

Thoracic glands:

present

Thoracic legs:

present

Pairs of thoracic legs:

from 3

Pairs of abdominal legs:

from 5

Proleg configuration:

normal

Proleg size:

long

Crochets:

uniserial

Crochet arrangement description:

Most larvae have heteroideous crochets. Lithosiinae, Syntominae and *Virbia* (Arctiinae) possess homoideous crochets, the general noctuoid condition. Outside of Arctiidae, some Euteliinae ("Noctuidae") have heteroideous crochets (Forbes 1960).

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Pupa/Cocoon morphology

Pupa type:

obtect

Cremaster:

present

Cocoon:

present

Cocoon description:

Cocoons vary in their construction from very robust (many Arctiini) to very slight (most Callimorphini, several Ctenuchini). Wagner (2008) reviews life history and immatures of Arctiidae.

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Adult Abdomen Morphology

Reproductive system:

Ditrysian

Oviscapt (ovipositor):

non-piercing

Female genitalia description:

A diversity of female genitalic morphologies have been documented and it is a very useful character system for phylogenetic studies at the suprageneric, generic and species' level. Homology of the appendix bursa, when present, can be probablematic to assign (e.g., *Virbia*, Zaspel and Weller 2006)

Female corethrogyne:

absent

Female pregenital sexual scales:

absent

Female oviduct opening:

below anus

Female bursa ostium opening:

between S7 and venter 8, on venter 8

Female anterior apophyses originating:

originating from T8, from venter 8

Male coremata:

present

Male pregenital sexual scales:

present

Male genitalia description:

Male genitalia highly diverse in some lineages. It is a very useful character system for phylogenetic studies at the suprageneric, generic and species' level. Within the *Sphecosoma* group and other Euchromiini, highly asymmetrical and divided valves occur (Simmons

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Adult Thorax Morphology

Scale tufts:

present

Epiphysis:

present

Adult thorax description:

blah *italics*

Leg description:

leg

Wing coupling:

with frenulum

Wing scales:

hollow

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Tympanum Morphology

Counter-tympanum:

present

Counter-tympanum description:

Variously developed depending on lineage and species.

Abdomen tympanum:

absent

Thorax tympanum:

present

Thorax tympanum description:

In general, the tympanal membrane outward and posteriorly directed with a nodular sclerite.

Palp tympanum:

absent

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Adult Head Morphology

Ocelli:

present, absent

Eyes:

smooth, hairy

Labial palpus:

porrect, upcurved, large

Number of labial palp segments:

from 3

Maxillary palpus:

minute

Proboscis:

present, absent, reduced

Proboscis texture:

naked

Mandibles:

absent

Head vertex scaling:

normal

Female antennae:

bipectinate, dentate, filiform, moniliform, serrate

Male antennae:

bipectinate, dentate, filiform, pectinate, serrate

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Diagnostic Description

Synapomorphies

Apomorphies:

Adult female dorsal invaginated pheromone glands visible, with horizontally paired openings.  Metathoracic tymbal.  Larval ventral eversible gland.  Tympanum pocket IV present.  Larval mandible with indentation on dorsal tooth

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Ecology

Associations

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva of Thelaira solivaga is endoparasitoid of larva of Arctiidae

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Adult Behavior

Adult behavior:

diurnal, nocturnal, crepuscular

Adult behavior:

The male courtship behaviors have been documented for several arctiid species including: *Utetheisa ornatrix*, *Euchaetes bolteri*, *Cycnia tenera*, *Syntomeida epilais*, *Cosmosoma myradora*, *Empyreuma pugione*, *Halysidota davisii*, *Estigmene acrea* and *Amerila* species (formerly *Rhodogastria*). Male courtship can include PA-derived pheromones, non-PA based pheromones or ultrasonic clicks emitted by tymbals. There is a growing literature on the diversity of mating systems in arctiids and their evolution (Conner 2008, references therein).

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Reproduction

Life History: Immature Stages

Larval food habits description:

Various feeding habits have been recorded in this family from polyphagy to monophagy. Many monophagous species are associated with pyrrolizidine alkaloid hosts. *Tyria jacobaeae* (L) the cinnabar moth is used for biological control of ragwort (Senecio) in the western United States. Several species feed on cardiac glycoside hosts as larvae (e.g., *Euchaetes bolteri*, *Syntomeida epilais*).

Life history larvae:

For an authoritative treatment, consult Wagner 2008.

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Life History: Adults

Adult food habits description:

Several arctiid species are pharmacophagous (Boppré 1990), although records are concentrated in the Phaegopterini (Pliske 1975a, 1975b), especially the *Eupseudosoma* group and the *Halysidota* generic group of Watson and Goodger (1986). Typically males collect pyrollizidine alkaloids (PAs) from withered or damaged leaves of PA plants by regurgitating saliva and then re-imbibing the salivary fluid with the dissolved PAs. There are a few species were both sexes collect PAs and in even fewer just females collect (Pliske 1975a, 1975b). PAs are bitter tasting and are used in defense and courtship by arctiids (reviews Weller et al. 1999, Conner and Weller 2001, Conner 2008 and references therein).

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Systematic and taxonomic history

Systematic and taxonomic history:

Traditionally, Arctiidae has been placed as sister to Lymantriidae, and four taxa—Aganainae (=Hypsidae), Nolinae, Hermiinae, and Pantheinae — have been treated either as subfamilies of Arctiidae, subfamilies of Noctuidae, or as separate families allied to Arctiidae (review Kitching and Rawlins, 1999; Jacobson and Weller, 2002; Fibiger and Lafontaine, 2005). A series of molecular studies in the 1990s and early 2000s suggested that “Noctuidae” was not a monophyletic entity. “Quadrifine” noctuid subfamilies form a clade with Arctiidae and Lymantriidae, and the traditional “trifine” noctuids form another clade (Weller et al., 1994; Mitchell et al., 1997, 2000; Fig. 3.6; the terms “trifine” and “quadrifine” refer to the position of M3 in the hind wing; see reviews).  The taxonomic history of the Arctiidae is complicated because many distantly related species bear a superficial resemblance to one another. Species have been placed in different superfamilies and in as many as six separate families: Arctiidae, Ctenuchidae [=Euchromiidae or =Syntomidae of authors], Lithosiidae, Nyctemeridae, Pericopidae, and Thyretidae (review Jacobson and Weller, 2002). Two additional families—Aganaidae [=Hypsidae] and Nolidae—have been placed as subfamilies or associated closely with them in phyletic lists (see reviews by Kitching and Rawlins, 1999; Jacobson and Weller, 2002; Fibiger and Lafontaine, 2005). The number and composition of other suprageneric groupings (i.e., subfamilies, tribes, generic groups) have also been in flux (Kitching and Rawlins, 1999; DaCosta and Weller, 2005; Fibiger and Lafontaine, 2005). Some workers even erected explicitly artificial groups to accommodate species that would not easily fit elsewhere (e.g., Microarctiinae, Seitz, 1913, 1933). A recurring problem has been the tendency of workers to revise local faunas without reconciling their taxonomic systems with those of other regions (e.g., Callimorphini; review DaCosta and Weller, 2005).   Currently, three subfamilies (Arctiinae, Lithosiinae, Syntominae) are recognized (review Weller et al. 2008). Lithosiinae and Syntominae form a clade and are sister to the remaining Arctiinae in morphological and molecular analyses. The Syntominae is comprised of two tribes, Syntomini and Thyretini. The Lithosiinae is comprised of 7 tribes (Bendib and Minet 1999): Nudariini Börner 1920, Endrosini Börner 1932, Lithosiini Stephens 1829, Phryganopterygini Bendib and Minet 1999, Acsalini Bendib and Minet 1999 (formal description of Acsalini Franclemont 1983), Eudesmiini Bendib and Minet 1999, and Cisthenini Bendib and Minet 1999. The Arctiinae is comprised of 6 tribes: Arctiini, Callimorphini, Phaegopterini, Pericopini, Ctenuchini, and Euchromiini. However, only Callimorphini (DaCosta and Weller 2005) is demonstrably monophyletic. Euchromiini, Ctenuchini and Phaegopterini are not monophyletic.   The taxonomic and biology information for these subfamilies and constituent tribes are summarized on their taxon information pages.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:40932
Specimens with Sequences:38328
Specimens with Barcodes:37283
Species:4384
Species With Barcodes:4156
Public Records:16563
Public Species:1530
Public BINs:1597
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Barcode data

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Wikipedia

Pitane (moth)

Pitane is a genus of moths in the family Arctiidae.

Species[edit]

References[edit]



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