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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340813

Research Project: Systematics of Moths Significant to Biodiversity, Quarantine, and Control, with a Focus on Invasive Species

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Identification to Lepidoptera Superfamily-under the microscope (Insecta)

item Solis, M Alma

Submitted to: World Wide Web
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/19/2017
Publication Date: 4/19/2017
Citation: Solis, M.A. 2017. Identification to Lepidoptera Superfamily-under the microscope (Insecta) . World Wide Web.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: There are 160,000 species of described Lepidoptera, or moths and butterflies, on Earth, although it is estimated that the number is closer to 500,000 species. Many moths from all over the world are intercepted at U.S. ports on a wide variety of economically important commodities. The purpose of this video is to provide an in-depth triage method to place a moth in one of the four most diverse and potentially destructive superfamilies of Lepidoptera, the Noctuioidea, Geometroidea, Pyraloidea, or Gelechioidea. A microscope is used to view two important morphological structures, the presence or absence of scales at the base of the proboscis and the type of tympanal organs, or "ears", that are characteristic of these superfamilies. This video will be useful to the public, other scientists, such as biological control researchers, to place moths, and especially to quarantine specialists at U.S. ports to detect potential invasive moths.