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Grey dagger, Acronicta psi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Clade: Ditrysia
(unranked): Macrolepidoptera

See text

Macrolepidoptera is a group within the insect order Lepidoptera. Traditionally used for the larger butterflies and moths as opposed to the "microlepidoptera", this group is artificial. However, it seems that by moving some taxa about, a monophyletic macrolepidoptera can be easily achieved. The two superfamilies Geometroidea and Noctuoidea account for roughly one-quarter of all known Lepidoptera.[citation needed]


In the reformed macrolepidoptera, the following superfamilies are included:

The last two make up the Rhopalocera, or butterflies.

More recent molecular studies have failed to recover the macrolepidoptera as a monophyletic group, but have found a well supported clade of moths that excludes the butterflies and some other moth superfamilies. This macro-moth clade, named Macroheterocera, contains the following five or six superfamilies:[1][2]


  1. ^ van Nieukerken, Erik J.; Lauri Kaila; Ian J. Kitching; Niels P. Kristensen; David C. Lees; Joël Minet; Charles Mitter; Marko Mutanen; Jerome C. Regier; Thomas J. Simonsen; Niklas Wahlberg; Shen-Horn Yen; Reza Zahiri; David Adamski; Joaquin Baixeras; Daniel Bartsch; Bengt Å. Bengtsson; John W. Brown; Sibyl Rae Bucheli; Donald R. Davis; Jurate De Prins; Willy De Prins; Marc E. Epstein; Patricia Gentili-Poole; Cees Gielis; Peter Hättenschwiler; Axel Hausmann; Jeremy D. Holloway; Axel Kallies; Ole Karsholt; Akito Y. Kawahara; Sjaak (J.C.) Koster; Mikhail V. Kozlov; J. Donald Lafontaine; Gerardo Lamas; Jean-François Landry; Sangmi Lee; Matthias Nuss; Kyu-Tek Park; Carla Penz; Jadranka Rota; Alexander Schintlmeister; B. Christian Schmidt; Jae-Cheon Sohn; M. Alma Solis; Gerhard M. Tarmann; Andrew D. Warren; Susan Weller; Roman V. Yakovlev; Vadim V. Zolotuhin; Andreas Zwick (23 December 2011). Zhang, Zhi-Qiang (ed.). "Order Lepidoptera Linnaeus, 1758" (PDF). Zootaxa. Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. 3148: 212–221.
  2. ^ a b Mitter, Charles; Davis, Donald R.; Cummings, Michael P. (2017). "Phylogeny and Evolution of Lepidoptera". Annual Review of Entomology. 62 (1): 265–283. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-031616-035125. ISSN 0066-4170. PMID 27860521.

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