Taxonomy of the Lepidoptera

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Micropterix aureatella, a micropterigid moth

The insect order Lepidoptera consists of moths (42 superfamilies), most of which are night-flying, and a derived group, mainly day-flying, called butterflies (superfamily Papilionoidea). Within Lepidoptera as a whole, the groups listed below before Glossata contain a few basal families accounting for less than 200 species; the bulk of Lepidoptera are in the Glossata. Similarly, within the Glossata, there are a few basal groups listed first, with the bulk of species in the Heteroneura. Basal groups within Heteroneura cannot be defined with as much confidence, as there are still some disputes concerning the proper relations among these groups. At the family level, however, most groups are well defined, and the families are commonly used by hobbyists and scientists alike.

Unassigned fossil lepidopterans[edit]

Suborder Zeugloptera[edit]

Suborder Aglossata[edit]

Suborder Heterobathmiina[edit]

Suborder Glossata[edit]

Infraorder Dacnonypha[edit]

Dyseriocrania subpurpurella, an eriocranid moth

Clade Coelolepida, encompassing all remaining groups[edit]

Infraorder Acanthoctesia[edit]

Infraorder Lophocoronina[edit]

Clade Myoglossata, encompassing all remaining groups[edit]

Infraorder Neopseustina[edit]

Clade Neolepidoptera, encompassing all remaining groups[edit]

Infraorder Exoporia[edit]

Oncopera brunneata, a hepalialid moth

Infraorder Heteroneura[edit]

Clade Nepticulina[edit]

Clade Eulepidoptera, encompassing all remaining groups[edit]

Clade Incurvariina[edit]
Clade Etimonotrysia[edit]
Clade Ditrysia, encompassing all remaining groups[edit]
Clade Apoditrysia, encompassing all remaining groups[edit]
Clade Obtectomera, encompassing all remaining groups[edit]
Clade Macroheterocera (Macrolepidoptera), encompassing all remaining groups[edit]
Catocala nupta, red underwing, a noctuid moth
Drymonia ruficornis, a notodontid moth


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