A non-destructive virtual dissection by micro-CT reveals diagnostic characters in the type specimen of Caloptilia stigmatella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae)

Robinson, J., Gibson, J., Adrian, H., De Prins, J. and Windmill, J. (2018) A non-destructive virtual dissection by micro-CT reveals diagnostic characters in the type specimen of Caloptilia stigmatella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae). Zootaxa, 4441(1), pp. 137-150. (doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4441.1.8)

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Nearly a century ago, wing venation pattern was introduced in the gracillariid taxonomy to diagnose the closely related genera and species groups. Recent advances in non-destructive virtual micro-dissections suggest a promising approach in revisiting the relevance of wing venation characters and application of this method to historic primary type specimens. Many unique type specimens in Gracillariidae and other microlepidoptera groups are preserved in the museum collections in poor condition and in the course of history suffered loss or damage to their abdomens, so internal genitalia structural morphology is not available for diagnosis and comparisons. The interpretation of wing venation characters became a significant element in Gracillariidae taxonomy dealing with species complexes and defining the boundaries of genera. In this paper we emphasize the need to include the type species and type specimens into the broader context of taxonomic studies on micro moths in general and the family Gracillariidae in particular. For the first time we introduce the method of virtual descaling of the wings in micro moths. The genus Caloptilia with a world-wide distribution has more than 200 years history of research, but the generic boundaries and groupings within the genus are not resolved yet due to the lack of a reliable set of taxonomic characters obtained from the primary types. We describe a method of virtual descaling of the fore and hindwings of an unset micro-moth type specimen Caloptilia stigmatella Fabricius, 1781, in order to demonstrate that the study of historic and fragile type specimens and diagnosis of their internal morphological characters becomes possible by applying new and non-destructive technology.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Micro-CT, virtual dissection, type specimen, Gracillariidae, Caloptilia, wing veination, identification, Lepidoptera, taxonomy.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robinson, Ms Jeanne
Authors: Robinson, J., Gibson, J., Adrian, H., De Prins, J., and Windmill, J.
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
College/School:University Services > Library and Collection Services > Museum and Art Gallery
Journal Name:Zootaxa
Publisher:Magnolia Press
ISSN (Online):1175-5334
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Magnolia Press
First Published:First published in Zootaxa 4441(1):137-150
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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