Biodiversity Informatics Lepidoptera Species Lists

Updating Global Lepidoptera Index for Psychidae

This is a small update to the recent post on updating Global Lepidoptera Index (GLI) for Elachistinae species. I have subsequently reworked GLI for Psychidae, based primarily on:

  • Sobczyk, T. (2013) World Catalogue of Insects Volume 10, Psychidae (Lepidoptera). 1–467 pp.
  • Arnscheid, W.R. & Weidlich, M. (2017) Microlepidoptera of Europe Volume 8, Psychidae. 1–356 pp.
  • Papers known to Google Scholar relating to Psychidae and published since 2012 (many from Zootaxa, smaller numbers from Entomofauna, SHILAP, DEZ, etc.).

Names for Australian Psychidae in GLI were already largely up to date owing to earlier efforts to align with Nielsen, E.S., Edwards, E.D. & Rangsi, T.V. (1996) Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia (Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Volume 4).

However, the coverage for the rest of the family reflected the original digitisation of the NHM card index. The card index itself seems to have been maintained less thoroughly than for many other families. Names for Psychidae in LepIndex reflect very dated concepts for genera and species synonymy.

The recent sources for this family vary to some degree in assignment of genera to subfamilies and tribes and in use of subgenera. GLI now follows Sobczyk 2013 in these respects, but overrides for European species from Arnscheid & Weidlich 2017.

Following all updates, the number of species known within the family has risen from 1,118 to 1,454. However, the total number of species names (including both accepted names and all synonyms) has more than doubled relative to LepIndex. Much of this is because of changes in generic placement and synonmy, although significant numbers of species and names even from as early as the 1970s were missing from the card index.

Overlap in species names within the family Psychidae between LepIndex and GLI. Names are considered to be a full match if spelling and authorship are identical (including parentheses) and if the two datasets give the same accepted name for the associated species.

Of the 2,938 species names now included in GLI, only 418 exactly match a name in LepIndex and also map to the same accepted species name in both datasets. The vast majority of accepted psychid names in LepIndex are no longer considered correct.

Even with many historical names now synonymised, updating Psychidae in GLI resulted in a 30% growth in the number of accepted species recorded for the family. This is in line with the estimates in the earlier Elachistinae post that between 27% and 41% of all accepted Lepidoptera species are missing from Lepindex and that around 40,000 more species still need to be added to the dataset.