1 Phylogeny 2 Lines of evidence
2.1 Fossils 2.2 Host plants
3 Date of origin 4 Drivers of speciation 5 References
The butterflies form the clade Rhopalocera, which is composed of three
Phylogenetic relationships of butterfly families
Lines of evidence
The modern study of butterflies higher classification began with
Ehrlich's phenetic use of hundreds of previously overlooked
morphological characters in tabular form, across families and major
groups (Ehrlich, 1958). Scoble (1995) and others continued the search
for new characters, but with their application to cladism. Larval
characters are now commonly integrated with those from adult
butterflies. The addition of molecular data has allowed researchers to
resolve clades in many lineages.
Evidence is gleaned from paleontology where some 50 butterfly fossils
have been identified, from morphology and the study of homologies,
from molecular genetics and comparative biochemistry, from comparative
ethology, and from present-day geographical distributions and ecology.
Even though butterflies are among the most studied insects, new
findings are coming to light almost every month, and the prospect of a
stable butterfly classification based on strongly supported clades is
seemingly within reach.
^ Hall, J.P.W., Robbins, R.K. and Harvey, D.J. (2004). "
Ehrlich, P. R. (1958). The comparative morphology, phylogeny and
higher classification of the butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionidea).
Kansas Univ. Sci. Bull., 39, 305-370.
Grimaldi, D. & Engel, M. S. 2005.
v t e
Evolutionary history of life Index of evolutionary biology articles Introduction Outline of evolution Timeline of evolution
Abiogenesis Adaptation Adaptive radiation Cladistics Coevolution Common descent Convergence Divergence Earliest known life forms Evidence of common descent Extinction
Gene-centered view Homology Last universal common ancestor Macroevolution Microevolution Origin of life Panspermia Parallel evolution Prehistoric Autopsy Speciation Taxonomy
Biodiversity Gene flow Genetic drift Mutation Natural selection Variation
Canalisation Evolutionary developmental biology Inversion Modularity Phenotypic plasticity
Dinosaurs Fish Fungi Insects
hyenas dolphins and whales horses primates
Plants Reptiles Spiders Tetrapods Viruses
Cell DNA Flagella Eukaryotes
symbiogenesis chromosome endomembrane system mitochondria nucleus plastids
eye hair auditory ossicle nervous system brain
Death Programmed cell death
Avian flight Biological complexity Cooperation Color vision
Emotion Empathy Ethics Eusociality Immune system Metabolism Monogamy Morality Mosaic evolution Multicellularity Sexual reproduction
Gamete differentiation/sexes Life cycles/nuclear phases Mating types Sex-determination
Tempo and modes
Gradualism/Punctuated equilibrium/Saltationism Micromutation/Macromutation Uniformitarianism/Catastrophism
Allopatric Anagenesis Catagenesis Cladogenesis Cospeciation Ecological Hybrid Parapatric Peripatric Reinforcement Sympatric
Renaissance and Enlightenment Transmutation of species Charles Darwin
On the Origin of Species
History of paleontology Transitional fossil Blending inheritance Mendelian inheritance The eclipse of Darwinism Modern synthesis History of molecular evolution Extended evolutionary synthesis
Catastrophism Lamarckism Orthogenesis Mutationism Saltationism Structuralism
Teleology in biology
Biogeography Ecological genetics Molecular evolution Phylogenetics
Polymorphism Protocell Systematics
Category Commons Portal WikiProject
Col, Jeananda. (1999) Enchanted Learning - All About Butterflies http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/b