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Butterflies和飞蛾排在动物王国中最多样化的群体中,有近16万已知的物种,从标志性的蓝蝶的作物吞噬粘虫。

科学家早就归于这些昆虫种类丰富他们与其他生物密切联系。蝴蝶,他们推测,进化与它们取食植物串联,和飞蛾响应蝙蝠,它们的主要天敌开发了先进的防御机制。

现在, 新的研究 通过对鳞翅目的早期历史,包括蝴蝶和飞蛾的顺序闪亮光检查这些经典假说。使用组装该组的有史以来规模最大的数据集,一个国际研究小组创建了一个进化的家谱对鳞翅目和使用化石估计何时蛾子和蝴蝶进化的关键特征。

他们的研究结果表明,开花植物并推动这些很多昆虫的多样性。在一个惊喜扭曲,然而,多蛾谱系进化的“耳朵”数百万年的蝙蝠的存在之前,先前引发听觉器官的蛀虫发展记。

“有化石日家谱赋予我们最详细的研究尚未在蛾子和蝴蝶的进化史,说:”该研究报告的主要作者 川原明人,佛罗里达副教授和馆长自然历史的麦圭尔中心鳞翅目和生物多样性的佛罗里达大学博物馆。 “我们已经想了很长一段时间是开花植物必须具有非凡的数字蛾蝶物种,我们今天看到的贡献,但我们没有能够测试。这项研究有助于我们看看之前的假设排队,我们发现的是,该厂的假设做,但蝙蝠假设没有。”

evolutionary family tree of Lepidoptera 和 flowering plants
这个图像显示了绿色开花植物,留下的进化家族树,紫色的鳞翅目家谱,从最靠近中心最古老的谱系。蓝色环表示当蝙蝠被认为已经出现了。对鳞翅目树红点标记的祖传鳞翅目的起源与听觉器官。

通过Kawahara等人的人物。在PNAS

该研究还表明鳞翅目昆虫比以前认为的更古老的,用今天的蝴蝶和飞蛾可能出现约300万年前的共同的祖先 - 比先前的估计要早约100万年前。

盘问进化

一个开创性的论文1964年由保罗·埃尔利希和Peter乌鸦用蝴蝶和开花植物之间的紧密交织的关系作为共同进化的理论基础 - 的想法,不同生物类群响应彼此发展。

作为植物开发毒素抵御好饿的毛毛虫,他们的理由,蝴蝶进化容忍他们的方式。植物,反过来又会坡道他们的武器,和胜人一筹的周期继续。

同样,科学家,包括川原,有引蝙蝠蛾背后的特殊防御,包括超声灵敏的听觉器官的进化驱动力, 声纳干扰长,尾巴绞 可以在飞行中偏转攻击。

" href="//www.guvenpos.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2019/10/1106210123_web.jpg" itemprop="url"> large green moth

Cross-examining these hypotheses requires a trip back in deep time – no easy task with a group of insects that is notoriously rare in the fossil record. Further complicating matters, fossils are often tricky to identify accurately as a moth or butterfly, Kawahara said. One originally labeled as Lepidoptera was later revealed to be a leaf.

Kawahara’s team used two analytical approaches to avoid making the same mistake. They examined previous studies of Lepidoptera fossils, tossing out any examples that seemed questionable. They vetted the 16 remaining fossils with other lepidopterists, looking for consensus that they really represented moths and butterflies. They then used these fossils to date their evolutionary tree, built from more than 2,000 genes from 186 existing moth 和 butterfly species. To double-check those dates, they carried out the same analysis using just three fossils, each displaying all the hallmark characteristics of a particular Lepidoptera group.

Journeying into moth ‘ears’

A major shocker was the fossil-dated tree’s revelation that nocturnal moths evolved hearing organs nine separate times, four of which occurred around 91 million years ago – about 30 million years before bats dominated the night sky.

What could moths have been listening to in a pre-bat world?

“We don’t know,” Kawahara said. He and study co-author Jesse Barber, a bat expert and associate professor at Boise State University, hypothesize that “they probably used these hearing organs to detect the sounds made 通过 other predators, like footfall, flight or rustling, 和 later co-opted them to pick up on bat sonar.”

Many moths 和 a few butterflies have “ears” on various parts of the body, depending on the family. The majority of hearing organs, however, are near the wings, the optimal location for swiftly cueing an insect to move toward or away from a sound, said study co-author Jayne Yack, a professor of neuroethology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.

“It makes sense to have your ears close to flight machinery, if your response to sound is to escape 通过 flight,” she said.

While the finding that some of these organs predated bats came as a surprise, Yack cautioned against jumping to the conclusion that there is no connection between bats 和 moths’ ability to hear. She pointed out that many species with ears appear just prior to the proposed time when bats developed echolocation, “so something around that time period appears to have been an important selection pressure.”

“The vast majority of ears in today’s Lepidoptera are sensitive to ultrasound, 和 at least some of them have been shown to function in evading bats,” she said. “Some also evolved after bats first used echolocation. But the evidence does require that we reconsider the currently held assumption that all ears in nocturnal Lepidoptera evolved in response to bat echolocation.”

Nectar straw was a game-changer

The earliest moths likely tunneled and fed inside non-vascular plants such as bryophytes as larvae and had chewing mouthparts as adults. The development of the proboscis, a coiled straw-like mouthpart that can suck up nectar, plant sap and other fluids, helped moth diversity rocket off, Kawahara said. More than 99% of today’s moths 和 butterflies have a proboscis.

The fossil-dated tree puts the origin of the proboscis around 241 million years ago, coinciding with the time when flowering plants were quickly diversifying. The proboscis helped early moths access nectar and may have enabled them to fly farther 和 colonize new host plants.

hawkmoth drinks from flower
Moths became flower-feeders long before butterflies appeared. Here a hummingbird hawkmoth, Macroglossum stellatarum, unfurls its proboscis to drink nectar from a flower.

Photo courtesy of Yusuf Akgul, CC BY-SA 4.0

Butterflies, a much younger and less diverse group than moths, did not originate until about 100 million years ago 和 are just day-flying moths, Kawahara said.

“This study underscores previous studies that show butterflies really belong in the much bigger group of moths,” he said. “We tend to appreciate butterflies because they’re often flashy and charismatic, but we shouldn’t forget about moths, which can be just as striking. Moths and plants were interacting some 50 million years before the first dinosaur roamed the Earth, 和 those interactions helped lead to the diversity we see on our planet today.”


The researchers published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Other co-authors of the study are David Plotkin of the Florida Museum and the UF entomology and nematology department; Marianne Espeland of the Florida Museum and the Alexander Koenig Zoological Research Museum; Karen Meusemann of the University of Freiburg, the Alexander Koenig Zoological Research Museum and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; Emmanuel Toussaint of the Florida Museum and the 自然历史 Museum of Geneva; Jesse Breinholt of the Florida Museum and RAPiD Genomics; Caroline Storer of the 佛罗里达博物馆; Alexander Donath, France Gimnich, Ralph Peters, Christoph Mayer, Lars Podsiadlowski and Bernhard Misof of the Alexander Koenig Zoological Research Museum; Paul Frandsen of Brigham Young University and the Smithsonian Institution; Andreas Zwick of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; Mario dos Reis of Queen Mary University of London; Shanlin Liu of China National GeneBank and China Agricultural University; 和 Xin Zhou of China Agricultural University.

Funding for the research was provided 通过 the National Science Foundation, China National GeneBank, BGI 和 German Research Foundation.


Sources: 川原明人, kawahara@flmnh.ufl.edu, 352-273-2018;
Jayne Yack, JayneYack@cunet.carleton.ca, 001-613-520-2600, ext. 3887

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