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Alsophilinae (disputed) Archiearinae Desmobathrinae (disputed) Ennominae Geometrinae Larentiinae
Larentiinae
(but see text) Oenochrominae Orthostixinae Sterrhinae

Selenia tetralunaria
Selenia tetralunaria
species from Ennominae

Scopula sp.

Tetracis cachexiata (Ohio)

The geometer moths are moths belonging to the family Geometridae of the insect order Lepidoptera, the moths and butterflies. Their scientific name derives from the Ancient Greek geo γη or γαια 'the earth' and metron μέτρων 'measure' in reference to the way their larvae, or inchworms, appear to "measure the earth" as they move along in a looping fashion.[1] A very large family, it has around 23,000 species of moths described,[2][3] and over 1400 species from six subfamilies indigenous to North America alone.[1] A well-known member is the peppered moth, Biston betularia, which has been subject of numerous studies in population genetics. Several other geometer moths are notorious pests.

Contents

1 Adults 2 Caterpillars 3 Systematics 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

Adults[edit] Many geometrids have slender abdomens and broad wings which are usually held flat with the hind wings visible. As such, they appear rather butterfly-like, but in most respects they are typical moths; the majority fly at night, they possess a frenulum to link the wings, and the antennae of the males are often feathered. They tend to blend into the background, often with intricate, wavy patterns on their wings. In some species, females have reduced wings (e.g. winter moth and fall cankerworm).[1] Most are of moderate size, about 3 cm (1.2 in) in wingspan, but a range of sizes occur from 10–50 mm (0.39–1.97 in), and a few species (e.g., Dysphania) reach an even larger size. They have distinctive paired tympanal organs at the base of the abdomen (lacking in flightless females). Caterpillars[edit]

A Geometridae caterpillar camouflaged as a broken twig

Caterpillar
Caterpillar
locomotion

The name "Geometridae" ultimately derives from Latin geometra from Greek γεωμέτρης ("geometer, earth-measurer"). This refers to the means of locomotion of the larvae or caterpillars, which lack the full complement of prolegs seen in other lepidopteran caterpillars, with only two or three pairs at the posterior end instead of the usual five pairs. Equipped with appendages at both ends of the body, a caterpillar clasps with its front legs and draws up the hind end, then clasps with the hind end (prolegs) and reaches out for a new front attachment - creating the impression that it measures its journey. The caterpillars are accordingly called loopers, spanworms, or inchworms after their characteristic looping gait. The cabbage looper and soybean looper are not inchworms, but caterpillars of a different family. In many species of geometer moths, the inchworms are about 25 mm (1.0 in) long. They tend to be green, grey, or brownish and hide from predators by fading into the background or resembling twigs. Many inchworms, when disturbed, stand erect and motionless on their prolegs, increasing the resemblance. Some have humps or filaments. They are gregarious and are generally smooth. Some eat lichen, flowers, or pollen, while some, such as the Hawaiian species of the genus Eupithecia, are even carnivorous. Certain destructive inchworms are called cankerworms. Systematics[edit] Main article: List of geometrid genera The placement of the example species follows a 1990 systematic treatment; it may be outdated. Subfamilies
Subfamilies
are tentatively sorted in a phylogenetic sequence, from the most basal to the most advanced. Traditionally, the Archiearinae
Archiearinae
were held to be the most ancient of the geometer moth lineages, as their caterpillars have well-developed prolegs. However, it now seems that the Larentiinae
Larentiinae
are actually older, as indicated by their numerous plesiomorphies and DNA sequence data. They are either an extremely basal lineage of the Geometridae – together with the Sterrhinae
Sterrhinae
–, or might even be considered a separate family of Geometroidea. As regards the Archiearinae, some species that were traditionally placed therein actually seem to belong to other subfamilies; altogether it seems that in a few cases, the prolegs which were originally lost in the ancestral geometer moths re-evolved as an atavism.[4][5] Larentiinae
Larentiinae
– about 5,800 species, includes the pug moths, mostly temperate, might be a distinct family[4][5] Sterrhinae
Sterrhinae
– about 2,800 species, mostly tropical, might belong to same family as the Larentiinae[4]

Birch mocha, Cyclophora albipunctata False mocha, Cyclophora porata Maiden's blush, Cyclophora punctaria Riband wave, Idaea aversata Small fan-footed wave, Idaea biselata Single-dotted wave, Idaea dimidiata Small scallop, Idaea emarginata Idaea filicata Dwarf cream wave, Idaea fuscovenosa Rusty wave, Idaea inquinata Purple-bordered gold, Idaea muricata Bright wave, Idaea ochrata Least carpet, Idaea rusticata Small dusty wave, Idaea seriata Purple-barred yellow, Lythria cruentaria (formerly in Larentiinae) Vestal, Rhodometra sacraria Common pink-barred, Rhodostrophia vibicaria Middle lace border, Scopula decorata Cream wave, Scopula floslactata Small blood-vein, Scopula imitaria Lewes wave, Scopula immorata Lesser cream wave, Scopula immutata Mullein wave, Scopula marginepunctata Zachera moth, Semiothisa zachera Blood-vein, Timandra comae Eastern blood-vein, Timandra griseata

Desmobathrinae – pantropical Geometrinae
Geometrinae
– emerald moths, about 2,300 named species, most tropical Archiearinae
Archiearinae
– 12[verification needed] species; holarctic, southern Andes and Tasmania, though the latter some seem to belong to the Ennominae,[5] larvae have all the prolegs except most are reduced.

Infant, Archiearis infans
Archiearis infans
(Möschler, 1862) Scarce infant, Leucobrephos brephoides
Leucobrephos brephoides
(Walker, 1857)

Oenochrominae – in some treatments used as a "wastebin taxon" for genera that are difficult to place in other groups Alsophilinae – a few genera, defoliators of trees, might belong in the Ennominae, tribe Boarmiini[5]

March moth, Alsophila aescularia Fall cankerworm, Alsophila pometaria

Ennominae
Ennominae
– about 9,700 species, including some defoliating pests, global distribution Geometridae genera incertae sedis include:

Dichromodes Homoeoctenia Nearcha

Hydriomena? protrita
Hydriomena? protrita
holotype fore wing

Fossil Geometridae taxa include:

Hydriomena? protrita
Hydriomena? protrita
Cockerell, 1922 (Priabonian, Florissant Formation, Colorado)[6]

References[edit]

^ a b c Robin McLeod, John; Balaban, Jane; Moisset, Beatriz; Entz, Chuck (April 27, 2009). "Family Geometridae - Geometrid Moths". BugGuide. Retrieved April 2, 2011.  ^ " Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
Barcode of Life". Retrieved 2017-07-11.  ^ Scoble, M.J. (1999) (in German), Geometrid Moths of the World: a catalogue (Lepidoptera, Geometridae). Vol. 1 and 2, Stenstrup: CSIRO Publishing and Apollo Books, p. 1016  ^ a b c Õunap, Erki; Viidalepp, Jaan; Saarma, Urmas (2008). "Systematic position of Lythriini revised: transferred from Larentiinae
Larentiinae
to Sterrhinae
Sterrhinae
(Lepidoptera, Geometridae)". Zoologica Scripta. 37 (4): 405–413. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00327.x.  ^ a b c d Young, Catherine J. (2008). "Characterisation of the Australian Nacophorini using adult morphology, and phylogeny of the Geometridae based on morphological characters" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1736: 1–141.  ^ Cockerell, T. D. A. (1922). "A fossil Moth
Moth
from Florissant, Colorado". American Museum Novitates. 34: 1–2. 

Further reading[edit]

Hausmann, A. (2001): The geometrid moths of Europe. Apollo Books. Minet, J. & Scoble, M. J. (1999): The Drepanoid / Geometroid Assemblage. In: N. P. Kristensen (ed.): Handbuch der Zoologie. Eine Naturgeschichte der Stämme des Tierreiches / Handbook of Zoology. A Natural History of the phyla of the Animal
Animal
Kingdom (Vol. 4: Arthropoda: Insecta. Part 35: Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies vol. 1: Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography): Chapter 17. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin & New York. Scoble, M. J. (ed.) (1999): Geometrid Moths of the World: A Catalogue. CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 0-643-06304-8

External links[edit]

Find more aboutGeometridaeat's sister projects

Media from Wikimedia Commons Texts from Wikisource Taxonomy from Wikispecies

Family Geometridae at Lepidoptera.pro Anacamptodes pergracilis, cypress looper on the University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Featured Creatures website Geometridae species in New Zealand Geometridae species in Portugal European Geometridae[permanent dead link]

v t e

Extant Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
families

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Subclass: Pterygota Infraclass: Neoptera Superorder: Endopterygota

Suborder Zeugloptera

Micropterigoidea

Micropterigidae
Micropterigidae
(mandibulate archaic moths)

Suborder Aglossata

Agathiphagoidea

Agathiphagidae (kauri moths)

Suborder Heterobathmiina

Heterobathmioidea

Heterobathmiidae

Suborder Glossata

Dacnonypha

Eriocranioidea

Eriocraniidae

Acanthoctesia

Acanthopteroctetoidea

Acanthopteroctetidae (archaic sun moths)

Lophocoronina

Lophocoronoidea

Lophocoronidae

Neopseustina

Neopseustoidea

Neopseustidae (archaic bell moths)

Exoporia

Hepialoidea

Anomosetidae Hepialidae
Hepialidae
(swift moths, ghost moths) Neotheoridae (Amazonian primitive ghost moths) Palaeosetidae (miniature ghost moths) Prototheoridae (African primitive ghost moths)

Mnesarchaeoidea

Mnesarchaeidae (New Zealand primitive moths)

H e t e r o n e u r a

M o n o t r y s i a

Incurvarioidea

Adelidae
Adelidae
(fairy longhorn moths) Cecidosidae Crinopterygidae Heliozelidae Incurvariidae Prodoxidae
Prodoxidae
(yucca moths)

Andesianoidea

Andesianidae (Andean endemic moths)

Nepticuloidea

Nepticulidae
Nepticulidae
(pigmy, or midget moths) Opostegidae
Opostegidae
(white eyecap moths)

Palaephatoidea

Palaephatidae (Gondwanaland moths)

Tischerioidea

Tischeriidae (trumpet leaf miner moths)

D i t r y s i a

Simaethistoidea

Simaethistidae

Tineoidea

Acrolophidae
Acrolophidae
(burrowing webworm moths) Arrhenophanidae Eriocottidae (Old World spiny-winged moths) Lypusidae Psychidae (bagworm moths) Tineidae
Tineidae
(fungus moths)

Gracillarioidea

Bucculatricidae
Bucculatricidae
(ribbed cocoon makers) Douglasiidae (Douglas moths) Gracillariidae Roeslerstammiidae

Yponomeutoidea

Acrolepiidae
Acrolepiidae
(false diamondback moths) Bedelliidae Glyphipterigidae
Glyphipterigidae
(sedge moths) Heliodinidae Lyonetiidae Plutellidae Yponomeutidae (ermine moths) Ypsolophidae

Gelechioidea

Autostichidae Batrachedridae Blastobasidae Coleophoridae
Coleophoridae
(case-bearers, case moths) Cosmopterigidae
Cosmopterigidae
(cosmet moths) Elachistidae
Elachistidae
(grass-miner moths) Gelechiidae
Gelechiidae
(twirler moths) Lecithoceridae
Lecithoceridae
(long-horned moths) Metachandidae Momphidae
Momphidae
(mompha moths) Oecophoridae
Oecophoridae
(concealer moths) Pterolonchidae Scythrididae
Scythrididae
(flower moths) Xyloryctidae
Xyloryctidae
(timber moths)

Galacticoidea

Galacticidae

Zygaenoidea

Heterogynidae Zygaenidae
Zygaenidae
(burnet, forester, or smoky moths) Himantopteridae Lacturidae Somabrachyidae Megalopygidae (flannel moths) Aididae Anomoeotidae Cyclotornidae Epipyropidae
Epipyropidae
(planthopper parasite moths) Dalceridae
Dalceridae
(slug caterpillars) Limacodidae
Limacodidae
(slug, or cup moths)

Cossoidea

Cossidae
Cossidae
(carpenter millers, or goat moths) Dudgeoneidae (dudgeon carpenter moths)

Sesioidea

Brachodidae (little bear moths) Castniidae
Castniidae
(castniid moths: giant butterfly-moths, sun moths) Sesiidae
Sesiidae
(clearwing moths)

Choreutoidea

Choreutidae
Choreutidae
(metalmark moths)

Tortricoidea

Tortricidae
Tortricidae
(tortrix moths)

Urodoidea

Urodidae
Urodidae
(false burnet moths)

Schreckensteinioidea

Schreckensteiniidae
Schreckensteiniidae
(bristle-legged moths)

Epermenioidea

Epermeniidae
Epermeniidae
(fringe-tufted moths)

Alucitoidea

Alucitidae (many-plumed moths) Tineodidae (false plume moths)

Pterophoroidea

Pterophoridae
Pterophoridae
(plume moths)

Whalleyanoidea

Whalleyanidae

Immoidea

Immidae

Copromorphoidea

Copromorphidae (tropical fruitworm moths) Carposinidae
Carposinidae
(fruitworm moths)

Hyblaeoidea

Hyblaeidae
Hyblaeidae
(teak moths)

Pyraloidea

Pyralidae
Pyralidae
(snout moths) Crambidae
Crambidae
(grass moth)

Thyridoidea

Thyrididae
Thyrididae
(picture-winged leaf moths)

Mimallonoidea

Mimallonidae (sack bearer moths)

Lasiocampoidea

Lasiocampidae
Lasiocampidae
(eggars, snout moths, or lappet moths)

Bombycoidea

Anthelidae
Anthelidae
(Australian lappet moth) Bombycidae
Bombycidae
(silk moths) Brahmaeidae
Brahmaeidae
(Brahmin moths) Carthaeidae (Dryandra moth) Endromidae
Endromidae
(Kentish glory and relatives) Eupterotidae Lemoniidae Saturniidae
Saturniidae
(saturniids) Sphingidae
Sphingidae
(hawk moths, sphinx moths and hornworms) Phiditiidae

Noctuoidea

Doidae Erebidae
Erebidae
(underwing, tiger, tussock, litter, snout, owlet moths) Euteliidae Noctuidae
Noctuidae
(daggers, sallows, owlet moths, quakers, cutworms, darts) Nolidae
Nolidae
(tuft moths) Notodontidae
Notodontidae
(prominents, kittens) Oenosandridae

Drepanoidea

Epicopeiidae
Epicopeiidae
(oriental swallowtail moths) Drepanidae
Drepanidae
(hook-tips)

Geometroidea

Sematuridae Uraniidae Geometridae (geometer moths)

Cimelioidea

Cimeliidae (gold moths)

Calliduloidea

Callidulidae
Callidulidae
(Old World butterfly-moths)

Superfamily unassigned

Millieriidae

Rhopalocera (butterflies)

Hedyloidea

Hedylidae
Hedylidae
(American moth-butterflies)

Hesperioidea

Hesperiidae (skippers)

Papilionoidea (true butterflies)

Lycaenidae
Lycaenidae
(gossamer-winged butterflies: blues, coppers and relatives) Nymphalidae
Nymphalidae
(brush-footed, or four-footed butterflies) Papilionidae (swallowtail butterflies) Pieridae
Pieridae
(whites, yellows, orangetips, sulphurs) Riodinidae
Riodinidae
(metalmarks)

Note: division Monotrysia
Monotrysia
is not a clade.

Taxonomy of the Lepidoptera Lists by region

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q45559 ADW: Geometridae BAMONA: Geometridae BugGuide: 188 EoL: 827 EPPO: 1GEOMF Fauna Europaea: 7520 Fossilworks: 136330 GBIF: 6950 ITIS: 117556 NCBI: 82593 W

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