Biodiversity Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (7): 778-786.doi: 10.17520/biods.2019132

• Original Papers • Previous Article     Next Article

Species diversity and global distribution of Limacodidae (Lepidoptera) using online databases

Jiao Meng1, Li Jing1, *(), Zhao Huifeng1, Wu Chunsheng2, Zhang Aibing1, *()   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048
    2 Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
  • Received:2019-04-16 Accepted:2019-06-11 Online:2019-08-21
  • Li Jing,Zhang Aibing;

Limacodidae (Lepidoptera) is a globally distributed insect and is classified as a pest destroying economic and roadway trees. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the species diversity and global distribution of Limacodidae and to explore the reasons for uneven distribution patterns, which could provide a scientific basis for biodiversity conservation and pest control. Detailed information was downloaded and analyzed from the Barcode of Life Data System V4 (BOLD V4) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), as well as other local databases of Lepidoptera and related research. A total of 61,947 global distributional records of Limacodidae with explicit coordinates were gathered, including 187 genera and 637 species. At the biogeographic realm scale, 72 genera were recorded in Indomalayan realm, 31 in the Palearctic realm, 27 in the Australasian realm, 27 in the Neotropical realm, 22 in the Afrotropical realm, and 19 in the Nearctic realm. At the national scale, China has the highest species richness (123 species), followed by Vietnam (116 species), Costa Rica (75 species), and then Australia (69 species). The higher species diversity and richness of the Limacodidae in mid-low latitudinal regions may be related to stable climatic history and a vast number of host plants in these regions.

Key words: Limacodidae, species diversity, zoogeographic realms, global distribution

Fig. 1

Global zoogeographical realms distribution of Limacodidae. Figures represent the number of genus."

Table 1

Existing genera of Limacodidae in global zoogeographical realms"

Zoogeographical realms
Existing genera
Allothosea, Altha, Althonarosa, Aphendala, Arabessa, Atosia, Austrapoda, Avatara, Barabashka, Barisania, Belippa, Birthamula, Birthosea, Caelestomorpha, Caissa, Calauta, Cania, Ceratonema, Chalcocelis, Chalcoscelides, Cheromettia, Chibaraga, Darna, Demonarosa, Dudgeonea, Euphlyctinides, Flavinarosa, Griseothosea, Hampsonella, Heringarosa, Hindothosea, Hyphorma, Hyphormides, Iraga, Kitanola, Limacocera, Mahanta, Matsumurides, Miresa, Monema, Mummu, Nagodopsis, Narosa, Narosoideus, Neothosea, Nephelimorpha, Nirmides, Oxyplax, Parasa, Phlossa, Phocoderma, Polyphena, Praesetora, Prapata, Pretas, Pseudaltha, Pseudidonauton, Pseudocaissa, Pseudonirmides, Quasinarosa, Quasithosea, Rhamnosa, Sansarea, Scopelodes, Setora, Setothosea, Squamosa, Susica, Tanvia, Tennya, Thosea, Vipaka 72
Acraephnes, Altha, Aphendala, Apoda, Austrapoda, Belippa, Birthosea, Caissa, Ceratonema, Chalcoscelides, Chibaraga, Darna, Heterogenea, Iraga, Iragoides, Isa, Mahanta, Mediocampa, Microcampa, Microleon, Monema, Narosa, Narosoideus, Neothosea, Parasa, Phlossa, Phrixolepia, Rhamnosa, Scopelodes, Setora, Thosea 31
Anaxidia, Anepopsia, Apodecta, Birthamoides, Calcarifera, Chalcocelis, Comana, Comanula, Doratifera, Ecnomoctena, Elassoptila, Eloasa, Hedraea, Hydroclada, Hypselolopha, Lamprolepida, Limacochara, Mambara, Mecytha, Parasoidea, Pinzulenza, Praesusica, Pseudanapaea, Pygmaeomorpha, Scopelodes, Squamosa, Thosea 27
Acharia, Alarodia, Blazia, Dichromapteryx, Epiperola, Euclea, Euphobetron, Euprosterna, Heuretes, Isa, Isochaetes, Leucophobetron, Miresa, Monoleuca, Narosopsis, Natada, Parasa, Perola, Phobetron, Prolimacodes, Pseudovipsania, Semyra, Talima, Tanadema, Venadicodia, Vipsania, Vipsophobetron 27
Afrobirthama, Ambaliha, Andaingo, Birthama, Chrysopoloma, Coenobasis, Cosuma, Crothaema, Ctenolita, Delorhachis, Hadraphe, Halseyia, Hamartia, Latoia, Micraphe, Pantoctenia, Parapluda, Scotinochroa, Strigivenifera, Teinorhynca, Thliptocnemis, Uniserrata 22
Adoneta, Acharia, Alarodia, Apoda, Cryptophobetron, Darna, Euclea, Euprosterna, Heterogenea, Isa, Isochaetes, Lithacodes, Monoleuca, Natad, Packardia, Parasa, Phobetron, Prolimacodes, Tortricidia 19

Table 2

Number of genera of Limacodidae in global zoogeographical realms"

动物地理区系 Zoogeographical realms 属数 No. of genera 占比 Proportion (%)
东洋区 Indomalayan 72 38.50
古北区 Palearctic 31 16.58
澳新区 Australasian 27 14.43
新热带区 Neotropical 27 14.43
非洲热带区 Afrotropical 22 11.76
新北区 Nearctic 19 10.16
东洋区 + 古北区 Indomalayan + Palearctic 19 10.16
新北区 + 新热带区 Nearctic + Neotropical 9 4.81
澳新区 + 东洋区 Australasian + Indomalayan 2 1.07
古北区 + 新北区 Palearctic + Nearctic 2 1.07
东洋区 + 新北区 Indomalayan + Nearctic 1 0.53
澳新区 + 东洋区 + 古北区 Australasian + Indomalayan + Palearctic 2 1.07
东洋区 + 古北区 + 新北区 Indomalayan + Palearctic + Nearctic 1 0.53
古北区 + 新北区 + 新热带区 Palearctic + Nearctic + Neotropical 1 0.53
东洋区 + 古北区 + 新北区 + 新热带区 Indomalayan + Palearctic + Nearctic + Neotropical 1 0.53

Table 3

Shared genera of Limacodidae in global zoogeographical realms"

属名 Genus 动物地理区系 Zoogeographical realms
Acharia + +
Alarodia + +
Altha + +
Aphendala + +
Apoda + +
Austrapoda + +
Belippa + +
Birthosea + +
Caissa + +
Ceratonema + +
Chalcocelis + +
Chalcoscelides + +
Chibaraga + +
Darna + + +
Euclea + +
Euprosterna + +
Heterogenea + +
Iraga + +
Iragoides + +
Isochaetes + +
Isa + + +
Mahanta + +
Miresa + +
Monoleuca + +
Monema + +
Narosa + +
Narosoideus + +
Natada + +
Neothosea + +
Parasa + + + +
Phlossa + +
Phobetron + +
Prolimacodes + +
Rhamnosa + +
Scopelodes + + +
Setora + +
Squamosa + +
Thosea + + +
总计 Sum 4 26 26 14 12 0

Fig. 2

Number of existing genera and endemic genera of Limacodidae in each zoogeographical realm"

Fig. 3

Correlation analysis between species richness and latitude"

Fig. 4

Top 15 countries of the richness of Limacodidae species"

[1] Cai RQ ( 1983) Research and new species records of the genus Parasa in China (Lepidoptera, Limacodidae). Acta Entomologica Sinica, 26, 437-451. (in Chinese)
[ 蔡荣权 ( 1983) 我国绿刺蛾属的研究及新种记述(鳞翅目: 刺蛾科). 昆虫学报, 26, 437-451.]
[2] Chenon R ( 1982) Latoia (Parasa) lepida (Cramer) Lepidoptera Limacodidae, a coconut pest in Indonesia. Oléagineux, 37, 177-183.
[3] Cock MJW, Godfray HCJ, Holloway JD ( 1987) Slug and Nettle Caterpillars: The Biology, Taxonomy and Control of the Limacodidae of Economic Importance on Palms in Southeast Asia. Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International, Wallingford, UK.
[4] Darimont CT, Carlson SM, Kinnison MT, Paquet PC, Reimchen TE, Wilmers CC ( 2009) Human predators outpace other agents of trait change in the wild. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 106, 952-954.
[5] Duke NC ( 2002) Sustained high levels of foliar herbivory of the mangrove Rhizophora stylosa by a moth larva Doratifera stenosa (Limacodidae) in north-eastern Australia. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 10, 403-419.
[6] Edwards ED, Nielsen ES, Rangsi TV ( 1996) Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera, 4, 1-529.
[7] Fang JY, Song YC, Liu HY, Piao SL ( 2002) Vegetation-climate relationship and its application in the division of vegetation zone in China. Acta Botanica Sinica, 44, 1105-1122.
[8] Gentry AH ( 1982) Neotropical floristic diversity: Phytogeographical connections between Central and South America, Pleistocene climatic fluctuations, or an accident of the Andean orogeny? Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 69, 557-593.
[9] Godfray HCJ, Chan MS ( 1990) How insecticides trigger single- stage outbreaks in tropical pests. Functional Ecology, 4, 329-337.
[10] Goode JD, Barefoot CR, Hart JL, Dey DC ( 2018) Disturbance history, species diversity, and structural complexity of a temperate deciduous forest. Journal of Forestry Research, 9(2), 1-18.
[11] Heitzman JR, Heitzman JE ( 1987) Butterflies and Moths of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City.
[12] He K, Jiang X ( 2014) Sky islands of southwest China. I. An overview of phylogeographic patterns. Chinese Science Bulletin, 59, 585-597.
[13] Igbinosa IB ( 1988) Parasites of the immature stages of Latoia viridissima Holland (Lep., Limacodidae), a pest of palms in Nigeria. Journal of Applied Entomology, 106, 527-530.
[14] Igbinosa IB ( 2010) Studies on the biology of Latoia (Parasa) viridissima Holland (Lep., Limacodidae), a pest of palms in West Africa. Journal of Applied Entomology, 99, 260-266.
[15] Iwata T, Inoue M, Nakano S, Miyasaka H, Covich DAP ( 2003) Shrimp abundance and habitat relationships in tropical rain-forest streams, Sarawak, Borneo. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 19, 387-395.
[16] Jong J, Ingemar A ( 1991) Factors affecting the distribution pattern of bats in Uppland, Central Sweden. Ecography, 14, 92-96.
[17] Kozlov M ( 1996) Patterns of forest insect distribution within a large city: Microlepidoptera in St. Peterburg, Russia. Journal of Biogeography, 23, 95-103.
[18] Li D, Ren GD ( 2016) Comparison of darkling beetles in latitudinal distribution between Taiwan, China and Japan (Tenebrionidae, Coleoptera). Journal of Environmental Entomology, 38, 1134-1144. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 李迪, 任国栋 ( 2016) 中国台湾和日本拟步甲在纬度分布上的比较研究. 环境昆虫学报, 38, 1134-1144.]
[19] Li XW, Li J ( 1993) A preliminary floristic study on the seed plants from the region of Hengduan Mountain. Acta Botanica Yunnanica, 15, 217-231. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 李锡文, 李捷 ( 2013) 横断山脉地区种子植物区系的初步研究. 云南植物研究, 15, 217-231.]
[20] Ma KP ( 2016) New trends for biodiversity conservation from the World Conservation Congress. Biodiversity Science, 24, 1091-1092. (in Chinese)
[ 马克平 ( 2016) 从世界自然保护大会看生物多样性保护的新趋势. 生物多样性, 24, 1091-1092.]
[21] Mccreadie JW, Williams RH, Stutsman S, Finn DS, Adler PH ( 2018) The influence of habitat heterogeneity and latitude on gamma diversity of the Nearctic Simuliidae, a ubiquitous group of stream-dwelling insects. Insect Science, 25, 712-720.
[22] Murphy SM, Leahy SM, Williams LS, Lill JT ( 2010) Stinging spines protect slug caterpillars (Limacodidae) from multiple generalist predators. Behavioral Ecology, 21, 153-160.
[23] Murphy SM, Lill JT ( 2010) Winter predation of diapausing cocoons of slug caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae). Environmental Entomology, 39, 1893-1902.
[24] Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, Fonseca GABD, Kent J ( 2000) Biodiversity hotspot for conservation priorities. Nature, 403, 853-858.
[25] van Nieukerken EJ, Kaila L, Kitching J, Kristensen NP, Lees DC, Minet J, Mitter C, Mutanen M, Regier JC, Simonsen TJ, Wahlberg N, Yen SH, Zahiri R, Adamski D, Baixeras J, Bartsch D, Bengtsson BÅ, Brown JW, Bucheli SR, Davis DR, Prins JD, Prins WD, Epstein ME, Gentili-Poole P, Gielis C, Hättenschwiler P, Hausmann A, Holloway JD, Kallies A, Karsholt O, Kawahara AY, Koster S, Kozlov MV, Lafontaine JD, Lamas G, Landry JF, Lee S, Nuss M, Park KT, Penz C, Rota J, Schintlmeister A, Schmidt BC, Sohn JC, Solis MA, Tarmann GM, Warren AD, Weller S, Yakovlev RV, Zolotuhin VV, Zwick A ( 2011) Animal Biodiversity: An outline of higher classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa, 314, 212-221.
[26] Pan Z, Zhu CD, Wu CS ( 2013) A review of the genus Monema Walker in China (Lepidoptera, Limacodidae). ZooKeys, 306(6), 23-36.
[27] Palumbi SR ( 2001) Humans as the world’s greatest evolutionary force. Science, 293, 1786-1790.
[28] Pinilla-Buitrago GE, Escalante T, Ana GV, Reyes-Castillo P, Rojas-Soto OR ( 2018) Areas of endemism persist through time: A palaeoclimatic analysis in the Mexican Transition Zone. Journal of Biogeography, 45, 952-961.
[29] Royden LH ( 1997) Surface deformation and lower crustal flow in eastern Tibet. Science, 276, 788-790.
[30] Solovyev AV ( 2008) The Limacodid moths (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae) of Russia. Eversmannia, 15(4), 17-43.
[31] Solovyev AV, Witt TJ ( 2009) The Limacodidae of Vietnam. Entomofauna, 16(Suppl.), 313-321.
[32] Stuart YE, Campbell TS, Hohenlohe PA, Reynolds RG, Revell LJ, Losos JB ( 2014) Rapid evolution of a native species following invasion by a congener. Science, 346, 463-466.
[33] Tabashnik BE, Mota-Sanchez D, Whalon ME, Hollingworth RM, Carrière Y ( 2014) Defining terms for proactive management of resistance to Bt crops and pesticides. Journal of Economic Entomology, 107, 496-507.
[34] Tapponnier P, Molnar P ( 1976) Slip-Line field theory and large-scale continental tectonics. Nature, 264, 315-324.
[35] Tshistjakov YA ( 1995) A review of the Limacodidae (Lepdoptera) of the Russian Far East. Far East Entomologist, 7(2), 1-12.
[36] Waters C, Zalasiewicz J, Summerhayes C, Barnosky AD, Poirier C, Gałuszka A, Cearreta A, Edgeworth M, Ellis EC, Ellis M, Jeandel C, Leinfelder R, McNeill JR, Richter DD, Steffen W, Syvitski J, Vidas D, Wagreich M, Williams M, Zhi SA, Grinevald J, Odada E, Oreskes N, Wolfe AP ( 2016) The anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the holocene. Science, 351, 137-147.
[37] Wu CS, Fang CL ( 2009) A taxonomic study of the genus Hampsonella Dyar in China (Lepidoptera, Limacodidae). Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 34, 49-50.
[38] Wu CS ( 2010) Analysis on the host plant diversity of slug caterpillar moths in China. Forest Pest and Disease, 29(2), 1-4. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 武春生 ( 2010) 中国刺蛾科幼虫的寄主植物多样性分析. 中国森林病虫, 29(2), 1-4.]
[39] Wu CS, Fang CL ( 2010) Insect Fauna of Henan. Science Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)
[ 武春生, 方承莱 ( 2010) 河南昆虫志. 科学出版社, 北京.]
[40] Yao Y, Zhang B, Han F, Pang Y ( 2010) Diversity and geographical pattern of altitudinal belts in the Hengduan Mountains in China. Journal of Mountain Science, 7, 123-132.
[41] Zhang YH, He NP, Loreau M, Pan Q, Han X ( 2017) Scale dependence of the diversity-stability relationship in a temperate grassland. Journal of Ecology, 106, 1227-1285.
[1] Zhang Mingming,Yang Zhaohui,Wang Cheng,Wang Jiaojiao,Hu Canshi,Lei Xiaoping,Shi Lei,Su Haijun,Li Jiaqi. Camera-trapping survey on mammals and birds in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2019, 27(7): 813-818.
[2] Hu Yifeng, Yu Wenhua, Yue Yang, Huang Zhenglanyi, Li Yuchun, Wu Yi. Species diversity and potential distribution of Chiroptera on Hainan Island, China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2019, 27(4): 400-408.
[3] Yan Wenbo,Ji Shengnan,Shuai Lingying,Zhao Leigang,Zhu Dapeng,Zeng Zhigao. Spatial distribution patterns of mammal diversity in Yangxian County of Shaanxi Province on the southern slope of the Qinling Mountains [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2019, 27(2): 177-185.
[4] Chen Zuoyi, Xu Xiaojing, Zhu Suying, Zhai Mengyi, Li Yang. Species diversity and geographical distribution of the Chaetoceros lorenzianus complex along the coast of China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2019, 27(2): 149-158.
[5] Bo Wang,Yong Huang,Jiatang Li,Qiang Dai,Yuezhao Wang,Daode Yang. Amphibian species richness patterns in karst regions in Southwest China and its environmental associations [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2018, 26(9): 941-950.
[6] Dexin Sun, Xiang Liu, Shurong Zhou. Dynamical changes of diversity and community assembly during recovery from a plant functional group removal experiment in the alpine meadow [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2018, 26(7): 655-666.
[7] Yu Zhang, Gang Feng. Distribution pattern and mechanism of insect species diversity in Inner Mongolia [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2018, 26(7): 701-706.
[8] Xiaqiu Tao,Shaopeng Cui,Zhigang Jiang,Hongjun Chu,Na Li,Daode Yang,Chunwang Li. Reptilian fauna and elevational patterns of the reptile species diversity in Altay Prefecture in Xinjiang, China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2018, 26(6): 578-589.
[9] Cheng Tian,Junqing Li,Xuyu Yang,Lin Yu,Dan Yuan,Yunxi Li. Preliminary surveys of wild animals using infrared camera in Wanglang National Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2018, 26(6): 620-626.
[10] Han-Dong WEN, Lu-Xiang LIN, Jie YANG, Yue-Hua HU, Min CAO, Yu-Hong LIU, Zhi-Yun LU, You-Neng XIE. Species composition and community structure of a 20 hm2 plot of mid-mountain moist evergreen broad-leaved forest on the Mts. Ailaoshan, Yunnan Province, China [J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 2018, 42(4): 419-429.
[11] Qian YANG, Wei WANG, Hui ZENG. Effects of nitrogen addition on the plant diversity and biomass of degraded grasslands of Nei Mongol, China [J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 2018, 42(4): 430-441.
[12] LIU Hai-Yue, LI Xin-Mei, ZHANG Lin-Lin, WANG Jiao-Jiao, HE Xue-Li. Eco-geographical distribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with Hedysarum scoparium in the desert zone of northwestern China [J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 2018, 42(2): 252-260.
[13] Yiming Hu,Jianchao Liang,Kun Jin,Zhifeng Ding,Zhixin Zhou,Huijian Hu,Zhigang Jiang. The elevational patterns of mammalian richness in the Himalayas [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2018, 26(2): 191-201.
[14] Tianqi Shang, Nuonan Ye, Haiqing Gao, Hongdi Gao, Lita Yi. Community Structure Analysis of a Public Welfare Forest Based on Multivariate Regression Trees [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2018, 53(2): 238-249.
[15] Zihong Chen, Xiaona Yang, Ningjing Sun, Ling Xu, Yuan Zheng, Yuming Yang. Species diversity and vertical distribution characteristics of Metarhizium in Gaoligong Mountains, southwestern China [J]. Biodiv Sci, 2018, 26(12): 1308-1317.
Full text



[1] Cai De-tian and Zhou Chang. Induction of Haploid Plantlets by Anther Culture in Daucus carrota L.[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1983, 1(02): 36 -37 .
[2] Zhao GOng-peng Fang Ji-you Jiang Ji-quan Yang Hui-jian Su Shu-xin Wang Zhan-wen Yu Guang-xue. A Preliminary Results of the Cold-Resister CR-4 Applied to Spring-maize in the Cold Mountain Areas[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1994, 11(特辑): 132 -136 .
[3] Cheng Wang-da Zhou Xian-fen Feng Xing-song. Application Effects of the Cold-resister for Early-rice seedling Culture in Triple-cropping System of Jiaxing[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1994, 11(特辑): 79 -81 .
[4] Sun Min. Do the Plants of Cannabinaceae Have Latex?[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1991, 8(01): 63 -64 .
[5] ZHANG Shi-Gong LIU Guo-Dong LIU Geng-Ling. Plant Nutrition and Drought Resistance of Crops[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2001, 18(01): 64 -69 .
[6] Zijun Fang;Qilong Shi;Zhongnan Yang;Sen Zhang. Functional Analysis of OsMS2 Gene Involved in Anther Development of Rice[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2008, 25(06): 665 -672 .
[7] WENG De-Bao WANG Hai-Feng WENG Jia-Ying. Studies on Flavonoids in the Inflorescence of Celosia argentea L.[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2000, 17(06): 565 -568 .
[8] Xiaojun Xi, Jing Cao, Jinfeng Zhang, Dengrong Zhang. Study on Drought Resistance of Abies concolor[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2008, 25(06): 722 -727 .
[9] Wu Guo-liang;Shi Yan-shan and Chang Liu-yin. Effects of Plant Hormones on Tissue Derived from Stems of Zanthoxylum Bungeanum Maxim[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(增刊): 59 -60 .
[10] Qifeng Wang, Qiong Yi, Kunzhi Li, Limei Chen, Yongxiong Yu. Construction of a Suppression Subtractive Hybridization Library for Stylosanthes guianensis Under Aluminum Stress and Expressed Sequence Tag Analysis[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2010, 45(06): 679 -688 .