Male Mnesarchaea acuta, photographed by George Gibbs.

Belongs within: Glossata.
Contians: Hepialidae.

The Exoporia are a relatively small but morphologically diverse group of moths, varying from the small Mnesarchaea to the large ghost moths of the Hepialidae. The group is supported by a number of morphological synapomorphies including a female genital system with separate egg-laying and copulatory openings with sperm transferred externally along a furrow (Wiegmann et al. 2002). The genus Mnesarchaea is endemic to New Zealand with larvae that feed on detritus among forest leaf litter (Grimaldi & Engel 2005). It differs from other Exoporia in its small size, narrow lanceolate fore wings, and retention of functional (albeit reduced) mouthparts in the adult.

Exoporia [Hepialina]
    |--Mnesarchaea [Mnesarchaeidae, Mnesarchaeoidea] WRM02
    |    |--M. acuta WRM02
    |    |--M. fallax Philpott 1927 P27a
    |    |--M. fusca Philpott 1922 P27b
    |    |--M. hamadelpha Meyr. 1888 P27b
    |    |--M. loxoscia Meyr. 1888 P27b
    |    |--M. paracosma Meyr. 1886 P27b
    |    `--M. similis Philpott 1924 P27b
    `--Hepialoidea WRM02
         |--Neotheoridae NC91
         |--Anomoses [Anomosetidae] NC91
         |    `--A. hylecoetes NC91
         |--Prototheoridae NC91
         |    |--Prototheora petrosema P27c
         |    `--Metatheora corvifera P27c
         |--Palaeosetidae NC91
         |    |--Palaeoses scholastica NC91
         |    |--Ogygioses NC91
         |    |--Genustes NC91
         |    `--Osrhoes Druce 1900 NC91, D00
         |         `--*O. coronta Druce 1900 D00
         `--Hepialidae GE05

*Type species of generic name indicated


[D00] Druce, H. 1900. Descriptions of some new genera and species of Heterocera from tropical South America. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 7, 5: 507–527.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[NC91] Nielsen, E. S., & I. F. B. Common. 1991. Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 817–915. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[P27a] Philpott, A. 1927a. New Zealand Lepidoptera: Notes and descriptions. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 703–709.

[P27b] Philpott, A. 1927b. The genitalia of the Mnesarchaeidae. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 710–715.

[P27c] Philpott, A. 1927c. The maxillae in the Lepidoptera. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 721–746.

[WRM02] Wiegmann, B. M., J. C. Regier & C. Mitter. 2002. Combined molecular and morphological evidence on the phylogeny of the earliest lepidopteran lineages. Zoologica Scripta 31 (1): 67–81.

Last updated: 25 April 2022.

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