A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the vampire moths and their fruit-piercing relatives (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Calpinae)

J. M. Zaspel, R. Zahiri, M. A. Hoy, D. Janzen, S. J. Weller, N. Wahlberg

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22 Scopus citations


Within butterflies and moths, adult hematophagy is limited to species within the vampire moth genus Calyptra. These moths are placed within the subfamily Calpinae, whose other members are known to exhibit a broad range of feeding behaviors including those that can be considered 'piercers' of fruits or other hosts and 'tear feeders'. Here, we reconstruct a phylogenetic hypothesis of Calpinae using molecular data to test whether hematophagy in Calyptra arose from plant or animal-related behaviors. We use a Bayesian method of ancestral state reconstruction to determine the most likely feeding behaviors for the subtribes and genera within this lineage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-791
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Hans Bänziger (Chiang Mai), H. Thöny (Brazil), Marc Branham (UF), Harry Fay (Queensland Gov.), Michael Fibiger (Denmark), Harald Krenn (UV, Vienna), Vladimir Kononenko (RAS, Vladivostok), Jim Miller (AMNH), Charlie and Kim Mitter (UMD), Shen-Horn Yen (NSYU, Taiwan), Marko Mutanen (UO, Finland), Lauri Kaila (Finnish NHM), Jeremy D. Holloway (BMNH), Roger Kendrick (KFBG, China), Ugo Dall’Asta (RMCA, Belgium), and Henry S. Barlow for assistance on this project. Yu Yan (SU, China) provided assistance with RASP analyses. The authors also acknowledge R. Goff and Charaxes ( http://www.africanmoths.com ) for the permission to use the Miniodes moth images depicted in the tree. This project was funded in part by: The Davies, Fischer and Eckes Endowment to M.A. Hoy, NSF DDIG-0807975, NSF DEB 0919185, NSF DEB-0531639, The Academy of Finland (Grant Nos. 118369 and 129811), the Kone foundation, the CIMO and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.


  • Calyptra
  • Evolution
  • Hematophagy
  • Lachryphagy


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