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Morphological, molecular diversity and tribal assignment of the genus Eois Hübner 1818 (Lepidoptera: Geometridae, Larentiinae)

Grant number: 16/20196-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): May 24, 2017
Effective date (End): May 23, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:André Victor Lucci Freitas
Grantee:Simeão de Souza Moraes
Supervisor abroad: Niklas Wahlberg
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Lund University, Lund, Sweden  
Associated to the scholarship:15/17047-5 - Inventory of herbivores in Piperaceae species, BP.PD

Abstract

The genus Eois Hübner (Geometridae: Larentiinae) comprises 250 valid species of which 217 were described from the Neotropical and 31 os those having their type locality in Brazil. Because this speciose genus has never been revised, and because it potentially includes many undescribed cryptic species, Eois embodies a problematic taxonomic scenario. In addition Eois stands out because the species are involved in complex host plant interactions, including sequestration of secondary compounds and possible co-evolution with the species-rich plant family Piperaceae. The potential for establishing Eois as a model group in broad studies of co-evolution, as well as more specific interactions with Piperaceae, especially the genus Piper, is constrained mainly by taxonomic uncertainties involving these moths. The actual diversity of Eois is greatly underestimated. In particular, the Brazilian fauna is poorly known, both because of inadequate sampling and because the potential exists that a many cryptic species "hidden" within some nominal taxa. This research project proposes to test the monophyly of Eois and to investigate the diversity of the genus within Brazil through the use of integrative taxonomy, using morphological and molecular tools and the study of type material deposited in European collections. We also expect that molecular analyses with material sampled in field trips carried out in Brazil and from entomological collections abroad will shed light on the systematics of Larentiinae in general, testing the monophyly of the tribes Asthenini and Eupitheciini, as well as the genus Eois. (AU)