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Global diversity of butterflies (Lepidotera) in freshwater

Authors:Wolfram Mey and Wolfgang Speidel

Abstract:In Lepidoptera, the subfamily Acentropinae and Pyraustinae of Crambidae (Pyraloidea) and the family Arctiidae (Noctuoidea) contain species with true aquatic larvae, which live submerged during larval development. In Pyraustinae and Arctiidae only a few species exhibit an aquatic life-history. From the latter, aquatic larvae are known from the Neotropical genus Paracles. The number of aquatic Paracles species is unknown. The Acentropinae are predominantly aquatic. They are distributed worldwide, and reach the highest diversity in tropical regions of South East Asia/Malesia and in the Neotropical Region. At present, the Acentropinae include a total of 50 genera and 737 described species. All genera, assigned to the subfamily, are listed in a table, and the numbers of included species are indicated. The taxonomy and phylogeney of the genera are inadequately known. The species have a minor economic importance, however, they are very sensitive to degradation of water quality and habitat destruction.

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