Articles written in Proceedings – Animal Sciences
Volume 96 Issue 5 September 1987 pp 613-618
Lepidoptera constitutes one of the dominant groups of insects in the forest ecosystem, both in terms of species diversity as well as their economic importance. Segregation of taxa in this order is mainly based on the external morphological characters at supraspecific and specific levels, although the morphological details of genitalic armature are also currently being used. More recent trends in the systematics of this group include studies of their ultrastructure, biochemistry, karyology, biometry, cytogenetics etc.
Lepidopterans differ in their habits and habitats, each species having its characteristic habitat requirements, but very sensitive even to slight changes in the environment. As a result, members of different populations which are subject to extrinsic factors affecting the habitats, host-plants or associated organisms exhibit considerable variation. Besides, changes are also brought about by intrinsic factors like parthenogenesis, intraspecific hybridization, changes in the genetic constitution of individuals, etc, which result in a high degree of intraspecific variability within a population.