Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Notable plesiomorphies and notable specializations : Head structure of the primitive "tongue moth" Acanthopteroctetes unifascia (lepidoptera: Acanthopteroctetidae)

  • Niels P. Kristensen
  • Jadranka Rota
  • Stefan Fischer
Publishing year: 2014-02
Language: English
Pages: 153-172
Publication/Series: Journal of Morphology
Volume: 275
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Abstract english

The Acanthopteroctetidae are one of the first-originated family-group lineages within "tongue moths" (Lepidoptera-Glossata). The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive account (based on whole mount preparations, serial sections, and Scanning electron microscopy) of the cephalic structure of an adult exemplar of the family, to supplement the sparse available information. Notable plesiomorphies include the retention of frontal retractors of the narrow labrum, a high supraocular index linked to strong development of cranio-mandibular ad- and abductors, and perhaps the unusually short but still coilable (just ca. 1.5 turns) galeal "tongue." Notable specializations (probably mostly family autapomorphies) include a complement of large sensilla placodea on the male antennae, an apical attachment of the long dorsal tentorial arm to the cranium, an extreme reduction of the single-segmented labial palps, a particularly strong subgenal bridge and a surface structure of near-parallel ridges on the ommatidial corneae. The presence of sizable saccular mandibular (type 1) glands opening into the adductor apodeme is unexpected, no counterparts being known from neighboring taxa. The same is true for ventral salivarium dilator muscles originating on the prelabium; and tentatively suggested to be homologues of the extrinsic palp flexors (the insertion shift being related to loss of original function due to palp reduction), rather than to the ventral salivarium muscles of more basal insects. A complete "deutocerebral loop"' may or may not be developed, as is true for a mutual appression of the optic lobe and circumoesophageal connective/suboesophageal ganglion, enclosing the anterior tentorial arm between them; a suboesophageal innervation of the retrocerebral complex was not observed. No characters bearing on the monophyly of the Coelolepida were identified. The scapo-pedicellar articulation with a scapal process and a smooth intercalary sclerite is reminiscent of conditions in Neopseustidae, but remains debatable as a synapomorphy of the two families. J. Morphol. 275:153-172, 2014.


  • Zoology
  • Corneal ridges
  • Labial regression
  • Labrum
  • Mandibular glands
  • Ommatidium
  • Phylogeny
  • Proboscis
  • Salivarium
  • Scapo-pedicellar articulation
  • Tentorium


  • ISSN: 0362-2525
Jadranka Rota
E-mail: jadranka [dot] rota [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Museum curator

Entomological collections

+46 46 222 84 57


Sölvegatan 37, Lund


Research group

Systematic Biology Group


Doctoral students and Postdocs

PhD students, assistant supervisor

Hampus Petrén