Assessing the diversity of Papuan noctuid moths (Lepidoptera)

Assessing the diversity of Papuan noctuid moths (Lepidoptera)

The lepidopterous family Noctuidae is one of the most speciose zoological groups worldwide. It has a marked prevalence in temperate rather than tropical environments, and for this reason most of its tropical diversity is found outside of forests, being concentrated in mountain, often hardly accessible areas. Samples of moths from New Guinea have revealed an unexpected species richness of noctuids from mountain ranges of this megadiverse island, with numerous species still unnamed and lineages showing links with groups occurring in other regions of the world. The aim of the project is therefore that to provide an overall review of the Papuan noctuid fauna based on both the studied and unstudied holdings of this family at the Natural History Museum, focusing on some of the lesser studied groups or genera, as a contribution towards our understanding of the drivers of speciation and diversification in the area. The research will also involve dissections under the stereomicroscope to enable species diagnosis and identification.

This project is suitable for hybrid working.

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