Commons:WikiProject Tree of Life/Lepidoptera

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This page is specifically for Lepidoptera (butterflies & moths) however it may serve as a working model for other TOL areas. The guidelines set out on Commons:WikiProject Tree of Life are outdated and generally not followed anymore.


See Commons:WikiProject Tree of Life/Lepidoptera/Progress.

Templates and page layout[edit]

All Lepidoptera families and their subcategories should include {{Lepidoptera}}, which is an adapted version of {{taxonavigation}} that auto-categorizes. This allows us to standardize and maintain the categories easier since everything can be control from a centralized location. It also tries to cut down on the redundancy of of having to list the higher ranks (which is now partially solved in {{taxonavigation}}).

It's recommended to add {{VN}}, for listing common names, and {{SN}}, for listing synonyms. A list of the subtaxa may be useful for navigation (it's like a continuation of the taxonavigation) and also helps users to know where to place a specific taxon when they create it without having to look it up which sometimes leads them to use a completely different classification than the one used here. To make these lists you can use {{species}}, {{genera}}, or {{taxa}} (tribes and higher).

For most pages that already have these, the order is (starting at the top): {{VN}}, {{SN}}, {{Lepidoptera}}, a subtaxa list ({{species}}/{{genera}}/{{taxa}}) or other information, followed by {{ws}} and external links. See previous discussion.

Galleries vs. categories[edit]

See also Commons:Galleries.

The relationship between these two systems and the purposes of having both are still completely undefined and unresolved, so this only addresses a small portion of the tree of life, namely the Lepidoptera.

Simply put: Galleries are about the images, categories are about the taxon. This means that most information about the group as a whole (common names, synonyms, classification, etc.) should go on the category page and information regarding individual images should go on the gallery page (as captions). However short descriptions of the group may also be added here instead of the category. Galleries are the place for article interwiki links. Categories are for category interwiki links but they may have also have article links if no gallery exists.


Any images of individual species should be in either a genus or species category (and in some rare cases a subspecies category). Families, subfamilies, and tribes should only contain images which contain multiple species. If further identification isn't possible, place it in the appropriate "unidentified" category.

Regarding tribes[edit]

In most cases, further subdivision of subfamilies is unnecessary and tribe classification is currently unstable in many areas so it is usually not recommended to create new tribe categories unless the subfamily all ready has some. Subtribes, subgenera or other ranks should be avoided (you can always create a gallery for these ranks if you wish).


It should not be a high priority to list every published synonym. Many are useless to the common person and some were never used outside certain publications. Some are important though because they allow people who know the taxon by a different name to find the content they are looking for. It also helps avoid duplicate categories. Some types of synonyms to consider including: Names that have fairly widespread usage (Google hits is a good indicator). Original or previous names that are likely to be used in old literature, specifically for when users upload old illustrations and do not know the current name. Names that have recently changed. Common subjective synonyms including ones that we treat as distinct groups. These help guide users to use the appropriate classification.

Author citation[edit]

The original author and date of a name should always follow the name (at least in the taxonavigation and synonym templates). In the case of Wikipedia, it's common for author names to be missing parentheses since many users don't understand the purpose of them. Brackets for dates are likewise disregarded. Refer to ICZN Code Article 51 and Article 22 if you are unsure sure of the correct format. Also note that surnames are never abbreviated like they are in botany (e.g. It's always Linnaeus not L.).


When disambiguation is needed (usually at the genus level), the disambiguated category should be named with the family name in parenthesis. E.g. "Category:Genus (Family)". Do not use "(genus)" because of homonyms (two genera with the same name) nor "(butterfly)"/"(moth)" because those are language specific.



  • Lepidoptera Names Index - The Global Lepidoptera Names Index - Considered authoritative and is pretty accurate, but not always up-to-date (see [1] and [2] for the publications it follows; also contains unpublished material).
    Use source=LepIndex in {{Taxa}}
  • ButMoth - Butterflies and Moths of the World Generic Names and their Type-species - This is the genera counterpart to LepIndex.
    Use source=ButMoth in {{Genera}}, {{Species}}...
  • Catalogue of Life - It contains the LepIndex database and is much more easy to use.
    Use {{CatalogueofLife taxon}}, {{CatalogueofLife genus}}, {{CatalogueofLife species}}, {{CatalogueofLife subspecies}} to reference website + source=CatalogueOfLife in {{Genera}}, {{Species}}...
  • Fauna Europaea - Covers all known land and fresh-water animal species in Europe. Unfortunately, as the name implies, it is limited in scope.
    Use {{Faunaeur}} to reference website + source=Faunaeur in {{Taxa}}, {{Genera}}...
  • Markku Savela's pages on - Not authoritative, but may serve as a good starting point. It uses many different sources, and usually lists them for each taxon. It's better for names, authors, and references rather than the status or ranking of specific taxa (but it's much better than many supposedly "authoritative" sources like ITIS).
    Use {{Funet}} to reference website + source=Funet in {{Taxa}}, {{Genera}}...
  • TOLweb - Not very complete yet but for some areas it can be a great source. The pages are created by biologists (usually the same ones who authored the literature they follow) and are subject to various levels of review. It may contain very recent original/unpublished material (their project is phylogenetic-based, so it will at times be at odds with some older but more established classifications).
    Use {{Tolweb}} to reference website + source=Tolweb in {{Taxa}}, {{Genera}}...

Most other online databases (ITIS, Catalog of Life, EOL, etc.) may be useful but are known to be incomplete, erroneous, and outdated. ZipcodeZoo has an astonishing amount of synonyms, misspellings, and incorrect info and should not be used. Always use caution with secondary sources.

References & notes on classification by family[edit]

Please add any sources you use (or recommend) preferably free online material although sometimes this is hard to come by. In the case you do not have direct access to some of the publications listed, sometimes key parts of them can be derived from other sites (e.g. Wikipedia, Wikispecies, funet) when used as a reference there.




  • For skippers, we follow TOLweb. Wikispecies is also in the middle of updating to this newer classification as well.


  • J. C. Koster, S. Yu. Sinev: Momphidae, Batrachedridae, Stathmopodidae, Agonoxenidae, Cosmopterigidae, Chrysopeleiidae. In: P. Huemer, O. Karsholt, L. Lyneborg (Hrsg.): Microlepidoptera of Europe 5: 1-387, Apollo Books 2003, ISBN 87-88757-66-8


For the higher classification of Noctuoidea see Commons:WikiProject Tree of Life/Lepidoptera/Noctuoidea

  • Michael Fibiger: Noctuinae I. - Noctuidae Europaeae, Volume 1. Entomological Press, Sorø, 1990, ISBN 87-89430-01-8
  • Michael Fibiger: Noctuinae II. - Noctuidae Europaeae, Volume 2. Entomological Press, Sorø, 1993, ISBN 87-89430-02-6
  • Michael Fibiger: Noctuinae III. - Noctuidae Europaeae, Volume 3. Entomological Press, Sorø, 1997, ISBN 87-89430-05-0
  • H. Hacker, Lázló Ronkay, Márton Hreblay: Hadeninae I.- Noctuidae Europaeae, Volume 4., Sorø, 2002, ISBN 87-89430-07-7
  • Lázló Ronkay, José Luis Yela, Márton Hreblay: Hadeninae II. - Noctuidae Europaeae, Volume 5., Sorø, 2001, ISBN 87-89430-06-9
  • Gábor Ronkay, Lázló Ronkay: Cuculliinae I. - Noctuidae Europaeae, Volume 6., Sorø, 1994, ISBN 87-89430-03-4
  • Gábor Ronkay, Lázló Ronkay: Cuculliinae II. - Noctuidae Europaeae, Volume 7., Sorø, 1995, ISBN 87-89430-04-2
  • Alberto Zilli, Lázló Ronkay, Michael Fibiger: Apameini. - Noctuidae Europaeae, Volume 8., Sorø, 2005, ISBN 87-89430-09-3
  • Barry Goater, Lázló Ronkay, Michael Fibiger: Catocalinae & Plusiinae. - Noctuidae Europaeae, Volume 10., Sorø, 2003, ISBN 87-89430-08-5



  • C. Gielis: Pterophoridae. In: P. Huemer, O. Karsholt, L. Lyneborg (Hrsg.): Microlepidoptera of Europe 1: 1-222., Apollo Books 1996, ISBN 87-88757-36-6
  • C. Gielis: Pterophoroidea & Alucitoidea. In: World Catalogue of Insects. Volume 4, Apollo Books, 2003, ISBN 87-88757-68-4


  • Barry Goater, Matthias Nuss, Wolfgang Speidel: Pyraloidea I (Crambidae, Acentropinae, Evergestinae, Heliothelinae, Schoenobiinae, Scopariinae). In: P. Huemer, O. Karsholt, L. Lyneborg (Hrsg.): Microlepidoptera of Europe 4: 1-304, Apollo Books 2005, ISBN 87-88757-33-1


  • Bengt Å. Bengtsson: Scythrididae. In: P. Huemer, O. Karsholt, L. Lyneborg (Hrsg.): Microlepidoptera of Europe 2: 1-301., Apollo Books 1997, ISBN 87-88757-11-0


  • Z. Laštůvka, A. Laštůvka: The Sesiidae of Europe. Apollo Books, Stenstrup 2001, ISBN 87-88757-52-8
  • J. J. de Freina: Die Bombyces und Sphinges der Westpalaearktis. Band 4. Sesioidea: Sesiidae. EFW Edition Forschung & Wissenschaft Verlag GmbH, München, 1997, ISBN 3-926285-03-6


  • Sphingidae of the World Checklist on All-Leps (based on the following)
  • I. W. Kitching, J. M. Cadiou: An annotated and illustrated revisionary checklist (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). Hawkmoths of the World. Natural History Museum. London, UK, 2000. ISBN 0-8014-3734-2
  • B. D'Abrera: Sphingidae Mundi: Hawk Moths of the World. E. W. Classey. Faringdon, UK, 1986. ISBN 0-86096-022-6



  • C. M. Naumann, G. M. Tarmann, W. G. Tremewan: The Western Palaearctic Zygaenidae. Apollo Books, Stenstrup, 1999, ISBN 87-88757-15-3
  • J. J. de Freina: Die Bombyces und Sphinges der Westpalaearktis. Band 3. Zygaenoidea: Zygaenidae. EFW Edition Forschung & Wissenschaft Verlag GmbH, München, 2001, ISBN 3-926285-03-6
  • Butterflies and Moths of the World genus list

Various / Checklists[edit]

  • - All-Leps: Barcode of Life - Has global checklists for Geometridae, Saturniidae, Sphingidae as well as complete checklists for North America and Australia.
  • Global Butterfly Names Project - Provides some checklists to download (Excel format). There are a couple biographical lists and three complete family lists (Pieridae, Riodinidae, Libytheinae). More forthcoming.
  • The Moths of Borneo - An online source for the work of J. D. Holloway (published in The Malayan Nature Journal, and Southdene Sdn. Bhd) - for Bombycoidea, Calliduloidea, Castnioidea, Cossoidea, Geometroidea, Noctuoidea, and Zygaenoidea


Both Wikipedia and Wikispecies are unreliable sources for taxonomic information. However the classifications they use are something to consider. Ideally, Commons and Wikipedia (any language since they all seem to copy off each other) should be in sync. This somewhat extends to Wikispecies but their goal is slightly different as they try to cover all ranks (there's way too many conflicting classifications there anyway).

To do[edit]

  • Categorize all files of individual species to at least the genus level (species level preferred).
  • Help identify organisms in Category:Unidentified Lepidoptera or move them to more specific "unidentified" categories.
  • Create genus galleries for those with a decent number of species. This helps with identification when you can compare closely related species.
  • Continue to apply {{Lepidoptera}} to all categories. This is already done for all existing categories.
  • Many butterflies have well-known common names (at least in some languages) and so these should be added via {{VN}} when possible. A easy way to get a list is provided by this tool.
  • Transfer useful images from en:Category:Images of butterflies and moths.