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Title: Sematuridae  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Geometroidea, Comparison of butterflies and moths, Sematuridae, Lemoniidae, Pantheidae
Collection: Sematuridae
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Sematura empedocles
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: Glossata
Infraorder: Heteroneura
Unranked: Ditrysia
Superfamily: Geometroidea
Family: Sematuridae
about 41 species

Sematuridae is a family of moths in the lepidopteran order that contains two subfamilies (Minet and Scoble, 1999).

Taxonomy, systematics, and identification

These are large day-flying or night-flying moths, usually tailed and similar to abdomen (Minet and Scoble, 1999: 305-307; Holloway et al., 2001).


Apoprogoninae is represented by a single species in South Africa whilst Sematurinae is represented by about 29 (41 including the genera Anurapteryx and Lonchotura) species in the Neotropics[3]. Such an apparently relictual distribution might relate to the geological split of South America and Africa, but there is as yet no evidence for the age of evolutionary divergence of Neotropical and Afrotropical representatives; moreover, new genetic material would be needed for the South African taxon as well as the American genera Anurapteryx and Lonchotura for a modern molecular approach to this problem to succeed[4].


  • Holloway, J.D., Kibby, G and Peggie, D. (1997). The families of Malesian moths and butterflies. Fauna Malesia Handbooks. 455 pp. Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden.
  • Minet, J. and Scoble, M. J. (1999) [1998]. The Drepanoid/Geometroid Assemblage. Pp. 301–320 in Kristensen, N.P. (Ed.), Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies. Volume 1, Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography. Handbook of Zoology, vol. IV, Arthropoda: Insecta, Part 35: 491 pp. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin and New York.
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