PSW seminar: Evolution of the butterflies

The Paleontological Society of Washington

7:00 pm, Wednesday, November 16

National Museum of Natural History, Constitution Ave. entrance

Evolution of moths and butterflies – the challenges of gathering reliable evidence from a poor fossil record

Maria Heikkila

Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow at the NMNH, Department of Paleobiology and Department of Entomology

A full understanding of the evolution of moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) requires a robust time frame for the diversification events of the major lineages and the behavioral and structural novelties they exhibit. Fossils are essential in divergence time estimates, but lepidopterans are poorly represented in the fossil record. The known fossils have been minimally studied, many remain undescribed, and nearly all lack convincing assignments of systematic position. The aim of my work is to critically review the identifications of the important known fossil Lepidoptera.

Non-Smithsonian visitors will be escorted from the Constitution Ave. entrance of the NMNH to the Q?rius auditorium at 6:50 and 6:55 p.m. Society members will host the speaker for dinner at the Elephant & Castle (1201 Pennsylvania Ave.) prior to the meeting. Members may meet at the restaurant or inside the Constitution Ave. entrance of the NMNH at 5:00 and walk to the restaurant as a group.

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