Is it A Moth Or A Butterfly?

The University of Florida was the first to utilize genetic sequencing to create a map showing the biodiversity and family tree of moths and butterflies. Apparently there are many more butterflies in the world than previously thought, as the study showed that many moths are genetically butterflies.

Currently a genetic revolution is taking place in the scientific community, which helps uncover how certain species of animals are related with greater accuracy. Prior to the so-called “genetic revolution” scientists relied solely on observable physical features to build phylogenetic trees. So, traditionally butterflies have been assumed to have closer relations with large moths as opposed to smaller ones, but the genetic testing says otherwise.

Butterflies are notorious within the field of entomology as being hard to trace phylogenetically. This study points out just how wrong many existing phylogenetic trees may be, and how important it is to rely on genetic testing to determine how various animals evolved.

What other insect species do you think might be related to each other?

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