Diversity of Saproxylic Lepidoptera

  • Tomasz JaworskiEmail author
Part of the Zoological Monographs book series (ZM, volume 1)


Larvae of surprisingly many Lepidoptera species depend on dead wood and wood-decay fungi and are thus considered saproxylic insects. This interesting group has been scientifically neglected for many years, and few studies have been conducted concerning its biology, taxonomy, distribution, and ecology. Merely several dozen species of saproxylic Lepidoptera are known from North European countries; however, the highest species diversity is observed in tropical forests, where only some studies on this group have been so far conducted. This chapter provides an overview of knowledge about the diversity of saproxylic Lepidoptera, based on the world subject literature published over the last century. The greatest species richness of saproxylic Lepidoptera has been identified within two families: Tineidae and Oecophoridae, but a number of other lineages of Lepidoptera also include saproxylic taxa. All Lepidoptera families known to contain saproxylic species are described here in systematic order. Examples of saproxylic species and genera are presented, and some aspects of their biology and ecology are discussed. Major threats to these insects, related to forest management, are briefly outlined. The needs and directions for further research on saproxylic Lepidoptera are highlighted.


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© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection.  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forest ProtectionForest Research InstituteSękocin StaryPoland

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