Geometridae - Uncovering Gondwana

The Geometridae are one of the two most diverse families of Lepidoptera, with ~23,000 species in nine subfamilies. It’s considered by some that geometrids began to diverge 54 million years ago (62–48 million Mya). However, Timo van Eldijk and co-authors (2018) infer the origins of the Geometridae may go back as far as the Triassic and Jurassic.

The Ennominae subfamily is the largest subfamily of the Geometridae with about 10,000 described species in 1,100 genera representing almost half of all geometrids.The subfamily Archiearinae has traditionally been considered the ancestral lineage of the Geometridae. However Pasi Sihvonen and colleagues in 2011 deduced that Sterrhinae (Waves) and Larentiinae (Carpet Moths) were more likely sister lineages to the remaining families. The Larentiinae is the second largest subfamily of Geometridae, with more than 6,200 described species of which more than 270 species in about 45 genera occur in Australia. The vast majority of their life histories remain unstudied. The Sterrhinae comprise some 2,800 described species with about 140 in Australia. Next in diversity is the Geometrinae with more than 2,400 species in nearly 270 genera.

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