The Noctuoidea with ~42,400 species is the largest superfamily of Lepitoptera. Six families are currently recognised: Oenosandridae (8 species), Notodontidae (3,800), Erebidae (24,569), Euteliidae (520), Nolidae (1,738), Noctuidae (11,722) in their order within the phylogenetic tree. However, because of the sheer size of this superfamily, a definitive phylogeny is still pending.

The Noctuoidea together with especially Geometroidea and Bombycoidea are referred to as “big moths”, the Macroheterocera. According to Niklas Wahlerg and colleagues (2013), this huge clade of Macroheterocera most likely evolved about 100 million years ago coinciding with the origin of the major angiosperm clades.

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