Phycitinae are a morphologically and ecologically diverse group of Lepidoptera with numerous pest species. Establishment of a stable classification system for the subfamily has been challenging due to complex evolutionary patterns in adult morphological structures and difficult species identifications. Currently, Carl Heinrich's dual system, published in 1956, serves as the main reference point for tribal classification, but its inherent ambiguity and geographic constraints have meant that no system is widely accepted for the subfamily. Here we present the first molecular phylogeny of the Phycitinae, based on two independent gene regions (cytochrome oxidase I and elongation factor 1 alpha). We use this molecular phylogeny to examine evolutionary trends in four key morphological structures (hind wing venation, male antennae, male maxillary palpi and male abdomen 8 modifications for pheromone dispersion) and determine their phylogenetic utility. Our results indicate two major groups of genera in the Phycitinae and that morphological traits appear to correspond to these relationships, although some homoplasy exists.
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