Hunting Gondwanaland-relicts: the Geometridae of Nothofagus-forests of Chile and Tasmania.

Hunting Gondwanaland-relicts: the Geometridae of Nothofagus-forests of Chile and Tasmania.

Section Lepidoptera - Research

Pilot Project DFG HA-1806-7/1 (lead by Dr. A. Hausmann)

Comparable with the outstanding biogeographic importance of their hosts, also the herbivorous fauna on Nothofagus offers outstanding opportunities to study long-isolation vicariance and colonization scenarios. Indeed, a preliminary study on geometrid moths of two Nothofagus-forests in Chile and Tasmania revealed close phylogenetic relationships. This pilot project aims to estimate quantitative and qualitative aspects of the total geometrid fauna in an altitudinal transect in a Chilean Nothofagus-forest in a limited assessment through standardised light catches. The results will be compared with results from similar Tasmanian samplings. Integrative mophological-molecular analysis shall help to investigate the relationships of some biogeographically and phylogenetically interesting species. During the pilot phase suitable nuclear genes should be selected for that purpose in cooperation with the AToL project (U.S.A.). Preliminary assessment of geometrid larvae is planned through canopy fogging on Nothofagus and molecular identification of the larvae (mtDNA), with DNA-analysis of their gut content for verification of feeding on the host-plant.

The Geometridae of the Huinay station, southern Chile.