ARPHA Preprints, doi: 10.3897/arphapreprints.e68768
A database and checklist of geometrid moths (Lepidoptera) from Colombia
expand article infoLeidys Murillo-Ramos, Pasi Sihvonen§, Gunnar Brehm|, Indiana C. Ríos-Malaver, Niklas Wahlberg#
‡ iversidad de Sucre§ University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland| Universität Jena, Jena, Germany¶ Research Associate, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, United States of America# Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Open Access

Molecular DNA sequence data allow unprecedented advances in biodiversity assessments, monitoring schemes, and taxonomic works, particularly in poorly explored areas. They allow, for instance, the sorting of material rapidly into operational taxonomic units (such as BINs - Barcode Index Numbers), sequences can be subject to diverse analyses, and with linked metadata and physical vouchers they can be examined further by experts. However, a prerequisite for their exploitation is the construction of reference libraries of DNA sequences that represent the existing biodiversity. To achieve these goals for Geometridae (Lepidoptera) moths in Colombia, expeditions were carried out to 26 localities in the northern part of the country in 2015–2019. The aim was to collect specimens and sequence their DNA barcodes, and to record a fraction of the species richness and occurrences in one of the most biodiversity-rich countries. These data are the beginnings of an identification guide to Colombian geometrid moths, whose identities are currently often provisional only, being morpho species or operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Prior to the current dataset, 99 Geometridae sequences forming 44 BINs from Colombia were publicly available on the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD), covering 20 species only.

We enrich the Colombian Geometridae database significantly by including DNA barcodes, two nuclear markers, photos of vouchers, and georeferenced occurrences of 281 specimens of geometrid moths from different localities. These specimens are classified into 80 genera. Analytical tools on BOLD clustered 157 of the mentioned sequences to existing species level BINs, identified earlier by experts. Another 115 were assigned to BINs that were identified to genus or tribe level only. 11 specimens did not match any existing BIN on BOLD, and are therefore new additions to the database. It is likely that many BINs represent undescribed species. Nine short sequences (<500bp) were not assigned to BINs but identified to the lowest taxonomic category by expert taxonomists and with comparisons of type material photos. The released new genetic information will help to further progress the systematics of Geometridae. An illustrated catalogue of all new records allows validation of our identifications; it is also the first document of this kind for Colombian Geometridae. All specimens are deposited at the Museo de Zoología of Universidad de Sucre (MZUS), North Colombia. DNA BINs are reported in this study, the species occurrences are available on SIB Colombia and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) through

Occurrence records, DNA barcode, COI, moths, Colombia, Geometridae, Loopers