Typified names:

Glossolepidoptera Kluge 2005

NOMEN: Glossolepidoptera Kluge 2005: 191 [N.J.Kluge. Larval/pupal leg transformation and a new diagnosis for the taxon Metabola Burmeister, 1832 = Oligoneoptera Martynov, 1923. – Russian Entomological Journal, (2004) 2005, 13 (4): 189-229]

ORIGINAL LISTED MEMBERSHIP (Kluge 2005): Palaeolepidoptera + Neolepidoptera 


= Lepidoptera haustellata Packard 1895 (non Haustellata Clairville 1798)

= Lepidoptera glossata Packard 1895 (non Glossata Fabricius 1775)

TYPIFIED NAME IN BASIC FORMAT: Papilio/fg (sine Micropterix; incl. Eriocrania)


MODERN STATUS:  the valid, the oldest non-preoccupied name of a generally accepted, holophyletic taxon.
Systematic position and classification of Glossolepidoptera:

  plesiomorphon Protolepidoptera

Kluge 2010 BioNomina Dual-Nom :

Some modern workers treat the name Glossata Fabricius 1775 not as a synonym of Lepidoptera but as a valid name of a taxon that does not include the laciniate moths (Micropterigidae). However, Fabricius (1775) applied Glossata to all the butterflies and moths, including the laciniate moths, e.g., calthella Linnaeus 1758 [Phalaena (Tinea)]. The entire original diagnosis of Glossata is just ‘Os palpis linguaque spirali’, although diagnoses of some genera treated by Fabricius in the Glossata suggest that they lack spiral lingua, which means that placing the laciniate moths (those with no spiral lingua) within Glossata was deliberate (unlike the Linnaeus’s placing the whiteflies with Lepidoptera).

Packard (1895) was the first to divide the Lepidoptera into those retaining the chewing laciniae and those who have lost them, and proposed the name Lepidoptera haustellata Packard 1895 for the latter, stipulating, however, that “If the term haustellata should be thought inapplicable from use by former authors the term Lepidoptera glossata could be used instead” (Packard 1895: p. 233, footnote 4). Indeed, the name Haustellata is preoccupied: during early 19th century the name Haustellata Clairville 1798 was used to refer to a polyphyletic taxon accommodating an assortment of insects with sucking mouthparts. Packard (1895) clearly regarded both Haustellata and Glossata as new names proposed by him for a newly established taxon, but did not use the Fabricius’s name Glossata. However, some recent authors (e.g., Speidel 1977) misapply the name Glossata Fabricius 1775 to the Packard’s taxon. As this taxon had no non-homonymous name, I proposed to name it Glossolepidoptera Kluge 2005.

A simplified classification of higher lepidopteran taxa is given above.


Fabricius J.C. 1775. Systema Entomologiae, sistens insectorum classes, ordines, genera, species, adiectus synonymus, locis, descriptionibus, observations. Flensburg et Lipsiae, in Offic. libr. Kortii, 1–832.

Kluge N.J. 2005. Larval/pupal leg transformation and a new diagnosis for the taxon Metabola Burmeister, 1832 = Oligoneoptera Martynov, 1923. // Russian Entomological Journal, (2004) 13(4), 189–229.

Packard A.S. 1895. On the phylogeny of the Lepidoptera. // Zoologischer Anzeiger, 18 (465), 228–236.

Speidel W. 1977. Ein Versich zur Unterteilung der Lepidopteren in Unterordungen. Atalanta, 8 (2), 119–121.