Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Brown, Richard L.

Committee Member

Goddard, Jerome

Committee Member

Almela, Joaquin Baixeras

Committee Member

Sabanadzovic, Sead

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Despite the biological importance of lepidopteran wing patterns, homologies between pattern elements in different lineages are still not understood. Though plesiomorphic wing veins influence color patterning even when not expressed in the adult wing, most studies of wing pattern evolution have focused on derived taxa with reduced venation. Here I address this gap with an examination of Micropterigidae, a very early-diverged family in which all known plesiomorphic lepidopteran veins are expressed in the adult wing. Differences between the coloration of transverse bands in Micropterix and Sabatinca suggest that homologies exist between the contrast boundaries that divide wing pattern elements. Because the wing pattern of Sabatinca doroxena very closely resembles the nymphalid groundplan when plotted onto a hypothetical nymphalid wing following the relationship between pattern and venation discussed here, it appears that the nymphalid groundplan may have originated from a Sabatinca-like wing pattern subjected to changes in wing shape.