Pinheiro, L. R. & Gaal-Haszler, S., 2015, Illustrated catalogue of Neotropical Ctenuchina, Euchromiina and Pericopina types (Lepidoptera, Erebidae, Arctiinae, Arctiini) described by Hans Zerny, with discussion on their taxonomic statu, Zootaxa 3925 (4), pp. 505-535: 506

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Taxonomy of Arctiinae 

The classification of Arctiinae  has undergone extensive changes, including in the past few years. Since the work of Franclemont (1983), the group has been considered to include Ctenuchina  and Euchromiina  , formerly known together as Syntomidae  , Amatidae  , Ctenuchidae  or Euchromiidae  , depending on the author. These names also included the now-separate tribe Syntomini  . In spite of the recency of this change, it has long been noted that the traditionally known Arctiidae  plus the “ctenuchids” are at the very least closely related ( Hampson 1898). However, support for the whole group based on exclusive characters only arrived with the contribution by Holloway (1988), who first noticed that the female pheromone glands could be a synapomorphy for the Arctiinae  as understood today. This was later confirmed by Jacobson and Weller (2002), who corroborated Holloway’s hypothesis, and provided more characters that support the group, and also by numerous molecular studies, the most relevant one being that of Zahiri et al. (2010).

The arctiines were traditionally treated as a family, but recent changes in the classification of Noctuoidea have downgraded them to a subfamily. This change has received support, although with different configurations ( Lafontaine & Fibiger 2006, Zahiri et al. 2010). The most recent and widely accepted classification is the one by Zahiri et al. (2010), which treats the group as a subfamily of Erebidae  .

Unlike the solid monophyletism of the arctiines, its groupings are far from settled. Of the few modern attempts to solve its classification ( Jacobson & Weller 2002, DaCosta et al. 2006, Simmons et al. 2013), all of them failed to include a significant number of genera, as well as being biased towards Nearctic and Palearctic genera. The problem with these approaches can be fully understood when one considers that the vast majority of Ctenuchina  , Euchromiina  , Pericopina  , and Phaegopterina  (the latter being the second-largest subtribe of Arctiini  ) are found in the Neotropics. However, even a small sampling of these groups was enough to reveal that they are probably not monophyletic ( Simmons et al. 2006; Weller et al. 2009). In the absence of a better classification for the arctiines, the traditional classification, unreliable as it is, is the only option left until further studies are made.