2. The Diversity of Lepidoptera

  1. T.R. New

Published Online: 20 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118409220.ch2

Lepidoptera and Conservation

Lepidoptera and Conservation

How to Cite

New, T.R. (ed) (2013) The Diversity of Lepidoptera, in Lepidoptera and Conservation, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118409220.ch2

Editor Information

  1. Department of Zoology, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 10 DEC 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118409213

Online ISBN: 9781118409220



  • biodiversity;
  • Lepidoptera taxonomy


The major categories of Lepidoptera most familiar to hobbyists transcend strict taxonomic groupings, but are important to acknowledge as having rather different traditions of study and markedly different involvement in conservation. Many taxonomic problems with enumerating Lepidoptera species devolve on ambiguities over, definition and delimitation of a species; whether infraspecific categories are valid, represent full species or are simply trivial variants, perhaps changing in frequency along a continuous cline; and whether ‘diversity’ is defined adequately in any such taxonomically based format or is better characterised by some other form of variety that encompasses evolutionary categories and isolated populations more comprehensively. In general, Lepidoptera species richness tends to increase with increased habitat heterogeneity, supporting a general paradigm of resource/structural diversity supporting greater biotic diversity.