Fossil records of lepidopteran superfamilies arranged by recent molecular phylogenetic studies. Circles on vertical lines indicate important fossil occurrences, representing from one occurrence to a temporally constrained cluster of multiple occurrences present within an approximate 5 million-year interval. White circles indicate putative fossil identifications; gray circles indicate the fossil identifications based on reasonable evidence. The solid vertical lines spanning geologic time indicate definitive fossil evidence, whereas dashed line segments represent no or unreliable fossil evidence. The numbers within the circles were assigned successively along each lineage from lower left to upper right of the cladogram; see Additional file 1 for details. The “stars” indicate the divergence time estimates by Wahlberg et al. : crown group (solid stars) or stem group ages (open stars). The cladogram and higher-group labels in left column follow Regier et al.  with a few modifications for topologically unstable superfamilies. A few minor superfamilies such as Douglasioidea, Simaethistoidea, and Whalleyanoidea were omitted. The age of Baltic Amber is taken as middle Eocene, discussed in Labandeira , the overall geochronology is after Gradstein et al. . Abbreviation: Ma, millions of years.