Nota lepidopterologica | Instructions for authors

A journal focused on Palaearctic Lepidoptera and general lepidopterology
Published by Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica

— [PDF]

Manuscripts in French should be sent to Bernard Landry; all other manuscripts should be sent to Jadranka Rota

RICHTLINIEN FÜR AUTOREN (deutsch) erhältlich beim Schriftleiter; INSTRUCTIONS POUR LES AUTEURS (français) disponibles auprès de l’Èditeur


General. Nota Lepidopterologica is a scientific journal published by Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica (SEL) on May 15 and November 15 each year. Because SEL is a registered non-profit organization, no royalties will be paid to authors of contributions. A pdf and twenty-five reprints of each paper will normally be supplied free of charge to the first author; additional copies may be ordered on a form enclosed with the proofs. However, no reprints (even for charge) will be available for book reviews.

Authors are encouraged to submit their manuscripts in English, but German and French are also accepted. Papers submitted for publication should be original contributions to the study of Palaearctic Lepidoptera, especially on taxonomy, morphology/anatomy, phylogenetics, biogeography, ecology, and conservation, but also on any other aspects of lepidopterology. The submission of a manuscript implies that it has not been published or submitted elsewhere.

Papers may be up to 15 printed pages long, or 10,000 words. For longer papers, authors are requested to contact the editor in advance. Authors are requested to make every effort to carry out linguistic corrections before submitting their manuscript and the rules of British English (not US) grammar and spelling should be used. Manuscripts requiring extensive linguistic improvement will be returned to the author(s). Authors are asked to carefully observe the following guidelines. Manuscripts not conforming to these instructions or requiring extensive editorial improvement are liable to be returned to the author(s) without further consideration.


Preparation of text for a full paper. A manuscript should begin with (1) an informative and concise Title; all authors' full names, full postal addresses, and e-mail addresses; and the name and phone number of the author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

This should be followed by (2) an Abstract (an abstract in English is mandatory) not exceeding 200 words and giving a succinct account of the subject, results and conclusions. Abstracts in up to two other languages (e.g., German and French) can also be published if provided by the authors. No abstracts are required for short communications.

The text should be clearly structured into chapters and should usually consist of (3) an Introduction chapter; (4) a Material and Methods chapter (only Methods chapter in taxonomic papers, if material is listed separately for each taxon); (5) a list of Abbreviations; (6) one or several chapters presenting the Results (or the species (re)descriptions in taxonomic papers); (7) a Discussion and/or Conclusion chapter; (8) Acknowledgements (if desired); (9) a list of References; (10) Appendices (optional);  and (11) Table and Figure Legends.


Contents of the chapters. The Introduction should make the article accessible to a broad range of lepidopterists. For taxonomic papers this means that some general information should be provided on the taxa treated (e.g. closest relatives, current situation in the systematic research of that group, phylogenetic and biogeographical information). In the result(s) chapter(s), (re)descriptions of taxa should have the full name of the taxon, including author and year of description as a heading. Species descriptions should be divided into sections such as 'material', 'description', 'diagnosis' (mandatory), 'etymology', and perhaps 'life history', 'distribution', and 'remarks'. Furthermore, the 'description' section should be divided into subsections, e.g. 'head', 'thorax', 'abdomen', '#m genitalia', '#f genitalia', where articles (e.g. 'the', 'a') should be avoided as much as possible. In the description and diagnosis sections, relevant characters/differences, even if shown in the illustrations, should also explicitly be described in words. A diagnosis is defined as a clear comparison of characters that separate the taxon being diagnosed from similar or closely related taxa, with the names of these also mentioned. Lists of taxa, locations, etc. that might disturb the fluency of the text might be accommodated in one or several appendices that should be numbered in Arabic numerals (e.g., Appendix 1). All through the text factual evidence and interpretations or hypothetical conclusions should be clearly separated.


Nomenclature. The first mention of any organism should include its full scientific name with author and year of publication. For plant names the year of publication should be left out, but the standardised abbreviations of authors of plants names should be used and the family names should be mentioned. For systematic papers authors should strictly follow the provisions of the current edition of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature ( and the resolution on gender agreement published by Manfred Sommerer in Nota Lepidopterologica 25 (2/3): 202. New species-group taxa must be carefully distinguished from their congeners (key and/or diagnosis); if they are compared only to members of a subordinate species group, the latter must be diagnosed. The abbreviations gen. n., sp. n., syn. n., comb. n. or similar have to be used to explicitly indicate all taxonomic acts, which should also be listed in the abstract. New genus-group or higher-level taxa are only accepted if their proposal is accompanied by explicit phylogenetic reasoning.

In line with the most recent edition of the ICZN (1999), the editors urge all authors of newly described species-group taxa to deposit holotypes in publicly accessible collections. A clear statement about type depositions is mandatory.


Style and format. Generally keep formatting to a minimum. Please do not use indentations (e.g., for the first line of a paragraph), and do not hyphenate the text. Scientific names of genera and species should be in italics. Authors' names are not formatted in small caps. References in the text should be cited by author and date, e.g. Higgins (1950), (Higgins & Riley 1980a, b; Kingsolver 1978), or (Robinson & Tuck 1996). Reference to particular figures, tables, plates, or pages of cited publications should be given as: fig. 1; figs 1-3, tab. 1; pl. 3 fig. 4; in case of pages: 5, 7-9, etc. (without pp.); such indications should be uniformly embedded in the citations, e. g., Meier (1936: 35, pl. 7 fig. 5). Male and female symbols have to be coded as #m and #f respectively. Special characters with diacritic marks usually not included in the West European fonts (e.g. Slavic languages, Romanian, Turkish, etc.) should also be coded; the codes used must be presented on a separate sheet with a pdf version of the manuscript. If special characters are used from the word-processing software, these should be taken from the font Times New Roman. Geographic and other names in languages where other than Latin characters are used should be given in the transliteration/transcription (not translation!) system accepted in The Times Atlas of the World for articles in English; the names of the local administrative subdivisions and features should also be given as they are spelt in this atlas (international glossary and index-gazetteer sections).

In the Material section of species descriptions, type material should be listed before the remaining material, with the latter set off by a long dash. For primary type specimens, the complete label data should be quoted using single quotation marks '...' for starting and terminating the quotation of one label, a vertical line | for separating different lines of the label, angled brackets <...> for including comments into the quotation (e.g. <sic>), and square brackets [...] for expansions of abbreviations (e.g., Bras[il].) and for the conversion of measurements. Abbreviations of institutional collections should be taken from the list of Insect and Spider Collections of the World of the Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii at For all other specimens, localities should be given in order of increasing precision as shown here:


Material. Holotype #f, 'Turkey, Hakk.[ari] | 8 km E. of Uludere, | 1200 m,', 'Meier leg.', 'coll. MTD Dresden', 'Holotype | Aus beus sp. n. #f | det. A. Schmidt', MTD. - Paratypes: 7#m, 3#f, same data, but NHMW. Iraq, Kurdistan: 1#m, 2#f, Sersang, 1500 m, Higgins leg., BMNH; 1#m, Shaqlawa, 2500 ft, 15/24 May 1957, Higgins leg., BMNH.


The list of references must include all and only the sources that are mentioned in the text. They should be arranged in alphabetical order and provide the full journal names. References by two authors or more, but with the same first author should be arranged by year and in alphabetical order of the second, third, etc. author's names within each year. For journals the full titles should be given without any abbreviations. Please use the following examples and pay attention to the format, punctuation, and types of dashes used:




Higgins, L. G. 1950. A descriptive catalogue of the Palaearctic Euphydryas (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera). - Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 101: 435-489.

Higgins, L. G. & N. D. Riley 1980. A field guide to the butterflies of Britain and Europe. 4th ed. - Collins, London. 384 pp., 63 pls.

Robinson, G. S. & K. R. Tuck 1996. Describing and comparing high invertebrate diversity in tropical forest - a case study of small moths in Borneo. Pp. 29-42. - In: D. S. Edwards, W. E. Booth & S. C. Choy (eds), Tropical rainforest research - current issues. - Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.


The references in the text should be cited in chronological order as Higgins (1950) or (Kingsolver 1978; Higgins & Riley 1980a, b), unless explicitly mentioned otherwise.


Illustrations. Tables and figures have to be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals, e.g., Tab. 1; Tab. 2 or Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc. All tables and figures must be mentioned in the text and should be referred to as, e.g., Fig. 1; Fig. 1a, b; Figs 1-3, Figs 1, 3; Tab. 1, etc. The legend should start as follows: 'Tab. 1. Title ...' or 'Fig. 1. Title ...' and should be self explanatory without reference to the text. Illustrations should be instructive and produced carefully. Line drawings, graphics, and photographs must be sharp, clear, of high contrast, and submitted in a way suitable for printing without requiring time-consuming reprocessing. Where several photographs are to form one plate, the authors need to organize them into plates for final submission. Figures of morphological structures should bear reference scale bars. For digitised illustrations, line drawings have to be scanned at 600 dpi at least, half-tone (grey scale), illustrations at 400 dpi, and colour photographs at 300 dpi, all at 100% of the final printing size.


First submission. The entire manuscript, including all tables and figures, should be submitted in digital form and the text typed with double spacing throughout. Always retain one complete copy of the manuscript (including figures). In digital form, manuscripts may be submitted on CD or attached to an e-mail. For text, use MS Word *.DOC or *.DOCX. Figures and illustrations must be submitted as a single pdf file.


Review. All manuscripts will be reviewed by one or more independent referees. Based on their reviews the subject editor in further consultation with the editor and the associate editor decides whether a manuscript will be accepted for publication or not. If a manuscript requires revision, final acceptance may only be decided after a revised version of the manuscript has been received. The editors reserve the right to make minor corrections that do not alter the author's meaning.


Final submission. Once a manuscript is accepted for publication, the final version is required in digital form either on CD or as attached file(s) via e-mail. For text, use MS Word *.DOC or *.DOCX. Figures and illustrations must be submitted in *.TIF format. Colour plates may be printed free of charge at the discretion of the editor. Alternatively, authors may be asked to contribute to the printing costs of colour illustrations.


For acceptable style and format please examine the most recent issues of the journal.