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Integrative analyses on Western Palearctic Lasiommata reveal a mosaic of nascent butterfly species

AuthorsPlatania, Leonardo; Vodă, Raluca ; Dincă, Vlad ; Talavera, Gerard ; Vila, Roger ; Dapporto, Leonardo
Issue DateNov-2020
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationJournal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 58(4): 809-822 (2020)
AbstractSatyrinae butterflies occurring in the Mediterranean apparently have reduced gene flow over sea straits, and for several species, recent wide‐scale biodiversity surveys indicate the existence of divergent mitochondrial lineages. Here, we apply an integrative approach and examine the phylogeography of the genus Lasiommata in the Western Palearctic. Our research comprised molecular analyses (mitochondrial and nuclear DNA) and geometric morphometrics (wings and genitalia) for two main species groups, and a comparative GMYC analysis, based on COI, of all the tribes within Satyrinae from this region. The GMYC approach revealed a particularly fast coalescence rate in the Parargina subtribe. The Lasiommata group was divided into 12 evolutionary significant units: six clades for the L. maera species group, five for the L. megera species group, and one for L. petropolitana, with divergences of about 1%. The patterns of COI were mirrored by ITS2 in L. maera, but the two markers were generally inconsistent in L. megera. On the contrary, morphological differences were coherent with the results of COI for L. megera, but less clearly so for L. maera. L. paramegaera and L. meadewaldoi were considerably differentiated for all the analyzed markers and likely proceeded faster in the process of speciation because of geographic isolation and reduced effective population size, rendering the rest paraphyletic. Our study illustrates the continuous nature of speciation and the difficulties of delimiting species. In Lasiommata, the recognition of taxa as diverging lineages or distinct, possibly paraphyletic species, mostly depends on the criteria adopted by different species concepts.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jzs.12356
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/jzs.12356
e-issn: 1439-0469
issn: 0947-5745
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