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Cluster biodiversity as a multidimensional structure evolution strategy: checkerspot butterflies of the group Euphydryas aurinia (Rottemburg, 1775) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)
Authors:STANISLAV K KORB  LAVR V BOLSHAKOV  ZDENEK F FRIC  ALENA BARTONOVA
Affiliation:1. Nizhny Novgorod Division, Russian Entomological Society, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia;2. Tula Division, Russian Entomological Society, Tula, Russia;3. Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic;4. Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Abstract:In the present paper, we explore the evolution of cluster structure in closely related species in the Euphydryas aurinia complex based on morphological (wing pattern, genital armatures) and molecular (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) characters. Male genitalia differ in the length and shape of the uncus, harpe and juxta branches, by the shape of some parts of the phallus, and by the amount of spikes on the ventral section of the valva. The main trends in the vertical distribution of the E. aurinia group are dwarfism with increasing altitude, coupled with enlargement of paler and darker‐coloured elements of the wing pattern, increasing the overall contrast. Unlike the Euphydryas maturna, the E. aurinia complex forms many local populations specialized under different ecological conditions, probably affected by different evolutionary scenarios. The phylogenetic analysis of the group reveals two ecologically distinct subgroups: one associated with the boreal forest‐mesophyllic meadow biome and one associated with the xeromesophyllic steppe biome. Within each group, two major ecological strategies have evolved in parallel: montane and lowland. Based on the results of the analyses, we revise the nomenclature as follows: E. aurinia pyrenesdebilis (Verity, 1928), stat. rev. (= debilis Oberthür, 1909, syn.n. , nomen nudum), E. aurinia bulgarica (Fruhstorfer, 1916), stat. rev. , E. aurinia provincialis (Boisduval, 1828), stat. rev. and E. beckeri (Lederer, 1853), stat. rev. The following name‐bearing types are designated: neotype of Papilio aurinia Rottemburg, 1775, neotype of Papilio merope de Prunner, 1798, lectotype of Melitaea beckeri Lederer, 1853, and lectotype of Melitaea aurinia banghaasi Seitz, 1908. All name‐bearing types are figured. A new subspecies, Euphydryas laeta ostracon Korb, Bolshakov, Fric, ssp.n. , is described (type locality by holotype data: Kazakhstan, Vostochno‐Kazakhstanskaya Oblast, Shemonaikha).
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