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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2007 Jan;42(1):131-56. Epub 2006 Jul 14.

Phylogeny, historical biogeography, and taxonomic ranking of Parnassiinae (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae) based on morphology and seven genes.

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  • 1CW405 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E9.


We tested the taxonomic utility of morphology and seven mitochondrial or nuclear genes in a phylogenetic reconstruction of swallowtail butterflies in the subfamily Parnassiinae. Our data included 236 morphological characters and DNA sequences for seven genes that are commonly used to infer lepidopteran relationships (COI+COII, ND5, ND1, 16S, EF-1alpha, and wg; total 5775 bp). Nuclear genes performed best for inferring phylogenies, particularly at higher taxonomic levels, while there was substantial variation in performance among mitochondrial genes. Multiple analyses of molecular data (MP, ML and Bayesian) consistently produced a tree topology different from that obtained by morphology alone. Based on molecular evidence, sister-group relationships were confirmed between the genera Hypermnestra and Parnassius, as well as between Archon and Luehdorfia, while the monophyly of the subfamily was weakly supported. We recognize three tribes within Parnassiinae, with Archon and Luehdorfia forming the tribe Luehdorfiini Tutt, 1896 [stat. rev.]. Three fossil taxa were incorporated into a molecular clock analysis with biogeographic time constraints. Based on dispersal-vicariance (DIVA) analysis, the most recent common ancestor of Parnassiinae occurred in the Iranian Plateau and Central Asia to China. Early diversification of Parnassiinae took place at the same time that India collided into Eurasia, 65-42 million years ago.

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