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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2013 Jan;66(1):54-68. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2012.09.005. Epub 2012 Sep 18.

Systematics and evolutionary history of butterflies in the "Taygetis clade" (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae: Euptychiina): towards a better understanding of Neotropical biogeography.

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Laboratory of Genetics, Department of Biology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.


The so-called "Taygetis clade" is a group of exclusively Neotropical butterflies classified within Euptychiina, one of the largest subtribes in the subfamily Satyrinae. Since the distribution of the ten genera belonging to this group ranges throughout the entire Neotropics, from lowlands to lower montane habitats, it offers a remarkable opportunity to study the region's biogeographic history as well as different scenarios for speciation in upland areas. We inferred a robust and well-sampled phylogeny using DNA sequences from four genes (4035 bp in total) using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference. We estimated divergence times using the Bayesian relaxed clock method calibrated with node ages from previous studies. Ancestral ranges of distribution were estimated using the dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis (DEC) model as implemented in the program Lagrange. We propose several taxonomic changes and recognize nine well-supported natural genera within the "Taygetis clade": Forsterinaria (subsuming Guaianaza syn. nov.), Parataygetis, Posttaygetis, Harjesia (excluding Harjesia griseola and Harjesia oreba), Pseudodebis (including Taygetomorpha syn. nov.,), Taygetina (subsuming Coeruleotaygetis syn. nov., Harjesia oreba comb. nov., Taygetis weymeri comb. nov. and Taygetis kerea comb. nov.), Taygetis (excluding Taygetis ypthima, Taygetis rectifascia, Taygetis kerea and Taygetis weymeri), and two new genera, one containing Harjesia griseola, and the other Taygetis ypthima and Taygetis rectifascia. The group diversified mainly during late Miocene to Pliocene, coinciding with the period of drastic changes in landscape configuration in the Neotropics. Major dispersals inferred from the Amazon basin towards northwestern South America, the Atlantic forests and the eastern slope of the Andes have mostly shaped the evolution and diversification of the group. Furthermore, expansion of larval dietary repertoire might have aided net diversification in the two largest genera in the clade, Forsterinaria and Taygetis.

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