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Sci Rep. 2015 Jul 24;5:12395. doi: 10.1038/srep12395.

DNA barcode reference library for Iberian butterflies enables a continental-scale preview of potential cryptic diversity.

Author information

1
1] Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37, 08003, Barcelona, Spain [2] Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, Guelph, N1G 2W1, Ontario, Canada.
2
Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva (ICBiBE) - Universitat de València, Carrer Catedràtic José Beltrán 2, 46980, Paterna, Spain.
3
1] Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37, 08003, Barcelona, Spain [2] Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA [3] Faculty of Biology and Soil Science, St Petersburg State University, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia.
4
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Department of Biology, Campus Cantoblanco 28049, Madrid, Spain.
5
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, Guelph, N1G 2W1, Ontario, Canada.
6
Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37, 08003, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

How common are cryptic species--those overlooked because of their morphological similarity? Despite its wide-ranging implications for biology and conservation, the answer remains open to debate. Butterflies constitute the best-studied invertebrates, playing a similar role as birds do in providing models for vertebrate biology. An accurate assessment of cryptic diversity in this emblematic group requires meticulous case-by-case assessments, but a preview to highlight cases of particular interest will help to direct future studies. We present a survey of mitochondrial genetic diversity for the butterfly fauna of the Iberian Peninsula with unprecedented resolution (3502 DNA barcodes for all 228 species), creating a reliable system for DNA-based identification and for the detection of overlooked diversity. After compiling available data for European butterflies (5782 sequences, 299 species), we applied the Generalized Mixed Yule-Coalescent model to explore potential cryptic diversity at a continental scale. The results indicate that 27.7% of these species include from two to four evolutionary significant units (ESUs), suggesting that cryptic biodiversity may be higher than expected for one of the best-studied invertebrate groups and regions. The ESUs represent important units for conservation, models for studies of evolutionary and speciation processes, and sentinels for future research to unveil hidden diversity.

PMID:
26205828
PMCID:
PMC4513295
DOI:
10.1038/srep12395
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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