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Causes of endemic radiation in the Caribbean: evidence from the historical biogeography and diversification of the butterfly genus Calisto (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae: Satyrini)

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      Abstract

      Background

      Calisto is the largest butterfly genus in the West Indies but its systematics, historical biogeography and the causes of its diversification have not been previously rigorously evaluated. Several studies attempting to explain the wide-ranging diversity of Calisto gave different weights to vicariance, dispersal and adaptive radiation. We utilized molecular phylogenetic approaches and secondary calibrations points to estimate lineage ages. In addition, we used the dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis model and Caribbean paleogeographical information to reconstruct ancestral geographical distributions. We also evaluated different models of diversification to estimate the dynamics of lineage radiation within Calisto. By understanding the evolution of Calisto butterflies, we attempt to identify the main processes acting on insular insect diversity and the causes of its origin and its maintenance.

      Results

      The crown age of Calisto was estimated to the early Oligocene (31 ± 5 Ma), and a single shift in diversification rate following a diversity-dependent speciation process was the best explanation for the present-day diversity found within the genus. A major increase in diversification rate was recovered at 14 Ma, following geological arrangements that favoured the availability of empty niches. Inferred ancestral distributional ranges suggested that the origin of extant Calisto is in agreement with a vicariant model and the origin of the Cuban lineage was likely the result of vicariance caused by the Cuba-Hispaniola split. A long-distance dispersal was the best explanation for the colonization of Jamaica and the Bahamas.

      Conclusions

      The ancestral geographical distribution of Calisto is in line with the paleogeographical model of Caribbean colonization, which favours island-to-island vicariance. Because the sister lineage of Calisto remains ambiguous, its arrival to the West Indies remains to be explained, although, given its age and historical biogeography, the hypothesized GAARlandia land bridge might have been a plausible introduction route from continental America. Intra-island radiation caused by ecological innovation and the abiotic creation of niche spaces was found to be the main force shaping Calisto diversity and island endemism in Hispaniola and Cuba.

      Electronic supplementary material

      The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-014-0199-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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      Most cited references 92

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [ ]Laboratory of Genetics, Department of Biology, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turku, Finland
            [ ]School of Biological Sciences, University of South Bohemia and Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre AS CR, CZ-37005 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
            [ ]División de Colecciones Zoológicas y Sistemática, Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática, Carretera de Varona km 3.5, Capdevila, Boyeros Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
            [ ]McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA
            Contributors
            pavelm14@gmail.com
            rayner_na@yahoo.com
            mycalesis@gmail.com
            jmiller@flmnh.ufl.edu
            asourakov@flmnh.ufl.edu
            niklas.wahlberg@utu.fi
            Journal
            BMC Evol Biol
            BMC Evol. Biol
            BMC Evolutionary Biology
            BioMed Central (London )
            1471-2148
            16 September 2014
            16 September 2014
            2014
            : 14
            : 1
            25220489
            4172866
            199
            10.1186/s12862-014-0199-7
            © Matos-Maraví et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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            © The Author(s) 2014

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