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      Genetic confirmation of Aricia artaxerxes (Fabricius, 1793) (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae) in the Czech Republic, its conservation significance and biogeographic context

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      Nota Lepidopterologica

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          We report here the first molecular evidence for the occurrence of Aricia artaxerxes (Fabricius, 1793) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in the Czech Republic. In Central Europe, this species may co-occur with its more common sibling, Aricia agestis (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775). We sequenced the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 of darkly-coloured, putative A. artaxerxes specimens in the Czech Republic. We confirmed A. artaxerxes only from a limestone area in South Bohemia (Vyšenské kopce National Nature Reserve), which is probably the only locality of the species in the Czech Republic. This area is located at ca. 550 m A.S.L., showing that the elevation overlap with A. agestis could be high in Central Europe. Other surveyed individuals were confirmed as A. agestis, with a minimum p-distance of 1.98% between the two species. The South Bohemian area of occurrence is probably highly isolated (approx. 190 km) from localities of the species in neighbouring countries, highlighting the conservation importance of the A. artaxerxes population and of the insular calcareous areas in the Šumava Mountains foothills. We used database sequences of A. artaxerxes to place the Czech population into a wider phylogeographic context. The Czech population is monomorphic, consisting of a single haplotype, which is present from Scandinavia through Germany to Central Asia.

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          Genomic outposts serve the phylogenomic pioneers: designing novel nuclear markers for genomic DNA extractions of lepidoptera.

          Increasing the number of characters used in phylogenetic studies is the next crucial step towards generating robust and stable phylogenetic hypotheses - i.e., strongly supported and consistent across reconstruction method. Here we describe a genomic approach to finding new protein-coding genes for systematics in nonmodel taxa, which can be PCR amplified from standard, slightly degraded genomic DNA extracts. We test this approach on Lepidoptera, searching the draft genomic sequence of the silk moth Bombyx mori, for exons > 500 bp in length, removing annotated gene families, and compared remaining exons with butterfly EST databases to identify conserved regions for primer design. These primers were tested on a set of 65 taxa primarily in the butterfly family Nymphalidae. We were able to identify and amplify six previously unused gene regions (Arginine Kinase, GAPDH, IDH, MDH, RpS2, and RpS5) and two rarely used gene regions (CAD and DDC) that when added to the three traditional gene regions (COI, EF-1alpha and wingless) gave a data set of 8114 bp. Phylogenetic robustness and stability increased with increasing numbers of genes. Smaller taxanomic subsets were also robust when using the full gene data set. The full 11-gene data set was robust and stable across reconstruction methods, recovering the major lineages and strongly supporting relationships within them. Our methods and insights should be applicable to taxonomic groups having a single genomic reference species and several EST databases from taxa that diverged less than 100 million years ago.
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            Ecological and evolutionary processes at expanding range margins.

            Many animals are regarded as relatively sedentary and specialized in marginal parts of their geographical distributions. They are expected to be slow at colonizing new habitats. Despite this, the cool margins of many species' distributions have expanded rapidly in association with recent climate warming. We examined four insect species that have expanded their geographical ranges in Britain over the past 20 years. Here we report that two butterfly species have increased the variety of habitat types that they can colonize, and that two bush cricket species show increased fractions of longer-winged (dispersive) individuals in recently founded populations. Both ecological and evolutionary processes are probably responsible for these changes. Increased habitat breadth and dispersal tendencies have resulted in about 3- to 15-fold increases in expansion rates, allowing these insects to cross habitat disjunctions that would have represented major or complete barriers to dispersal before the expansions started. The emergence of dispersive phenotypes will increase the speed at which species invade new environments, and probably underlies the responses of many species to both past and future climate change.
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              Complete DNA barcode reference library for a country's butterfly fauna reveals high performance for temperate Europe.

              DNA barcoding aims to accelerate species identification and discovery, but performance tests have shown marked differences in identification success. As a consequence, there remains a great need for comprehensive studies which objectively test the method in groups with a solid taxonomic framework. This study focuses on the 180 species of butterflies in Romania, accounting for about one third of the European butterfly fauna. This country includes five eco-regions, the highest of any in the European Union, and is a good representative for temperate areas. Morphology and DNA barcodes of more than 1300 specimens were carefully studied and compared. Our results indicate that 90 per cent of the species form barcode clusters allowing their reliable identification. The remaining cases involve nine closely related species pairs, some whose taxonomic status is controversial or that hybridize regularly. Interestingly, DNA barcoding was found to be the most effective identification tool, outperforming external morphology, and being slightly better than male genitalia. Romania is now the first country to have a comprehensive DNA barcode reference database for butterflies. Similar barcoding efforts based on comprehensive sampling of specific geographical regions can act as functional modules that will foster the early application of DNA barcoding while a global system is under development.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nota Lepidopterologica
                NL
                Pensoft Publishers
                2367-5365
                0342-7536
                November 08 2019
                November 08 2019
                : 42
                : 2
                : 163-176
                Article
                10.3897/nl.42.38853
                © 2019

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