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North Andean origin and diversification of the largest ithomiine butterfly genus

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ABSTRACT

The Neotropics harbour the most diverse flora and fauna on Earth. The Andes are a major centre of diversification and source of diversity for adjacent areas in plants and vertebrates, but studies on insects remain scarce, even though they constitute the largest fraction of terrestrial biodiversity. Here, we combine molecular and morphological characters to generate a dated phylogeny of the butterfly genus Pteronymia (Nymphalidae: Danainae), which we use to infer spatial, elevational and temporal diversification patterns. We first propose six taxonomic changes that raise the generic species total to 53, making Pteronymia the most diverse genus of the tribe Ithomiini. Our biogeographic reconstruction shows that Pteronymia originated in the Northern Andes, where it diversified extensively. Some lineages colonized lowlands and adjacent montane areas, but diversification in those areas remained scarce. The recent colonization of lowland areas was reflected by an increase in the rate of evolution of species’ elevational ranges towards present. By contrast, speciation rate decelerated with time, with no extinction. The geological history of the Andes and adjacent regions have likely contributed to Pteronymia diversification by providing compartmentalized habitats and an array of biotic and abiotic conditions, and by limiting dispersal between some areas while promoting interchange across others.

No MeSH data available.


RASP historical biogeography inference (best maximum likelihood estimates on the MCC tree).Major paleoenvironmental events are indicated by large coloured rectangles (light pink: drainage of the Pebas system; light yellow: hypothesized closure of the Isthmus of Panama). Colours of the little squares at the node and tips of the tree correspond to colours of the biogeographical areas, as indicated in the map inserted (taken from Fig. 2). The figure was generated with R (https://cran.r-project.org/) and edited with Adobe Illustrator 4 (http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/illustrator.html).
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f3: RASP historical biogeography inference (best maximum likelihood estimates on the MCC tree).Major paleoenvironmental events are indicated by large coloured rectangles (light pink: drainage of the Pebas system; light yellow: hypothesized closure of the Isthmus of Panama). Colours of the little squares at the node and tips of the tree correspond to colours of the biogeographical areas, as indicated in the map inserted (taken from Fig. 2). The figure was generated with R (https://cran.r-project.org/) and edited with Adobe Illustrator 4 (http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/illustrator.html).

Mentions: We used georeferenced records (Supplementary Fig. S5) to analyse the spatial patterns of diversification of Pteronymia across nine biogeographic areas (Fig. 2). We performed biogeographical analyses using the software RASP 2.146. The analyses on the MCC tree and on the 100 trees yielded very similar results (Fig. 3, see Supplementary Fig. S6), and only the analyses on the MCC tree are presented here. Our biogeographic reconstruction suggests that the most likely ancestral area for the genus Pteronymia is the Western/Central Northern Andes (hereafter, Northern Andes), i.e., the area comprising the slopes of the Western and Central cordillera of Colombian (and Ecuadorian) Andes (Fig. 3), although there is uncertainty as to whether the origin of the genus was limited to this area, or also spanned neighbouring regions (see Supplementary Fig. S7). The two main clades (P. oneida and P. sao clades) also originated and started diversifying in the same area, with some uncertainty as to whether ancestral lineages spanned larger regions for the P. oneida clade (see Supplementary Fig. S6). A large proportion (55%) of speciation events occurred within the Northern Andes. In particular, the most likely ancestral area for the young and diverse P. zerlina clade was the eastern slopes of the Northern Andes. Rapid diversification subsequently occurred within the last 3.6 my [3.0–4.3] in this clade, which is coincident with the final uplift of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia and the Venezuelan Cordilleras c. 5-2 mya9. The Central Andes appear relatively species poor compared to the Northern Andes; only 13 species occur in the Central Andes. These are the result of multiple independent colonization events (10 events), and to a much lesser extent local diversification (e. g., the clade encompassing P. hara and its sister clade, three species in this region). The oldest colonizations of the Central Andes were recovered in the P. sao clade (in the last 5.8 my [4.4–7.0]), where such colonizations happened at least five times.


North Andean origin and diversification of the largest ithomiine butterfly genus
RASP historical biogeography inference (best maximum likelihood estimates on the MCC tree).Major paleoenvironmental events are indicated by large coloured rectangles (light pink: drainage of the Pebas system; light yellow: hypothesized closure of the Isthmus of Panama). Colours of the little squares at the node and tips of the tree correspond to colours of the biogeographical areas, as indicated in the map inserted (taken from Fig. 2). The figure was generated with R (https://cran.r-project.org/) and edited with Adobe Illustrator 4 (http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/illustrator.html).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5384087&req=5

f3: RASP historical biogeography inference (best maximum likelihood estimates on the MCC tree).Major paleoenvironmental events are indicated by large coloured rectangles (light pink: drainage of the Pebas system; light yellow: hypothesized closure of the Isthmus of Panama). Colours of the little squares at the node and tips of the tree correspond to colours of the biogeographical areas, as indicated in the map inserted (taken from Fig. 2). The figure was generated with R (https://cran.r-project.org/) and edited with Adobe Illustrator 4 (http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/illustrator.html).
Mentions: We used georeferenced records (Supplementary Fig. S5) to analyse the spatial patterns of diversification of Pteronymia across nine biogeographic areas (Fig. 2). We performed biogeographical analyses using the software RASP 2.146. The analyses on the MCC tree and on the 100 trees yielded very similar results (Fig. 3, see Supplementary Fig. S6), and only the analyses on the MCC tree are presented here. Our biogeographic reconstruction suggests that the most likely ancestral area for the genus Pteronymia is the Western/Central Northern Andes (hereafter, Northern Andes), i.e., the area comprising the slopes of the Western and Central cordillera of Colombian (and Ecuadorian) Andes (Fig. 3), although there is uncertainty as to whether the origin of the genus was limited to this area, or also spanned neighbouring regions (see Supplementary Fig. S7). The two main clades (P. oneida and P. sao clades) also originated and started diversifying in the same area, with some uncertainty as to whether ancestral lineages spanned larger regions for the P. oneida clade (see Supplementary Fig. S6). A large proportion (55%) of speciation events occurred within the Northern Andes. In particular, the most likely ancestral area for the young and diverse P. zerlina clade was the eastern slopes of the Northern Andes. Rapid diversification subsequently occurred within the last 3.6 my [3.0–4.3] in this clade, which is coincident with the final uplift of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia and the Venezuelan Cordilleras c. 5-2 mya9. The Central Andes appear relatively species poor compared to the Northern Andes; only 13 species occur in the Central Andes. These are the result of multiple independent colonization events (10 events), and to a much lesser extent local diversification (e. g., the clade encompassing P. hara and its sister clade, three species in this region). The oldest colonizations of the Central Andes were recovered in the P. sao clade (in the last 5.8 my [4.4–7.0]), where such colonizations happened at least five times.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

The Neotropics harbour the most diverse flora and fauna on Earth. The Andes are a major centre of diversification and source of diversity for adjacent areas in plants and vertebrates, but studies on insects remain scarce, even though they constitute the largest fraction of terrestrial biodiversity. Here, we combine molecular and morphological characters to generate a dated phylogeny of the butterfly genus Pteronymia (Nymphalidae: Danainae), which we use to infer spatial, elevational and temporal diversification patterns. We first propose six taxonomic changes that raise the generic species total to 53, making Pteronymia the most diverse genus of the tribe Ithomiini. Our biogeographic reconstruction shows that Pteronymia originated in the Northern Andes, where it diversified extensively. Some lineages colonized lowlands and adjacent montane areas, but diversification in those areas remained scarce. The recent colonization of lowland areas was reflected by an increase in the rate of evolution of species’ elevational ranges towards present. By contrast, speciation rate decelerated with time, with no extinction. The geological history of the Andes and adjacent regions have likely contributed to Pteronymia diversification by providing compartmentalized habitats and an array of biotic and abiotic conditions, and by limiting dispersal between some areas while promoting interchange across others.

No MeSH data available.