Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Darwin's butterflies? Spectacular species radiation in the Caribbean studied with 'DNA barcoding'

Date:
August 25, 2011
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
In one of the first taxonomic revisions of Neotropical butterflies that utilizes "DNA barcoding," biologists have uncovered a spectacular degree of evolutionary divergence within the satyrine butterfly genus Calisto.

Habitat diversity on the island of Hispaniola. Valle de Bao at the foothill of Pico Duarte (3098 m) is inhabited by Calisto tasajera; Arid south eastern coastal habitat in Boca de Yuma provides an environment for sea oats and associated Calisto lyceius.
Credit: A. Sourakov

In one of the first taxonomic revisions of Neotropical butterflies that utilizes 'DNA barcoding', Andrei Sourakov (University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History) and Evgeny Zakharov (University of Guelph, Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario) uncovered a spectacular degree of evolutionary divergence within the satyrine butterfly genus Calisto.

Related Articles


The study was published in the open-access journal Comparative Cytogenetics.

The Caribbean has a remarkable diversity of habitats and wildlife. More than 200 species of butterflies belonging to some 100 genera live on the islands, with most genera represented by a single species. Many species are endemic to the region, that is they do not occur anywhere else. This distinctive fauna apparently arose as a result of species immigrating from the mainland at some point during the islands' history, and later evolving mostly into island isolates.

The satyrine butterfly genus Calisto is the most notable of them, because it has the largest number of extant species compared to other butterfly genera found in the region. Until the present revision, Calisto had comprised 54 named taxa, which occupy an extremely diverse array of habitats, suggestive of adaptive radiation on the scale of other classic examples, such as the Galαpagos or Darwin's finches.

The authors of the study applied a new set of molecular characters to clarify the classification and evolution of Calisto butterflies. The 'DNA barcoding' technique is based on the analysis of short, standardized gene region within mitochondrial DNA, and provides an efficient method for species identification. As a result, Calisto now contains 34 species and 17 subspecies and new data shed light on the general evolutionary history of the genus.

The discovered spectacular degree of DNA divergence suggests a diversification period of 4-8 million years. Species of Calisto that occur only in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Jamaica were found likely to have evolved from various Hispaniolan ancestors. The study found no support for previously advocated theories of evolution through geographic separation events due to plate tectonics. The evolutionary time-frame and the phylogenetic position of non-Hispaniolan taxa suggest that ancient dispersal events from Hispaniola to other islands and adaptive radiation within Hispaniola are likely responsible for the diversification within the genus Calisto.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrei Sourakov, Evgeny Zakharov. “Darwin’s butterflies”? DNA barcoding and the radiation of the endemic Caribbean butterfly genus Calisto (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Satyrinae). Comparative Cytogenetics, 2011; 5 (3): 191 DOI: 10.3897/CompCytogen.v5i3.1730

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Darwin's butterflies? Spectacular species radiation in the Caribbean studied with 'DNA barcoding'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825102245.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2011, August 25). Darwin's butterflies? Spectacular species radiation in the Caribbean studied with 'DNA barcoding'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825102245.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Darwin's butterflies? Spectacular species radiation in the Caribbean studied with 'DNA barcoding'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825102245.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — From sweet cherries to sugar snap peas, spring is the peak season for some of the tastiest and healthiest produce. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best seasonal fruits and veggies to spring in to good health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) — If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) — Satellite data shows the Amazon rainforest supports its lush flora with a little help from Sahara Desert dust. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) — Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins