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Unravelling cryptic species complexes and repatriating the genomes of old Brazilian specimens of satyrine butterflies (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae, Euptychiina)

Grant number: 18/21432-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): May 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:André Victor Lucci Freitas
Grantee:Eduardo de Proença Barbosa
Supervisor abroad: Niklas Wahlberg
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Lund University, Lund, Sweden  
Associated to the scholarship:16/15873-8 - Systematics and patterns of biogeographical distribution of butterflies' genera from Euptychiina subtribe (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae), BP.PD

Abstract

To fully understanding the global biodiversity has become an urgent task for scientists before the increasing anthropogenic pressures wipes it out of the Earth. In order to achieve that goal one way that must be followed is to know how many species there are on this planet and how they relate to each other in an evolutionary way, which makes systematics and taxonomy crucial areas in biodiversity studies. The aims of these two areas are, respectively, comprehend species evolutionary relationships and to discover and name species. Nowadays, the use of molecular data together with morphological studies, in the so-called integrative taxonomy, is resulting in the discovery of many new species, especially for those groups with unrevealed cryptic diversity. Despite all the work that has already been done with Euptychiina, much remains to be explored in order to better understand this group, especially their complexes of cryptic species. In this sense, scientific collections in natural history museums are irreplaceable depositories of biological diversity, representing an enormous source of data for studies such as morphology, biogeography, taxonomy, among others, such as molecular data. With recent advances in molecular techniques, the use of pinned Lepidoptera from museum collections have resulted in successful extraction and sequencing of DNA allowing the use of museum specimens in molecular studies. Thus the sequencing of whole genomes from type specimens of Euptychiina deposited in museum collections would be an incredible and priceless opportunity to gather more and inestimable data that could be applied to a better understanding of cryptic species within the subtribe. That said, the main goals of this project are to access the genetic material of the old type specimens (holotypes/allotypes/neotypes/lectotypes) of Brazilian species of Euptychiina deposited in the scientific collections of European Museums of Natural History, to access the genetic material of old Brazilian specimens that will be taken by the candidate to Lund and to learn and apply cutting-edge molecular analyses to comprehend the diversification process of some groups of cryptic species complexes in the subtribe Euptychiina.