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Elucidating the species boundaries and the evolutionary history of Neotropical butterflies: case studies in the subfamily Satyrinae (Nymphalidae)

Grant number: 18/11910-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2018
Effective date (End): October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:André Victor Lucci Freitas
Grantee:Mario Alejandro Marín Uribe
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The subfamily Satyrinae is one of the most diverse groups of neotropical butterflies, with more than 1200 species described in 137 genera. The group is widely distributed in the Neotropical region, occurring from sea level to more than 4000 meters in altitude, being the dominant butterflies in most habitats. The subfamily have their greatest diversity in the Amazon, Atlantic Rainforest and in the Andes. But this enormous diversity is allied to the presence of several species complexes, resulting in multiple identification errors that cause enormous confusion in the specialized literature. Currently, few studies have compared the performance of different analytical methods to delineate potentially cryptic species in insects. This makes the subfamily Satyrinae conceptually interesting, being one of the groups of butterflies with a most complexity in the genetic and morphological level, where the limit between the species seems not to be homogeneous among genera. The objective of the present proposal is to delimit and understand the evolutionary history of species complexes in neotropical Satyrinae clades. The results obtained should provide an updated revision of the evolutionary history and delineate species within some highly diversified butterfly clades.