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Natural history and systematic position of Rhetus belphegor (n. comb.) (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae), an endangered butterfly with narrow distribution in Southeast Brazil

Texto completo
Kaminski, Lucas A. [1] ; Soares, Gloria R. [2] ; Seraphim, Noemy ; Wahlberg, Niklas [3] ; Marini-Filho, Onildo J. [4] ; Freitas, Andre V. L.
Número total de Autores: 6
Afiliação do(s) autor(es):
[1] CSIC UPF, Inst Biol Evolutiva, Barcelona - Spain
[2] Univ Fed Vicosa, Inst Biol, PPG Ecol, Vicosa, MG - Brazil
[3] Univ Turku, Dept Biol, SF-20500 Turku - Finland
[4] Ctr Nacl Pesquisa & Conservacao Biodiversidade Ce, Inst Chico Mendes Conservacao Biodiversidade, Brasilia, DF - Brazil
Número total de Afiliações: 4
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Fonte: Journal of Insect Conservation; v. 19, n. 6, p. 1141-1151, DEC 2015.
Citações Web of Science: 6

The riodinid Rhetus belphegor (Westwood) (n. comb., previously in the genus Nirodia) is a critically endangered butterfly confined to the ``campos rupestres{''}; a high-altitude rocky outcrop vegetation from southeast Brazil. The aim of this study is to unveil its biology and evaluate its systematic position. Based on museum data and public contribution of data (in the context of citizen science), R. belphegor is restricted to the ``Espinha double dagger o Mountain Chain{''}, and occurs exclusively above 1000 m. Adults were found resting upside down on rock walls. Females searched for host plants during the hottest hours of the day, depositing 1-2 eggs on leaves of the herbaceous subshrub Microstachys serrulata (Euphorbiaceae). The non-myrmecophilous larvae developed through six instars and the developmental time from egg to adult was similar to 50 days. Larvae are covered with abundant setae. Morphology of immature stages and molecular phylogenetic analysis showed that Nirodia is part of Rhetus, justifying the generic change. Our data supports that Nirodia is the only species in its clade associated with high mountains, in contrast to its lowland congeners. The description of the immature biology and clarification on its systematic position are essential steps for the establishment of better and more effective conservation efforts for this magnificent Brazilian butterfly. (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 11/50225-3 - História natural, filogenia e conservação de lepidópteros neotropicais
Beneficiário:André Victor Lucci Freitas
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Programa BIOTA - Regular
Processo FAPESP: 13/50297-0 - Dimensions US-BIOTA São Paulo: integrando disciplinas para a predição da biodiversidade da Floresta Atlântica no Brasil
Beneficiário:Cristina Yumi Miyaki
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Programa BIOTA - Temático