Now showing items 1-20 of 968

    • Six new species of Handaoia Seyrig, 1952 (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Phygadeuontinae): the first to be described from the New World

      Bordera, Santiago; Broad, G (Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle, 2021-06-30)
      Handaoia Seyrig, 1952 is a small genus of Phygadeuontinae currently represented by eleven described species from Madagascar, Tanzania and Europe, and can be recognized by the combination of the distally expanded and ventrally flattened antennal flagellum, complete posterior transverse carina of the mesosternum, isolated ‘pit’ (episternal scrobe) in the mesopleuron, and a single bulla in fore wing vein 2m-cu. Most species have a distinctive combined area basalis and area superomedia on the propodeum. The following six new species from Central and South America are described and illustrated: H. cuscoensis Bordera sp. nov. from Peru, H. fritzi sp. nov. from Brazil, H. mercedensis Bordera sp. nov. from Peru, H. plaumanni sp. nov. from Brazil, H. ruizcancinoi Bordera sp. nov. from Mexico, and H. urceus sp. nov. from Brazil. A key to the New World species is provided.
    • The genus Orionis Shaw (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Euphorinae) in the Old World

      Broad, G; Stigenberg, Julia (Pensoft Publishers, 2021-12-30)
      The euphorine braconid genus Orionis Shaw, 1987 is found to be more diverse in the Old World than had previously been recognised. Orionis was regarded previously as largely Neotropical, with one Oriental species (Orionis orientalis Shimbori & Shaw, 2016) known from Thailand, but we recognise an additional three species from the Oriental and Palaearctic regions. Three species of Euphorinae are transferred to Orionis Shaw, 1987 and are new combinations: Orionis coxator (Belokobylskij, 1995), comb. nov., Orionis erratus (Chen & van Achterberg, 1997), comb. nov., and Orionis flavifacies (Belokobylskij, 2000), comb. nov. Previously known from the Far Eastern Palaearctic, O. coxator has surprisingly been found in Europe, in Belgium, England and the Netherlands. The inclusion of these species in Orionis whereas most previous species have been described from the Neotropics, is justified by Bayesian analysis of the D2 region of 28S, Cytochrome Oxidase I barcode sequences, and morphology.
    • A global food plant dataset for wild silkmoths and hawkmoths and its use in documenting polyphagy of their caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Bombycoidea: Saturniidae, Sphingidae)

      Ballesteros Mejia, Liliana; Arnal, Pierre; Hallwachs, Winnie; HAXAIRE, Jean; Janzen, Daniel; Kitching, I; ROUGERIE, Rodolphe (Pensoft Publishers, 2020-12-10)
      Herbivorous insects represent a major fraction of global biodiversity and the relationships they have established with their food plants range from strict specialists to broad generalists. Our knowledge of these relationships is of primary importance to basic (e.g. the study of insect ecology and evolution) and applied biology (e.g. monitoring of pest or invasive species) and yet remains very fragmentary and understudied. In Lepidoptera, caterpillars of families Saturniidae and Sphingidae are rather well known and considered to have adopted contrasting preferences in their use of food plants. The former are regarded as being rather generalist feeders, whereas the latter are more specialist. To assemble and synthesise the vast amount of existing data on food plants of Lepidoptera families Saturniidae and Sphingidae, we combined three major existing databases to produce a dataset collating more than 26,000 records for 1256 species (25% of all species) in 121 (67%) and 167 (81%) genera of Saturniidae and Sphingidae, respectively. This dataset is used here to document the level of polyphagy of each of these genera using summary statistics, as well as the calculation of a polyphagy score derived from the analysis of Phylogenetic Diversity of the food plants used by the species in each genus.
    • Pre‐ and postzygotic mechanisms preventing hybridization in co‐occurring species of the Impatiens purpureoviolacea complex

      Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Jandová, Michaela; Líblová, Zuzana; Janssens, Steven B; Dostálek, Tomáš; Holstein, Norbert; Fischer, Eberhard (Wiley, 2021-11-24)
      In the species-rich genus Impatiens, few natural hybrids are known, even though closely related species often occur sympatrically. In this study, we aim to bridge the gap between micro- and macro-evolution to disentangle pre- and postzygotic mechanisms that may prevent hybridization in the Impatiens purpureoviolacea complex from Central Africa. We analyzed habitat types, species distribution, pollination syndromes, pollinator dependency, genome sizes, and chromosome numbers of seven out of the ten species of the complex as well as of one natural hybrid and reconstructed the ancestral chromosome numbers of the complex. Several species of the complex occur in sympatry or geographically very close to each other. All of them are characterized by pre- and/or postzygotic mechanisms potentially preventing hybridization. We found four independent polyploidization events within the complex. The only known natural hybrid always appears as single individual and is self-fertile. But the plants resulting from self-pollinated seeds often die shortly after first flowering. These results indicate that the investigated mechanisms in combination may effectively but not absolutely prevent hybridization in Impatiens and probably occur in other genera with sympatric species as well.
    • Evolution of Impatiens (Balsaminaceae) in the Albertine Rift – The endemic Impatiens purpureoviolacea complex consists of ten species

      Fischer, Eberhard; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Holstein, Norbert; Janssens, Steven B (Wiley, 2021-09-06)
      The Albertine Rift harbours a highly diverse flora with numerous endemic species. An important component of the forestunderstorey is the herbaceous genusImpatiens. Fieldwork in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda as well asmorphological studies indicated that the Albertine Rift endemicImpatiens purpureoviolacearepresents a species complex. We ana-lyzed the hidden diversity of the complex using morphological and molecular data supplemented by herbarium studies. We found thattheImpatiens purpureoviolaceacomplex can be divided into morphologically and phylogenetically well characterized clades contain-ing ten species and a natural hybrid. We describe all of these species, provide a species key and analyze their evolutionary history.BesideImpatiens purpureoviolaceaandI. gesneroidea, the already describedI. urundiensisis resurrected from synonymy. Two va-rieties,Impatiens purpureoviolaceavar.longicalcarataandI. gesneroideavar.superglabraare raised to species status, and five newspecies (Impatiens elwiraurzulae,I. lotteri,I. ludewigii,I. lutzmannii,I. versicolor) and a new natural hybrid (I. ×troupinii) are de-scribed. Within the mostly insect-pollinated species of the clade, two bird-pollinated species (Impatiens gesneroidea,I. super-glabra) evolved independently. The clade split from its sister taxon in the Pliocene and started diversifying during the Pliocene/Pleistocene transition in parallel to an increased mountain uplifting and volcanic activity in the Albertine Rift. It further diversifiedduring the Pleistocene, likely due to the changes in forest cover and connectivity induced by climatic fluctuations.
    • (2664) Proposal to conserve the name Kissenia against Cnidone (Loasaceae)

      Holstein, Norbert; Acuña, Rafael; Weigend, Maximilian (Wiley, 2018-12-01)
      [No abstract]
    • How has the environment shaped geographical patterns of insect body sizes? A test of hypotheses using sphingid moths

      Beerli, Nicolas; Bärtschi, Florian; Ballesteros‐Mejia, Liliana; Kitching, I; Beck, Jan (Wiley, 2019-08)
      Aim: We mapped the geographical pattern of body sizes in sphingid moths and investigated latitudinal clines. We tested hypotheses concerning their possible environmental control, that is, effects of temperature (negative: temperature size rule or Bergmann's rule; positive: converse Bergmann rule), food availability, robustness to starvation during extreme weather and seasonality. Location: Old World and Australia/Pacific region. Methods: Body size data of 950 sphingid species were compiled and related to their distribution maps. Focusing on body length, we mapped the median and maximum size of all species occurring in 100 km grid cells. In a comparative approach, we tested the predictions from explanatory hypotheses by correlating species' size to the average environmental conditions encountered throughout their range, under univariate and multivariate models. We accounted for phylogeny by stepwise inclusion of phylogenetically informed taxonomic classifications into hierarchical random‐intercept mixed models. Results: Median body sizes showed a distinctive geographical pattern, with large species in the Middle East and the Asian tropics, and smaller species in temperate regions and the Afrotropics. Absolute latitude explained very little body size variation, but there was a latitudinal cline of maximum size. Species' median size was correlated with net primary productivity, supporting the food availability hypothesis, whereas support for other hypotheses was weak. Environmental correlations contributed much less (i.e. <10%) to explaining overall size variation than phylogeny (inclusion of which led to models explaining >70% of variability). Main conclusion: The intuitive impression of larger species in the tropics is shaped by larger size maxima. Median body sizes are only very weakly related to latitude. Most of the geographical variation in body size in sphingid moths is explained by their phylogenetic past. NPP and forest cover correlate positively with the body size, which supports the idea that food availability allowed the evolution of larger sizes.
    • How climatic variability is linked to the spatial distribution of range sizes: seasonality versus climate change velocity in sphingid moths

      Grünig, Marc; Beerli, Nicolas; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana; Kitching, I; Beck, Jan (Wiley, 2017-11)
      Aim: To map the spatial variation of range sizes within sphingid moths, and to test hypotheses on its environmental control. In particular, we investigate effects of climate change velocity since the Pleistocene and the mid-Holocene, temperature and precipitation seasonality, topography, Pleistocene ice cover, and available land area. Location: Old World and Australasia, excluding smaller islands. Methods: We used fine-grained range maps (based on expert-edited distribution modelling) for all 972 sphingid moth species in the research region and calculated, at a grain size of 100 km, the median of range sizes of all species that co-occur in a pixel. Climate, topography and Pleistocene ice cover data were taken from publicly available sources. We calculated climate change velocities (CCV) for the last 21ky as well as 6ky. We compared the effects of seasonality and CCV on median range sizes with spatially explicit models while accounting for effects of elevation range, glaciation history and available land area. Results: Range sizes show a clear spatial pattern, with highest median values in deserts and arctic regions and lowest values in isolated tropical regions. Range sizes were only weakly related to absolute latitude (predicted by Rapoport’s effect), but there was a strong north-south pattern of range size decline. Temperature seasonality emerged as the strongest environmental correlate of median range size, in univariate as well as multivariate models, whereas effects of CCV were weak and unstable for both time periods. These results were robust to variations in the parameters in alternative analyses, among them multivariate CCV. Main conclusions: Temperature seasonality is a strong correlate of spatial range size variation, while effects of longer-term temperature change, as captured by CCV, received much weaker support.
    • A Minimally Morphologically Destructive Approach for DNA Retrieval and Whole-Genome Shotgun Sequencing of Pinned Historic Dipteran Vector Species

      Korlević, Petra; McAlister, Erica; Mayho, Matthew; Makunin, Alex; Flicek, Paul; Lawniczak, Mara KN (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-10-01)
      Abstract: Museum collections contain enormous quantities of insect specimens collected over the past century, covering a period of increased and varied insecticide usage. These historic collections are therefore incredibly valuable as genomic snapshots of organisms before, during, and after exposure to novel selective pressures. However, these samples come with their own challenges compared with present-day collections, as they are fragile and retrievable DNA is low yield and fragmented. In this article, we tested several DNA extraction procedures across pinned historic Diptera specimens from four disease vector genera: Anopheles, Aedes, Culex, and Glossina. We identify an approach that minimizes morphological damage while maximizing DNA retrieval for Illumina library preparation and sequencing that can accommodate the fragmented and low yield nature of historic DNA. We identify several key points in retrieving sufficient DNA while keeping morphological damage to a minimum: an initial rehydration step, a short incubation without agitation in a modified low salt Proteinase K buffer (referred to as “lysis buffer C” throughout), and critical point drying of samples post-extraction to prevent tissue collapse caused by air drying. The suggested method presented here provides a solid foundation for exploring the genomes and morphology of historic Diptera collections.
    • Stability in Lepidoptera names is not served by reversal to gender agreement: a response to Wiemers et al. (2018)

      van Nieukerken, Erik J; Karsholt, Ole; Hausmann, Axel; Holloway, Jeremy D; Huemer, Peter; Kitching, I; Nuss, Matthias; Pohl, Gregory R; Rajaei, Hossein; Rennland, Erwin; et al. (Pensoft Publishers, 2019-06-26)
    • Genome-wide SNP Data Reveal an Overestimation of Species Diversity in a Group of Hawkmoths

      Hundsdoerfer, Anna K; Lee, Kyung Min; Kitching, I; Mutanen, Marko (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-05-29)
      Abstract: The interface between populations and evolving young species continues to generate much contemporary debate in systematics depending on the species concept(s) applied but which ultimately reduces to the fundamental question of “when do nondiscrete entities become distinct, mutually exclusive evolutionary units”? Species are perceived as critical biological entities, and the discovery and naming of new species is perceived by many authors as a major research aim for assessing current biodiversity before much of it becomes extinct. However, less attention is given to determining whether these names represent valid biological entities because this is perceived as both a laborious chore and an undesirable research outcome. The charismatic spurge hawkmoths (Hyles euphorbiae complex, HEC) offer an opportunity to study this less fashionable aspect of systematics. To elucidate this intriguing systematic challenge, we analyzed over 10,000 ddRAD single nucleotide polymorphisms from 62 individuals using coalescent-based and population genomic methodology. These genome-wide data reveal a clear overestimation of (sub)species-level diversity and demonstrate that the HEC taxonomy has been seriously oversplit. We conclude that only one valid species name should be retained for the entire HEC, namely Hyles euphorbiae, and we do not recognize any formal subspecies or other taxonomic subdivisions within it. Although the adoption of genetic tools has frequently revealed morphologically cryptic diversity, the converse, taxonomic oversplitting of species, is generally (and wrongly in our opinion) accepted as rare. Furthermore, taxonomic oversplitting is most likely to have taken place in intensively studied popular and charismatic organisms such as the HEC.
    • Historic DNA for taxonomy and conservation: A case-study of a century-old Hawaiian hawkmoth type (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae)

      Hundsdoerfer, Anna K; Kitching, I (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2017-03-08)
      Analysing historic DNA from museum specimens offers the unique opportunity to study the molecular systematics and phylogenetics of rare and possibly extinct taxa. In the Hawaiian fauna, the hawkmoth, Hyles calida calida, occurs on several of the main islands and is quite frequent, whereas Hyles c. hawaiiensis is restricted to the Island of Hawaii where it appears to be very rare. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences shows that Hyles c. hawaiiensis differs from the nominotypical subspecies by an average p-distance of 2.8%, which is of a similar order of magnitude to that found between other species of Hyles, suggesting that Hyles c. hawaiiensis should perhaps be awarded species status, although more data are required for a formal taxonomic revision. Given the rarity of this taxon, these analyses should be undertaken urgently so that conservation measures can be implemented before it becomes extinct.
    • iCollections methodology: workflow, results and lessons learned

      Blagoderov, Vladimir; Penn, MG; Sadka, Mike; Hine, Adrian; Brooks, Stephen; Siebert, Darrell; Sleep, Chris; Cafferty, Steve; Cane, Elisa; Martin, Geoff; et al. (Pensoft Publishers, 2017-09-25)
      The Natural History Museum, London (NHMUK) has embarked on an ambitious programme to digitise its collections. The first phase of this programme was to undertake a series of pilot projects to develop the workflows and infrastructure needed to support mass digitisation of very large scientific collections. This paper presents the results of one of the pilot projects – iCollections. This project digitised all the lepidopteran specimens usually considered as butterflies, 181,545 specimens representing 89 species from the British Isles and Ireland. The data digitised includes, species name, georeferenced location, collector and collection date - the what, where, who and when of specimen data. In addition, a digital image of each specimen was taken. A previous paper explained the way the data were obtained and the background to the collections that made up the project. The present paper describes the technical, logistical, and economic aspects of managing the project.
    • Ancient incomplete lineage sorting of Hyles and Rhodafra (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae)

      Hundsdoerfer, Anna K; Kitching, I (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-07-12)
      Abstract The hawkmoth genus Rhodafra comprises two African species with unclear relationships, as their wing patterns are markedly different, with one species closely resembling species of a related genus, Hyles. The present paper aims to investigate the monophyly and phylogenetic position of Rhodafra in relation to Hyles and other genera of the subtribe Choerocampina (Sphingidae: Macroglossinae: Macroglossini) using mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data from more species and individuals than have hitherto been studied. As no fresh tissue of Rhodafra was available, ancient-DNA methodology was applied. All data corroborate the genus as monophyletic and that a similar wing pattern is not a good indicator of close phylogenetic relationship in this group of moths. Phylogenetic trees based on mitochondrial data agree in placing Rhodafra within Hyles. In contrast, analysis of nuclear EF1alpha sequences produces a topology in which Rhodafra is placed as the sister clade to Hyles. Although multispecies coalescent analyses suggest a polytomy between Rhodafra, Hyles lineata and the remaining Hyles, total evidence analyses corroborate Rhodafra as sister to Hyles. This relationship is interpreted as the favoured topology. For a more robust result, the question should be re-examined using genomic approaches.
    • Morphological evolution in Hyles Hübner, 1819 hawkmoths (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae): reconstructing the ancestral Hyles habitus

      Hundsdoerfer, Anna K; Kitching, I (Pensoft Publishers, 2020-07-31)
      Molecular phylogenetic studies suggest that similar wing and body patterns in the hawkmoth genus Hyles Hübner, [1819] do not necessarily reflect a close phylogenetic relationship. To improve our understanding of morphological evolution in these organisms, 75 characters derived from the external adult morphology are explicitly coded and analysed in a maximum parsimony cladistic framework. The results corroborate the hypothesis that wing and body patterns have indeed reappeared in different parts of the phylogeny but the underlying genetic mechanism remains to be determined. By reconstructing the suite of ancestral states of the morphological characters using Bayesian inference, we derived an approximation of the appearance of the proto-Hyles species. The overall habitus of this moth does not display a combination of characters found in any extant Hyles species. Rather, the forewings are most like those of members of the Hyles euphorbiae - complex but with better developed antemedial and postmedial lines, the hindwings are typical Hyles, and the abdominal pattern most closely resembles that of Hyles euphorbiarum (Guérin-Méneville & Percheron, 1835), but with one fewer pairs of black subdorsal patches. Within the context of the subtribe Choerocampina and Sphingidae more generally, the proto-Hyles reconstruction does not resemble any other species apart from Rhodafra opheltes (Cramer, 1780), but this appears to be another instance of convergent pattern expression.
    • Three new species of the Xylophanes crotonis species-group (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) from Colombia and a neotype designation for Xylophanes aristor

      CORREA-CARMONA, Yenny; GIUSTI, Alessandro; HAXAIRE, Jean; ROUGERIE, Rodolphe; Kitching, I (Biology Centre, AS CR, 2021-03-19)
      Three new species of the hawkmoth genus Xylophanes Hübner, 1819 from Colombia are described based on morphological characters and DNA barcodes: Xylophanes camilae Correa-Carmona & Giusti sp. n., Xylophanes pijao Giusti & CorreaCarmona sp. n., and Xylophanes tayrona Correa-Carmona & Giusti sp. n. The new species are compared with the most morphologically similar species within the informal Xylophanes crotonis species-group: Xylophanes aristor (Boisduval, 1870), Xylophanes crotonis (Walker, 1856) and Xylophanes huloti Haxaire & Vaglia, 2008. Diagnoses, distribution maps, photographs of genital structures and habitus are provided for each new species. In addition, a dichotomous key is provided to identify the new species and the most morphologically similar species within the group. To stabilize the nomenclature and fi x the taxon concept, a neotype is designated for Xylophanes aristor.
    • The Phylogenetics and Biogeography of the Central Asian Hawkmoths, Hyles hippophaes and H. chamyla: Can Mitogenomics and Machine Learning Bring Clarity?

      Patzold, Franziska; Marabuto, Eduardo; Daneck, Hana; O’Neill, Mark A; Kitching, I; Hundsdoerfer, Anna K (MDPI AG, 2021-05-17)
      The western Palaearctic species of the hawkmoth genus Hyles (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) have long been the subject of molecular phylogenetic research. However, much less attention has been paid to the taxa inhabiting the central and eastern Palaearctic, particularly Central Asia, where almost 50% of the species diversity of the genus occurs. Yet, many taxonomic conundrums hinder a proper assessment of the true diversity in these moths. One still unresolved group of species includes Hyles hippophaes and Hyles chamyla. Despite a largely overlapping morphology and ecology, a plethora of infraspecific taxa display some unique divergent characters over a wide geographical area. In this study, we undertook a taxonomic assessment of each population and resolved this species complex using an integrative approach. A combination of new computational techniques (DAISY-II) in comparative morphology and recent advances in DNA extraction methods and sequencing of museum specimens (WISC) alongside more traditional genetic approaches allowed testing of the three main phenotypes—bienerti, chamyla and apocyni—in terms of their morphological, mitochondrial and biogeographical integrity, and to elucidate their evolutionary relationships. Our results support the existence of two closely related species, Hyles chamyla and H. hippophaes, but the former species H. apocyni (here discussed as the ecological form apocyni of H. chamyla) is best regarded as a hybrid between H. chamyla and H. h. bienerti. The results indicate that the evolutionary relationship between H. chamyla and H. hippophaes is one of admixture in the context of ongoing ecological differentiation, which has led to shared morphological characters and a blurring of the species boundaries. These results clarify the evolutionary relationships of this species complex and open future research lines, including the analysis of nuclear markers and denser sampling, particularly of H. hippophaes and H. vespertilio in western Europe.
    • Phylogeny of the Hawkmoth Tribe Ambulycini (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae): Mitogenomes from Museum Specimens Resolve Major Relationships

      Timmermans, Martijn; Daghmoumi, Sainab M; Glass, Deborah; Hamilton, Chris A; Kawahara, Akito Y; Kitching, Ian J (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-12-23)
      Abstract: Ambulycini are a cosmopolitan tribe of the moth family Sphingidae, comprised of 10 genera, 3 of which are found in tropical Asia, 4 in the Neotropics, 1 in Africa, 1 in the Middle East, and 1 restricted to the islands of New Caledonia. Recent phylogenetic analyses of the tribe have yielded conflicting results, and some have suggested a close relationship of the monobasic New Caledonian genus CompsulyxHolloway, 1979 to the Neotropical ones, despite being found on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean. Here, we investigate relationships within the tribe using full mitochondrial genomes, mainly derived from dry-pinned museum collections material. Mitogenomic data were obtained for 19 species representing nine of the 10 Ambulycini genera. Phylogenetic trees are in agreement with a tropical Asian origin for the tribe. Furthermore, results indicate that the Neotropical genus Adhemarius Oiticica Filho, 1939 is paraphyletic and support the notion that OrectaRothschild &amp; Jordan 1903 and TrogolegnumRothschild &amp; Jordan, 1903 may need to be synonymized. Finally, in our analysis the Neotropical genera do not collectively form a monophyletic group, due to a clade comprising the New Caledonian genus Compsulyx and the African genus BatocnemaRothschild &amp; Jordan, 1903 being placed as sister to the Neotropical genus ProtambulyxRothschild &amp; Jordan, 1903. This finding implies a complex biogeographic history and suggests the evolution of the tribe involved at least two long-distance dispersal events.
    • Deep-time biodiversity patterns and the dinosaurian fossil record of the Late Cretaceous Western Interior, North America

      Maidment, Susannah; Dean, Christopher; Mansergh, Robert I; Butler, Richard J (The Royal Society, 2021-06-30)
      In order for palaeontological data to be informative to ecologists seeking to understand the causes of today's diversity patterns, palaeontologists must demonstrate that actual biodiversity patterns are preserved in our reconstructions of past ecosystems. During the Late Cretaceous, North America was divided into two landmasses, Laramidia and Appalachia. Previous work has suggested strong faunal provinciality on Laramidia at this time, but these arguments are almost entirely qualitative. We quantitatively investigated faunal provinciality in ceratopsid and hadrosaurid dinosaurs using a biogeographic network approach and investigated sampling biases by examining correlations between dinosaur occurrences and collections. We carried out a model-fitting approach using generalized least-squares regression to investigate the sources of sampling bias we identified. We find that while the raw data strongly support faunal provinciality, this result is driven by sampling bias. The data quality of ceratopsids and hadrosaurids is currently too poor to enable fair tests of provincialism, even in this intensively sampled region, which probably represents the best-known Late Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. To accurately reconstruct biodiversity patterns in deep time, future work should focus on smaller scale, higher resolution case studies in which the effects of sampling bias can be better controlled.
    • First mitogenome of subfamily Langiinae (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) with its phylogenetic implications

      Wang, Xu; Zhang, Hao; Kitching, I; Xu, Zhen-Bang; Huang, Yi-Xin (Elsevier BV, 2021-04-18)
      To date, a relatively complete classification of Sphingidae (Lepidoptera) has been generated, but the phylogeny of the family remains need to be fully resolved. Some phylogenetic relationships within Sphingidae still remains uncertain, especially the taxonomic status of the subfamily Langiinae and its sole included genus and species, Langia zenzeroides. To begin to address this problem, we generated nine new complete mitochondrial genomes, including that of Langia, and together with that of Theretra oldenlandiae from our previous study and 25 other Sphingidae mitogenomes downloaded from GenBank, analyzed the phylogenetic relationships of Sphingidae and investigated the mitogenomic differences among members of the Langiinae, Sphinginae, Smerinthinae and Macroglossinae. The mitogenomes of Sphingidae varied from 14995 bp to 15669 bp in length. The gene order of all newly sequenced mitogenomes was identical, containing 13 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and the A + T-rich region. Nucleotide composition was A + T biased, and all the protein-coding genes exhibited a positive AT-skew, which was reflected in the nucleotide composition, codon, and amino acid usage. The A + T-rich region was comprised of nonrepetitive sequences, which contained regulatory elements related to the control of replication and transcription. We analyzed concatenated gene sequences, with third codon positions of protein coding genes and rRNAs excluded, using Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference techniques. All four currently recognized subfamilies were recovered as monophyletic but in contrast to the most recent studies, our preferred tree placed Langiinae as the first subfamily to diverge within Sphingidae rather as sister to Smerinthinae + Sphinginae. Our results also support the removal of the genus Barbourion from the smerinthine tribe Ambulycini to an unresolved position in "Smerinthinae incertae sedis".