• 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.