Phylogeny and historical biogeography of asian Pterourus butterflies (lepidoptera

Papilionidae): A case of intercontinental dispersal from North America to East Asia

Li Wei Wu, Shen Horn Yen, David C. Lees, Chih Chien Lu, Ping Shih Yang, Yu Feng Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The phylogenetic status of the well-known Asian butterflies often known as Agehana (a species group, often treated as a genus or a subgenus, within Papilio sensu lato) has long remained unresolved. Only two species are included, and one of them especially, Papilio maraho, is not only rare but near-threatened, being monophagous on its vulnerable hostplant, Sassafras randaiense (Lauraceae). Although the natural history and population conservation of "Agehana" has received much attention, the biogeographic origin of this group still remains enigmatic. To clarify these two questions, a total of 86 species representatives within Papilionidae were sampled, and four genes (concatenated length 3842 bp) were used to reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships and historical scenarios. Surprisingly, "Agehana" fell within the American Papilio subgenus Pterourus and not as previously suggested, phylogenetically close to the Asian Papilio subgenus Chilasa. We therefore formally synonymize Agehana with Pterourus. Dating and biogeographic analysis allow us to infer an intercontinental dispersal of an American ancestor of Asian Pterourus in the early Miocene, which was coincident with historical paleo-land bridge connections, resulting in the present "East Asia-America" disjunction distribution. We emphasize that species exchange between East Asia and America seems to be a quite frequent occurrence in butterflies during the Oligocene to Miocene climatic optima.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0140933
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 20

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Papilio
Papilionidae
Butterflies
Lepidoptera
Far East
Phylogeny
North America
East Asia
butterflies
Sassafras
Conservation
Lauraceae
biogeography
Genes
Asian Americans
phylogeny
Natural History
natural history
Population
ancestry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Phylogeny and historical biogeography of asian Pterourus butterflies (lepidoptera : Papilionidae): A case of intercontinental dispersal from North America to East Asia. / Wu, Li Wei; Yen, Shen Horn; Lees, David C.; Lu, Chih Chien; Yang, Ping Shih; Hsu, Yu Feng.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 10, No. 10, e0140933, 20.10.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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