Congruence between morphology-based species and Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) in Neotropical Eumaeini (Lycaenidae).

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Date: Aug. 5, 2021
From: PeerJ(Vol. 9)
Publisher: PeerJ. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 7,652 words
Lexile Measure: 1440L

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Abstract :

Background With about 1,000 species in the Neotropics, the Eumaeini (Theclinae) are one of the most diverse butterfly tribes. Correct morphology-based identifications are challenging in many genera due to relatively little interspecific differences in wing patterns. Geographic infraspecific variation is sometimes more substantial than variation between species. In this paper we present a large DNA barcode dataset of South American Lycaenidae. We analyze how well DNA barcode BINs match morphologically delimited species. Methods We compare morphology-based species identifications with the clustering of molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) delimitated by the RESL algorithm in BOLD, which assigns Barcode Index Numbers (BINs). We examine intra- and interspecific divergences for genera represented by at least four morphospecies. We discuss the existence of local barcode gaps in a genus by genus analysis. We also note differences in the percentage of species with barcode gaps in groups of lowland and high mountain genera. Results We identified 2,213 specimens and obtained 1,839 sequences of 512 species in 90 genera. Overall, the mean intraspecific divergence value of CO1 sequences was 1.20%, while the mean interspecific divergence between nearest congeneric neighbors was 4.89%, demonstrating the presence of a barcode gap. However, the gap seemed to disappear from the entire set when comparing the maximum intraspecific distance (8.40%) with the minimum interspecific distance (0.40%). Clear barcode gaps are present in many genera but absent in others. From the set of specimens that yielded COI fragment lengths of at least 650 bp, 75% of the a priori morphology-based identifications were unambiguously assigned to a single Barcode Index Number (BIN). However, after a taxonomic a posteriori review, the percentage of matched identifications rose to 85%. BIN splitting was observed for 17% of the species and BIN sharing for 9%. We found that genera that contain primarily lowland species show higher percentages of local barcode gaps and congruence between BINs and morphology than genera that contain exclusively high montane species. The divergence values to the nearest neighbors were significantly lower in high Andean species while the intra-specific divergence values were significantly lower in the lowland species. These results raise questions regarding the causes of observed low inter and high intraspecific genetic variation. We discuss incomplete lineage sorting and hybridization as most likely causes of this phenomenon, as the montane species concerned are relatively young and hybridization is probable. The release of our data set represents an essential baseline for a reference library for biological assessment studies of butterflies in mega diverse countries using modern high-throughput technologies an highlights the necessity of taxonomic revisions for various genera combining both molecular and morphological data.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A670749163