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A complete time-calibrated multi-gene phylogeny of the European butterflies

Published on Nov 16, 2019in bioRxiv
· DOI :10.1101/844175
Martin Wiemers17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ),
Nicolas Chazot3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Lund University)
+ 2 AuthorsNiklas Wahlberg44
Estimated H-index: 44
(Lund University)
Abstract
With the aim of supporting ecological analyses in butterflies, the third most species-rich superfamily of Lepidoptera, this paper presents the first time-calibrated phylogeny of all 496 extant butterfly species in Europe, including 18 very localized endemics for which no public DNA sequences had been available previously. It is based on a concatenated alignment of the mitochondrial gene COI and up to 11 nuclear gene fragments, using Bayesian inference of phylogeny. To avoid analytical biases that could result from our region-focus sampling, our European tree was grafted upon a global genus-level backbone butterfly phylogeny for analyses. In addition to a consensus tree, we provide the posterior distribution of trees and the fully-concatenated alignment for future analyses.
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Butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) are one of the major superradiations of insects, comprising nearly 160,000 described extant species. As herbivores, pollinators, and prey, Lepidoptera play a fundamental role in almost every terrestrial ecosystem. Lepidoptera are also indicators of environmental change and serve as models for research on mimicry and genetics. They have been central to the development of coevolutionary hypotheses, such as butterflies with flowering plants and moths’ evolutionar...
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The need for robust estimates of times of divergence is essential for downstream analyses, yet assessing this robustness is still rare. We generated a time-calibrated genus-level phylogeny of butterflies (Papilionoidea), including 994 taxa, up to 10 gene fragments and an unprecedented set of 12 fossils and 10 host-plant node calibration points. We compared marginal priors and posterior distributions to assess the relative importance of the former on the latter. This approach revealed a strong in...
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