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