Chrysoritis Butler (Papilionoidea: Lycaenidae: Aphnaeinae) – Part I: Molecular phylogenetic analyses of a South African genus of myrmecophilous butterflies

  • Swee-Peck Quek
  • Ernest L. Pringle
  • Alan Heath


The molecular data of Talavera et al. (2020) is re-analysed to provide a foundation for a taxonomic revision of Chrysoritis. A COI phylogeny recovers most  of the Chrysoritis species as monophyletic, and a few as polyphyletic but supported by the CAD gene. In the thysbe clade, most species, despite occurring  in sympatry with at least one other species in the clade, maintain distinctive wing facies and ecological identity without intermediate forms.  Within the thysbe clade, which contains the majority of species, sister taxon comparisons based on the COI phylogeny suggest speciation has been  predominantly allopatric and accompanied mostly by minor morphological change and sometimes also a change in male patrolling terrain and/or host  ant species. The diversification of the thysbe clade and the taxonomic implications of our results are discussed.


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eISSN: 2307-5031