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Sympatric Diversification in the Upper Amazon: A Revision of the Eumaeine Genus Paraspiculatus (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)

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posted on 12.09.2019, 18:36 by Robert C. Busby, Christophe Faynel, Alfred Moser, Robert K. Robbins
The Neotropical lycaenid hairstreak genus Paraspiculatus is unusual because of a high frequency of sympatry in the upper Amazon Basin coupled with negligible interspecific variation of male genitalic structures and absence of male secondary sexual traits. Male sexual structures are postulated to promote species recognition by females and to contribute to reproductive isolation, for which reason a high incidence of sympatry in Paraspiculatus would not be expected. A revision of Paraspiculatus was feasible because we increased the number of study specimens more than fivefold (by the extensive use of rotting fish as a bait for males) and sequenced the “barcode” part of the mitochondrial gene CO1 for almost all species. We recognize 19 Paraspiculatus species based on male wing patterns. We partition the 19 species into ten species complexes, which are monophyletic in all analyses of morphological characters, CO1 sequences, and a combined data set. Newly described are Paraspiculatus apuya Busby & Robbins, new species; Paraspiculatus cosmo Busby, Robbins & Faynel, new species; Paraspiculatus transvesta Robbins & Busby, new species; Paraspiculatus grande Busby, Robbins & Moser, new species; Paraspiculatus honor Busby, Robbins & Hall, new species; Paraspiculatus emma Busby & Robbins, new species; Paraspiculatus sine Busby & Robbins, new species; Paraspiculatus azul Busby, Robbins & Faynel, new species; Paraspiculatus lilyana Busby & Robbins, new species; and Paraspiculatus noemi Busby & Robbins, new species. All are described from Ecuador except for P. transvesta from Guatemala. Male Paraspiculatus are attracted to traps baited with rotting fish in eastern Ecuador, but elsewhere this attraction is less frequent or absent. Using the behavior of other eumaeines as context, we briefly discuss these observations with respect to Paraspiculatus biology. Ten of 19 Paraspiculatus species are sympatric in the upper Amazon Basin below 1,250 m. Five of these sympatric species are from a single species complex. This instance of apparent in situ diversification is responsible for much of the sympatric diversity in Paraspiculatus in the upper Amazon Basin.



  • Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology

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Smithsonian Institution; National Museum of Natural History