Overview

Brief Summary

Introduction

A diverse Palearctic group, with many species in central Asia.

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

View Melitaea Tree

Phylogenetic relationships as inferred from DNA sequences by Leneveu et al. (2009). The topology is based on the strict consensus of results from parsimony analysis (their Fig. 2A). Note that in the original figure, different individuals of Melitaea didyma appear in four different places on the tree: as sister to M. ninae, sister to (M. ninae + M. didyma + M. chitralensis + M. enarea), sister to M. latonigi, and in the polytomy with M. saxatilis, etc. The position indicated here is the Adams compromise (most basal node including all representatives). The polyphyly of the "species" suggests that M. didyma may be a complex of similar-looking species (or that all the other "species" in the clade are variable populations of M. didyma.

Taxa not included in the Leneveu et al. study are indicated as incertae sedis associated with their putative species groups.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 1094
Specimens with Sequences: 1056
Specimens with Barcodes: 1008
Species: 103
Species With Barcodes: 100
Public Records: 283
Public Species: 65
Public BINs: 68
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Wikipedia

Melitaea

"Melithea" redirects here; this was also used for the octocoral genus Melithaea.
Adult Melitaea didymoides pekinensis, belonging to the large didyma group

Melitaea is a genus of brush-footed butterflies (family Nymphalidae). They are here placed in the tribe Melitaeini of subfamily Nymphalinae; some authors elevate this tribe to subfamily rank.

As delimited here, Melitaea includes the genus Mellicta, making the subtribe Melitaeina monotypic (but see below). For long, it was believed that Mellicta was a junior objective synonym of Melitaea, sharing the same type species (the Glanville Fritillary, M. cinxia). This was in error, however; the type species of Mellicta is actually the Heath Fritillary (M. athalia), making the two taxa junior subjective synonyms and thus eligible to be separated again. However, several other taxa are in fact objective synonyms (or at least have type specimens belonging to the same biological species) of Melitaea and MellictaSchoenis and the preoccupied Lucina and Melinaea for the former, Athaliaeformia for the latter.[1]

Species[edit]

Adult Melitaea solona evadne (minerva group)
Adult male Melitaea punica (phoebe group)

As noted above, Mellicta is considered to be a subgenus of Melitaea for the time being. The rationale is that even though the Melitaeina may not be monotypic, they do not seem to consist of just two genera (Melitaea and Mellicta) either, and recognition of Mellicta appears to leave Melitaea paraphyletic; consequently, other lineages would need elevation to distinct genus status also. As long as it is not fully known which species groups and/or subgenera warrant recognition as full genera, they are all retained in the present genus.

In the following list, species-group/subgenus affiliation and type species are annotated. In the sensu lato circumscription used here, Melitaea contains almost 90 species. Most being assignable to one of the 5 groups/subgenera, there are a few that cannot be clearly placed with one of these at present:[2]

didyma/Didymaeformis group

cinxia/Melitaea sensu stricto group

minerva group

phoebe/Cinclidia group

Mellicta group

Adult Melitaea centralasiae of the Mellicta group

Incertae sedis

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Pitkin & Jenkins (2004ab), FE (2009), and see references in Haaramo (2010, 2011)
  2. ^ See references in Haaramo (2010, 2011)

References[edit]

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