Species delimitation and identification are integral to virtually all biological disciplines, but are far from straightforward tasks. Taxonomy has recently focused on integrative approaches that consider multiple types of data to resolve species boundaries, yet methodologies to that end are still being developed. Here, we assess species limits in an area of wide distributional overlap between several species of anglewing butterflies in western Canada. Focusing on an area of sympatry provides a rich system to test species boundaries in the face of potential gene flow between morphologically variable yet similar species. Mitochondrial DNA and genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms provided clear species delimitation, although previously identified cytonuclear discordance was also apparent. Analysis of two morphological data sets, based on characters commonly used as diagnostic characters in the literature and field guides, was variably successful at separating species. Using analyses that were guided by the results of the genetic data increased successful species identification for traditionally used characters, but not for the morphological data set based on digital colour analysis. Our application of genetics to guide morphological analysis demonstrates a useful approach for implementing iterative methodologies as part of integrative taxonomy.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society|
|State||Published - Jun 14 2018|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful to Benny Acorn, Gary Anweiler, Heather Bird, Bryan Brunet, Lina Söderlind and Janet Sperling for assistance in collecting specimens; Kurt Yakimovich for assistance with wet lab work; and Kevin Muirhead for bioinformatic assistance. Funding was provided by an Alberta Conservation Association grant to CMM (#RES0017428) and a National Science and Engineering Research Council Discovery grant to FAHS (#217174). This research was enabled in part by support provided by WestGrid (www.westgrid. ca) and Compute Canada Calcul Canada (www.com-putecanada.ca). Data files are provided in Supporting Information, and raw data are deposited as Sequence Read Archives in the National Center for Biotechnology Information under accessions SRR5725309– SRR5725392 (BioProject PRJNA390990).
© 2017 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
- cytonuclear discordance
- genome-wide SNPs
- mitochondrial phylogeny
- species identification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology