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PRIETO, C; MICO, E and GALANTE, E. Molecules, wing pattern and distribution: an approach to species delimitation in the "loxurina group" (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Penaincisalia). Neotrop. entomol. [online]. 2011, vol.40, n.5, pp.553-559. ISSN 1519-566X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-566X2011000500006.
The wide range of morphological variations in the "loxurina group" makes taxa identification difficult, and despite several reviews, serious taxonomical confusion remains. We make use of DNA data in conjunction with morphological appearance and available information on species distribution to delimit the boundaries of the "loxurina" group species previously established based on morphology. A fragment of 635 base pairs within the mtDNA gene cytochrome oxidase I (COI) was analysed for seven species of the "loxurina group". Phylogenetic relationships among the included taxa were inferred using maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood methods. Penaincisalia sigsiga (Bálint et al), P. cillutincarae (Draudt), P. atymna (Hewitson) and P. loxurina (C. Felder & R. Felder) were easily delimited as the morphological, geographic and molecular data were congruent. Penaincisalia ludovica (Bálint & Wojtusiak) and P. loxurina astillero (Johnson) represent the same entity and constitute a sub-species of P. loxurina. However, incongruence among morphological, genetic, and geographic data is shown in P. chachapoya (Bálint & Wojtusiak) and P. tegulina (Bálint et al). Our results highlight that an integrative approach is needed to clarify the taxonomy of these neotropical taxa, but more genetic and geographical studies are still required.
Keywords : COI; Eumaeini; Thecloxurina; Andes; butterfly.