We explore the phylogeography of the common ghost moth, Hepialus humuli (Linnaeus) in Europe based on 1451 bp Cytochromeoxydase Subunit 1 (COI) mtDNA and 617 bp Ribosomal protein Subunit 5 (RpS5) ntDNA with special focus on populations in the Alps and surrounding regions, as well as northern Europe. While RpS5 fails to recover any phylogeographic signal, COI reveals a remarkable pattern with central European populations separated in four well-defined groups. The most divergent group is restricted to northern Italy and southern Austria and geographically isolated from the others; one group is found only in the central-northern region south of Lake Constance (Liechtenstein, western Austria) and co-occurs with the two other groups, from north-eastern Alps and north-western Alps respectively. We conclude that the southern and central groups are relicts from a previous Pleistocene glacial maximum, whereas the two latter groups were isolated during the last glacial maximum in a western and an eastern refugium respectively, the exact extends of these refugia are uncertain. The central group has subsequently interbred with the two other northern groups and probably only exists today as ancient mtDNA haplotypes. The north-western and north-eastern groups have spread considerably and overlap over a large part of their range in the Alps and surrounding areas. Following the last glacial maximum, the north-western group spread into western Europe as far as Normandy, but the English Channel has apparently acted as a dispersal barrier. The north-eastern group spread into eastern and northern Europe, including Scandinavia, and possibly into the Balkans as well. The British Isles as well as the North Atlantic islands groups, the Faroese and Shetlands were colonised from southern Scandinavia or northern Germany, likely via Doggerland. Despite the deep divergence in mtDNA between the populations in Italy and southern Austria, and the remaining populations, there are no consistent morphological differences, and we conclude that there is no evidence that the southern populations should be considered a separate species. Although the populations in the Shetland and Faroese islands are phenotypically distinct from most other populations, we find no genetic or genitalia morphological differences between these populations and the rest. We therefore conclude that they display what can be termed cryptic genetic homogeneity. As the phenotypic variation is not unique to these populations either, we synonymise the North Atlantic subspecies H. humuli thulensis Newman syn.n. with H. humuli humuli.
AnderssonS.RydellJ. & SvenssonM.G.E. (1998)
Light, predation and the lekking behaviour of the ghost swift Hepialus humuli (L.) (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biololgical Sciences265: 1345–1351.
Rapid morphological radiation and convergence among races of the butterfly Heliconius erato – inferred from patterns of mitochondrial-DNA evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America91: 6491–6499.
de JuanaE. (1994) Family Tetraonidae (Grouse). In: del HoyoJ.ElliottA. & SargataJ. (Eds.) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 2. New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx EdicionsBarcelona pp. 376–410.
FolmerO.BlackM.HoehW.LutzR. & VrijenhoekR. (1994) DNA primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology3: 294–299.
GarciaA.G.LlorcaJ.J.PlanasA.M.De-GregoriaJ.J.P. & Ferrer-VidalI.R. (1982) Revisió de la família Hepialidae Stephens, 1829 Lepidoptera: Homoneura) a Catalunya. Butlletí de la Institució Catalana d’Història Natural49: 111–117.
HammoutiN.SchmittT.SeitzA.KosuchJ. & VeithM. (2010) Combining mitochondrial and nuclear evidences: a refined evolutionary history of Erebia medusa (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Satyrinae) in Central Europe based on the COI gene. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research48: 115–125.
HeikkilaM.KailaL.MutanenM.PenaC. & WahlbergN. (2012) Cretaceous origin and repeated tertiary diversification of the redefined butterflies. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biololgical Sciences279: 1093–1099.
HuemerP. & MutanenM. (2012) Taxonomy of spatially disjunct alpine Teleiopsis albifemorella s.lat. (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) revealed by molecular data and morphology–how many species are there?Zootaxa3580: 1–23.
KaaberS.KristensenN. & SimonsenT.J. (2009) Sexual dimorphism and geographical male polymorphism in the ghost moth Hepialus humuli (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae): Scale ultrastructure and evolutionary aspects. European Journal of Entomology106: 303–313.
KodandaramaiahU.WeingartnerE.JanzN.DalenL. & NylinS. (2011) Population structure in relation to host–plant ecology and Wolbachia infestation in the comma butterfly. Journal of Evolutionary Biology24: 2173–2185.
MutanenM.HausmannA.HebertP.D.N.LandryJ.-F.de WaardJ.R. & HuemerP. (2012) Allopatry as a Gordian Knot for Taxonomists: Patterns of DNA Barcode Divergence in Arctic-Alpine Lepidoptera. Plos One7(10): e47214 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047214.
NielsenE.S.RobinsonG.S. & WagnerD.L. (2000) Ghostmoths of the World: a Global Inventory and Bibliography of the Exoporia (Mnesarchaeoidea and Hepialoidea) (Lepidoptera). Journal of Natural History34: 823–878.
SchmittT.MusterC. & SchönswetterP. (2010) Are Disjunct Alpine and Arctic-Alpine Animal and Plant Species in the Western Palaearctic Really “Relics of a Cold Past”? In: HabelJ.C. & AssmannT. (Eds.) Relict Species: Phylogeography and Conservation Biology. SpringerBerlin pp. 239–252.
SchmittT. & SeitzA. (2001) Intraspecific allozymatic differentiation reveals the glacial refugia and the postglacial expansions of European Erebia medusa (Lepidoptera: Nympahlidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society74: 429–458.
SchneeweissG.M. & SchönswetterP. (2010) The wide but disjunct range of the European mountain plant Androsace lactea L. (Primulaceae) reflects Late Pleistocene range fragmentation and post-glacial distributional stasis. Journal of Biogeography37: 2016–2025.
SimonC.FratiF.BeckenbachA.CrespiB.LiuH. & FlookP. (1994) Evolution, weighting, and phylogenetic utility of mitochondrial genesequences and a compilation of conserved polymerase chain-reaction primers. Annals of the Entomological Society of America87: 651–701.
SimonsenT.J.ZakharovE.V.DjernaesM.CottonA.M.Vane-WrightR.I. & SperlingF.A.H. (2011) Phylogenetics and divergence times of Papilioninae (Lepidoptera) with specialreference to the enigmatic genera Teinopalpus and Meandrusa. Cladistics27: 113–137.
TodiscoV.GrattonP.ZakharovE.V.WheatC.W.SbordoniV. & SperlingF.A.H. (2012) Mitochondrial phylogeography of the Holarctic Parnassius phoebus complex supports a recent refugial model for alpine butterflies. Journal of Biogeography39: 1058–1072.
UrsenbacherS.CarlssonM.HelferV.TegelstromH. & FumagalliL. (2006) Phylogeography and Pleistocene refugia of the adder (Vipera berus) as inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Molecular Ecology15: 3425–3439.
VargaZ. S. (1997) Das Prinzip der areal-analytischen Methode in der Zoogeographie und die Faunenelemente – Einteilung der europäischen Tagschmetterlinge (Lep. Diurna). Acta Biologica Debrecina14: 223–285.
WahlbergN.LeneveuJ.KodandaramaiahU.PenaC.NylinS.FreitasA.V.L. & BrowerA.V.Z. (2009) Nymphalid butterflies diversify following near demise at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B:Biological Sciences276: 4295–4302.
ZhouW.G.RoussetF. & O’NeillS. (1998) Phylogeny and PCR-based classification of Wolbachia strains using wsp gene sequences. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences265: 509–515.