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Type: Article
Published: 2020-09-23
Page range: 353–368
Abstract views: 150
PDF downloaded: 6

Revealing the specific status of Mellicta distans Higgins, 1955, stat. n. (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) with morphological and molecular characters

All-Russian Plant Quarantine Center, Pogranichnaya 32, Bykovo, Moscow Region, 140150, Russia.
Department of Entomology, Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory I/12, Moscow 119991, Russia.
Laboratory for Molecular Genetics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Pervomayskaya, 3, Dolgoprudniy, Moscow Region, 141707, Russia.
Lepidoptera Nymphalinae fritillary butterfly systematics taxonomy new status wing pattern genitalia COI


A detailed comparison of the taxa Mellicta aurelia distans Higgins, 1955, M. aurelia aurelia (Nickerl, 1850), and M. alatauica (Staudinger, 1881) was performed. The geographic isolation of M. aurelia distans, its habitat preferences, as well as clear differences in the female and male genitalia compared with M. aurelia aurelia, indicate that the taxon distans is an independent species. Molecular data based on sequencing of cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) of the mitochondrial DNA confirmed our morphological results. Both the morphological and the molecular results showed a high degree of divergence of M. alatauica from the related species.



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