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Patterns of genetic variation between the checkered skippers Pyrgus communis and Pyrgus albescens (Lepidoptera : hesperiidae)




  • Fordyce, J. A., Forister, M. L., Nice, C. C., Burns, John M. and Shapiro, A. M.


  • We examined patterns of genetic variation between the transcontinental species Pyrgus communis (Grote) and Pyrgus albescens Plotz (Hesperiidae) to examine whether patterns of molecular variation are congruent with the taxonomy. Sequence data from mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA failed to distinguish the two taxa. Although substantial genetic variation is explained by the two nominal taxa, more variation is explained by geography. Specifically, our molecular data indicate that the Transverse Ranges of southern California and the Sierra Nevada are important features affecting patterns of genetic variation. The possibility of recent divergence and secondary contact is discussed. Although P. communis and P. albescens do not adhere to a phylogenetic species concept, diagnostic morphological and distributional differences exist between the two entities that merit consideration regarding their taxonomic status.

Published In

Publication Date

  • 2008



Additional Document Info

Start Page

  • 794

End Page

  • 800


  • 101


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