Phylogeny and diversification of the cloud forest Morpho sulkowskyi group (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) in the evolving Andes

Romain Nattier, Claire Capdevielle-Dulac, Catherine Cassildé, Arnaud Couloux, Corinne Cruaud, Gilbert Lachaume, Gerardo Lamas, Jean François Silvain, Patrick Blandin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The monophyletic Morpho sulkowskyi butterfly group, endemic of Andean cloud forests, was studied to test the respective contributions of Mio-Pliocene intense uplift period and Pleistocene glacial cycles on Andean biodiversity. We sampled nine taxa covering the whole geographical range of the group. Two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes were analysed using a Bayesian method. We established a dated phylogeny of the group using a relaxed clock method and a wide-outgroup approach. To discriminate between two hypotheses, we used a biogeographical probabilistic method. Results suggest that the ancestor of the M. sulkowskyi group originated during the Middle–Late Miocene uplift of the Eastern Cordillera in northern Peru. Biogeographical inference suggests that the M. sulkowskyi and Morpho lympharis clades diverged in the northern Peruvian Andes. The subsequent divergences, from the Late Miocene to the Late Pliocene, should have resulted from a dispersal towards the Northern Andes (M. sulkowskyi clade), after the closure of the West Andean Portal separating the Central and Northern Andes, and a southwards dispersal along the Peruvian and Bolivian Eastern Cordilleras (M. lympharis clade). Only a few divergences occurred at the very end of the Pliocene or during the Pleistocene, a period when the more recent uplifts interfered with Pleistocene glacial cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-472
Number of pages14
JournalZoologica Scripta
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was conducted within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the Mus?um National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris) and the Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Lima). It was part of the project ?G?ographie de la Biodiversit? des L?pidopt?res dans le nord du P?rou?, which received financial support from the Mus?um National d'Histoire Naturelle (Programme Pluri-Formations ?Etat et structure phylog?n?tique de la biodiversit? actuelle et fossile?, 2005?2009). This work is part of the project @ SPEED-ID ?Accurate SPEciEs Delimitation and IDentification of eukaryotic biodiversity using DNA markers? proposed by F-BoL, the French Barcode of Life initiative. This work was made possible thanks to research permits granted by the Direcci?n de Gesti?n Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre and the Direcci?n General Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre, Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego, Peru (autorizaciones: 012-2008-INRENA-IFFS-DCB; 08-2009-AG-DGFFS; 0089-2010-AG-DGFFS-DGEFFS; 0201-2011-AG-DGFFS-DGEFFS; 0201-2013-MINAGRI-DGFFS/DGEFFS). We thank Amanda Fisher for providing her thesis chapter on Chusquea evolution, and for interesting discussions, Jean-Fran?ois Le Crom, and St?phane Attal for information on localities in Colombia and Ecuador. At different steps of the drafting process, Marianne Elias, Nicolas Chazot, Mathieu Chouteau and Fabien Condamine provided useful comments and methodological suggestions. Mathieu Chouteau also contributed to the preparation of the map in Fig. We also warmly thank Thierry Sempere and Martin Roddaz for stimulating discussions on the highly complex history of the Andes, for providing specialized geological literature and for reviewing a first draft of the manuscript. We are grateful to the two referees who greatly helped to improve the manuscript. We also thank Helen McCombie for improving the English.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences


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