Friday, February 9, 2018

[Entomology • 2018] Dodona formosana • A Distinct Species detected in the Dodona eugenes Species Complex: Clarification of the Taxonomic Status of the Punch Butterfly in Taiwan

Dodona formosana Matsumura, 1919 

in Wu, Lin & Hsu, 2018.
The Tailed Punch, Dodona eugenes, is widely distributed in East Asia with seven subspecies currently recognized. However, two of them, namely ssp. formosana and ssp. esakii found in Taiwan, are hard to distinguish from each other due to ambiguous diagnostic characters. In this study, their taxonomic status is clarified by comparing genitalia characters and phylogenetic relationships based on mitochondrial sequences, COI and COII (total 2211 bps). Our results show that there is no reliable feature to separate these two subspecies. Surprisingly we found that Dodona in Taiwan is more closely related to the Orange Punch, D. egeon, than to other subspecies of D. eugenes. Therefore, the following nomenclatural changes are proposed: Dodona eugenes formosana is revised to specific status as Dodona formosana Matsumura, 1919, stat. rev., and ssp. esakii is sunk to a junior synonym of Dodona formosana syn. n.

Keywords: endemism, male genitalia, Myrsinaceae, wing pattern

Figure 5. Pinned specimens of Dodona formosana and their relatives.
 A D. formosana (spp. formosana) ♂ B D. formosana (spp. formosana) ♀ C D. formosana (spp. esakii) ♂ D D. formosana (spp. esakii) ♀
E D. eu. eugenes ♂ F D. eu. venox ♂ G D. egeon ♂ H D. egeon
I D. maculosa ♂ J D. maculosa ♀ K type of D. formosana (SEHU).

Based on the evidence from genitalia morphology and phylogenetic relationships, Dodona from Taiwan should be separated from D. eugenes and regarded as a distinct species. We therefore raised the Dodona butterfly in Taiwan to full species status, Dodona formosana Matsumura 1919, stat. rev., The two previously recognized subspecies, spp. formosana, and spp. esakii, are thus recognized as synonyms (syn. n.).

Dodona formosana Matsumura, 1919, stat. rev.


The Dodona butterfly in Taiwan should be regarded as an endemic species, Dodona formosana, distinct from D. eugenes. The present work and a previous study (Callaghan 2009) both point out that Dodona eugenes, widely distributed in East Asia, is not a monophyletic species. Combining evidence from genitalia characters and molecular sequences provides effective clarification on solving species-level problem for species complex containing superficially similar species.

 Li-Wei Wu, Wen-Jie Lin and Yu-Feng Hsu. 2018. A Distinct Species, Dodona formosana, detected in the Dodona eugenes Species Complex: Clarification of the Taxonomic Status of the Punch Butterfly in Taiwan. ZooKeys. 736: 59-77.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.736.22062

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