The Limenitis question

Grkovich, Alex agrkovich at
Fri Sep 7 08:24:59 EDT 2001

See comment below.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Chris J. Durden [SMTP:drdn at]
> Sent:	Friday, September 07, 2001 1:02 AM
> To:	leps-l at
> Subject:	Re: The Limenitis question
> Norbert,
>     I think you are on the right track.
> .........Chris Durden
> See notes below -
> At 02:17 PM 9/6/2001 -0700, you wrote:
> >Alex raises some questions on Limenitis:
> >"As far as the Limenitis are concerned, it may very well be that the
> entire
> >arthemis/rubrofasciata/astyannax/weidemeyerii/lorquini  complex is in
> fact
> >conspecific since they all freely hybridize in their contact zones and
> >produce fertile offspring. Their ranges fit one another quite nicely.
> >Structurally they are nearly similar, are they not? Archippus does
> hybridize
> >with astyannax in the Mississippi Valley at least, but apparently
> produces
> >only sterile male offspring, and also does rarely hybridizes with
> arthemis.
> >It is obviously very closely related to them. What about arizonensis? Is
> >there any known hybridization with either weidemeyerii or archippus? What
> is
> >its true relationship with astyannax? This whole group seems to be in a
> very
> >fluid and ongoing continuous evolutionary state. There is obviously
> genetic
> >transfer between all of them."
> >My comments:
> >This is a really fascinating example which unlike most butterflies has
> had a
> >good deal of research and we have some data. But everything is still open
> to
> >how one defines a species and how one interprets that data and whether or
> >not one accepts that the data is even relevant to the issue; eg. some
> people
> >think that UV reflectance or lack thereof has taxonomic value while
> others
> >do not think that way. Adam Porter (1989 Am. Nat.) published on his look
> at
> >the arizonensis/weidemeyerii contact in New Mexico. Hybrids of these
> >apparently exist but on the basis of electrophoretic comparison of 19
> >presumptive loci he concluded that these taxa are fully reproductively
> >isolated. The perhaps shocking conclusion that I came to after looking at
> >Limenitis literature is that arizonensis has no business being placed as
> a
> >ssp of arthemis/astyanax and should be treated as a full species.. Porter
> >even mentions this in his paper.
> I agree, based on my studies of *astyanax* in Central Texas, and nearly to
> the Rio Grande (Sycamore Creek), and on my studies of *arizonensis* in The
> Davis Mts, of Texas, Animas Mts. of New Mexico and in E Arizona, and on my
> studies of *arizonensis* subsp. in the Serranias del Burros of Coahuila
> and 
> on the SMO of Nuevo Leon, SE Coahuila and W Tamaulipas. I think this 
> Mexican supspecies has picked up the underside red flush through ongoing 
> low level introgression with *obsoleta hoffmanni*.
> >Further the history of treating arthemis
> >and astyanax as conspecific may come to an end eventually. See for
> example
> >the work of Waldbauer et al in Can. J. Zool. 1988. It was not that many
> >years ago when everyone blindly accepted Papilio canadensis and Papilio
> >glaucus as one species on the basis of a perceived 'blending' zone. If we
> >accepted hybrids as proof of conspecific status then many species of
> ducks
> >and geese would disappear from our bird lists :-) I personally have no
> >problem with good species hybridizing in narrow/relatively narrow contact
> >zones. Hey, Colias philodice and euytheme are alleged to do this over
> much
> >of their range :-)
> Yes just like *arthemis* and *astyanax* the blending occurs in the most 
> disturbed part of their range contact. Farther west where both species
> meet 
> in the wild, they do not seem to be as prone to hybridize. I suspect that 
> when the Allegheny/Appalachian forest was in all its pre-Columbian glory 
> neither pair of species met each other in the East. [AG]    This is
> exactly what some, including Klots,  have written. ........... Although
> they do blend in the Upper Midwest. I have good examples in sw Ontario,
> Michigan, Wisconsin etc. 
> >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> >Norbert Kondla  P.Biol., RPBio.
> >Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management
> >845 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, British Columbia V1N 1H3
> >Phone 250-365-8610
> >Mailto:Norbert.Kondla at
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >  ------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >    For subscription and related information about LEPS-L visit:
> >
> >
> >
>  ------------------------------------------------------------ 
>    For subscription and related information about LEPS-L visit:


   For subscription and related information about LEPS-L visit: 

More information about the Leps-l mailing list