Molecular systematics of the subfamily Limenitidinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We studied the systematics of the subfamily Limenitidinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) using molecular methods to reconstruct a robust phylogenetic hypothesis. The molecular data matrix comprised 205 Limenitidinae species, four outgroups, and 11,327 aligned nucleotide sites using up to 18 genes per species of which seven genes (CycY, Exp1, Nex9, PolII, ProSup, PSb and UDPG6DH) have not previously been used in phylogenetic studies. We recovered the monophyly of the subfamily Limenitidinae and seven higher clades corresponding to four traditional tribes Parthenini, Adoliadini, Neptini, Limenitidini as well as three additional independent lineages. One contains the genera Harma C Cymothoe and likely a third, Bhagadatta, and the other two independent lineages lead to Pseudoneptis and to Pseudacraea. These independent lineages are circumscribed as new tribes. Parthenini was recovered as sister to rest of Limenitidinae, but the relationships of the remaining six lineages were ambiguous. A number of genera were found to be non-monophyletic, with Pantoporia, Euthalia, Athyma, and Parasarpa being polyphyletic, whereas Limenitis, Neptis, Bebearia, Euryphura, and Adelpha were paraphyletic.


External organisations
  • Southwestern Centre for Research and PhD Studies
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Systematics
  • Zoology


  • Classification, Lepidoptera, Limenitidinae, New tribe, Nymphalidae, Systematics
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4325
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch