Phylogenetic position of the ‘extinct’ Fijian coconut moth, Levuana iridescens (Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae)

Autoři: Vazrick Nazari aff001;  Gerhard M. Tarmann aff002;  Konstantin A. Efetov aff003
Působiště autorů: Independent Researcher, Ottawa, Ontario Canada aff001;  Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen, Sammlungs- und Forschungszentrum der Tiroler Landesmuseen, Krajnc-Straße 1, Hall, Austria aff002;  V. I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University, Simferopol, Crimea aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article


Levuana iridescens Bethune-Baker, 1906, a day-flying moth purported to be endemic to the Fijian Island of Viti Levu and a former pest of its coconut palm trees, was last observed in 1956 and has been officially declared extinct by IUCN since 1996. The controversial classical biological control method that resulted in the (presumed) demise of this moth has given this species an iconic status in biological control studies. We investigated the sister-group relationships and phylogenetic placement of this moth using NGS-obtained ancient DNA sequences from museum specimens of L. iridescens collected in the 1920s, combined with 31 morphological characters used in earlier studies and 2 new characters. Our findings show that Levuana is most closely related to the Australian genus Myrtartona. The significance of these findings is discussed.

Klíčová slova:

Animal phylogenetics – DNA barcoding – DNA sequence analysis – Genital anatomy – Grapevine – Islands – Moths and butterflies – Phylogenetic analysis


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