Extensive range overlap between heliconiine sister species: evidence for sympatric speciation in butterflies?
Kozak, Krzysztof M.
Phillimore, Albert B.
MetadataShow full item record
CitationRosser, Neil, Krzysztof M. Kozak, Albert B. Phillimore, and James Mallet. 2015. “Extensive range overlap between heliconiine sister species: evidence for sympatric speciation in butterflies?” BMC Evolutionary Biology 15 (1): 125. doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0420-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12862-015-0420-3.
AbstractBackground: Sympatric speciation is today generally viewed as plausible, and some well-supported examples exist, but its relative contribution to biodiversity remains to be established. We here quantify geographic overlap of sister species of heliconiine butterflies, and use age-range correlations and spatial simulations of the geography of speciation to infer the frequency of sympatric speciation. We also test whether shifts in mimetic wing colour pattern, host plant use and climate niche play a role in speciation, and whether such shifts are associated with sympatry. Results: Approximately a third of all heliconiine sister species pairs exhibit near complete range overlap, and analyses of the observed patterns of range overlap suggest that sympatric speciation contributes 32 %–95 % of speciation events. Müllerian mimicry colour patterns and host plant choice are highly labile traits that seem to be associated with speciation, but we find no association between shifts in these traits and range overlap. In contrast, climatic niches of sister species are more conserved. Conclusions: Unlike birds and mammals, sister species of heliconiines are often sympatric and our inferences using the most recent comparative methods suggest that sympatric speciation is common. However, if sister species spread rapidly into sympatry (e.g. due to their similar climatic niches), then assumptions underlying our methods would be violated. Furthermore, although we find some evidence for the role of ecology in speciation, ecological shifts did not show the associations with range overlap expected under sympatric speciation. We delimit species of heliconiines in three different ways, based on “strict and ” “relaxed” biological species concepts (BSC), as well as on a surrogate for the widely-used “diagnostic” version of the phylogenetic species concept (PSC). We show that one reason why more sympatric speciation is inferred in heliconiines than in birds may be due to a different culture of species delimitation in the two groups. To establish whether heliconiines are exceptional will require biogeographic comparative studies for a wider range of animal taxa including many more invertebrates. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0420-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17820762
- FAS Scholarly Articles