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Biochemical Systematics of the Leaf Mining Moth Family Nepticulidae (Lepidoptera). Ii. Allozyme Variability in the Stigmella r uFicapitella Group

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Allozyme variation analysis at eight loci has been used to evaluate genetic differentiation and systematic relationships in the Stigmella ruficapitella group (Lepidoptera, Nepticulidae). Species identification was only possible after electrophoretic analysis in combination with mine descriptions. By comparing zymograms five different groups could be distinguished to which the names of S. basiguttella, S. roborella, S. atricapitella and S. samiatella could be given, although the identification of the last-mentioned species is still uncertain. S. basiguttella-which was formerly considered to be one species-turned out to consist of two genetically distinct, sympatrically occurring, sibling species. Again allozyme analysis proved to be a superior technique in discriminating sibling species. Heterozygosity levels resembled those observed in other species groups of Stigmella. Genetic distances ranged from 0.22 to 1.95, setting the basiguttella complex apart from the other three species. Average genetic distance was somewhat smaller than observed in other nepticulid species groups, but still larger than in quite a number of Lepidoptera genera, indicating little recent speciation. Intraspecific differentiation in S. roborella was low. Indirect means of estimating gene flow between populations indicated considerable levels of gene exchange in this species.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biosystematics, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


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