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Morphology, molecules and fritillaries: approaching a stable phylogeny for Argynnini (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)

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We examine the phylogenetic relationships among 29 species of Argynnini based on 141 previously published morphological characters and new data from the mitochondrial gene COI and the two nuclear genes EF-1a and wingless. We investigate the stability and robustness of the resulting phylogenetic hypotheses through various combinations of the 4 functionally separate datasets. Increasing the number of datasets in combined analyses led to increased support for clades, sometimes substantially. We find that the tribe Argynnini is a well-supported, robust, monophyletic clade with the following internal subtribal structure: (Euptoietina (Yrameina (Boloriina Argynnina))). Our analyses support the classification of argynnine species into six robust and stable genera: Euptoieta, Yramea, Boloria, Issoria, Brenthis and Argynnis. We suggest that for moderate amounts of data, a total evidence approach is always best.

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