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Rearrangement of the Agrodiaetus dolus species group (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae) using a new cytological approach and molecular data

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The Agrodiaetus dolus species group includes cryptic species that have similar external morphology but can be distinguished by their species-specific karyotypes. At the same time, cytogenetic analysis of these butterflies is difficult because of extremely high chromosome numbers. The application of common techniques, such as squash and spread preparations, usually yields inaccurate chromosome counting and, consequently, results in incorrect taxonomical conclusions. To overcome this problem, we combined cytological and molecular data. The former was obtained with a new cytological technique that allowed us to examine intact (notsquashed) metaphase plates and to distinguish all chromosomes in the chromosomal complement. The latter was obtained from published mitochondrial sequences that were used to calculate genetic distances between taxa. While the taxa ainsae and fulgens are generally considered as separate species, here we show that no characters exist that support this hypothesis. As a consequence, we propose several taxonomic changes within the A. dolus species complex and show that this group consists of the following species: A. dolus with haploid chromosome number n=122-125, A. fulgens (n=108-110) and A. fabressei (n=90). The following new combinations are suggested: A. fulgens ainsae comb. n., A. fulgens pseudovirgilius comb. n., A. fulgens leonensis comb. n. and A. fulgens magnabrillata comb. n.


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