[Taxacom] Global Climate Change is good for butterflies

Carlos Pena mycalesis at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 26 15:45:44 CDT 2008

Hi there,

Just to mention our last paper that came out online hours ago in Biology Letters:

Peña, C., & N. Wahlberg. 2008. Prehistorical climate change increased diversification of a group
of butterflies. Biology Letters.

DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0062
URL: http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/80852202q0048180/

 From the abstract:

Satyrinae butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) and grasses (Poaceae) are very diverse and
distributed worldwide. Most Satyrinae use grasses as host plants, but the temporal scale of
this tight association is not known. Here, we present a phylogenetic study of Satyrinae
butterflies and related groups, based on 5.1 kilobases from six gene regions and 238 morphological
characters for all major lineages in the ‘satyrine clade’. Estimates of divergence times calibrated
using a fossil from the Late Oligocene indicate that the species-rich tribe Satyrini diversified to
its current 2200 species simultaneously with the expansion and radiation of grasses during the
dramatic cooling and drying up of the Earth in the Oligocene. We suggest that the adaptive
radiation of grass feeders in Satyrini has been facilitated by the ubiquitousness of grasses since
25 Myr ago, which was triggered by a change in global climate.



Carlos Peña
Department of Zoology
Stockholm University
S-106 91 Stockholm
- E-mail: carlos.pena at zoologi.su.se
- Phone: +46  8  16 4058
- Cell:  +46 739 712 854
          +51  1  947 323 60
* The Nymphalidae Systematics Group

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