Description of a Multilevel Cryptic New Species of Phyciodes (Nymphalidae: Melitaeinae) from the Southern Appalachian Mountains
Date of this Version
Taxonomic Report of the International Lepidoptera Survey (September 25, 2004) 4(8): 1-19
Also available at https://lepsurvey.carolinanature.com/ttr/ttr-4-8.pdf
Phyciodes incognitus is described as a new species from the medium to high elevation hardwood forests of the southern Appalachian Mountains, type locality: Duncan Ridge Road, 3,700 ft., Union County, Georgia, United States. Phyciodes incognitus is verified from four colonies in Union County, Georgia, United States, and Clay and Macon counties, North Carolina, United States. It is projected to range, in suitable habitat, as far north as montane Pennsylvania, United States (indicated by photos). Phyciodes incognitus possesses a unique set of character traits that are virtually identical to both P. tharos and P. cocyta but at differing character positions–biology, morphology, genitalia, mtDNA, phenology. Phyciodes incognitus is multi-brooded and sympatric with P. tharos and P. batesii maconensis. Phyciodes incognitus can usually be easily distinguished in the field from sympatric tharos–especially males. Where incognitus ranges north into the range of P. cocyta, it will be difficult to distinguish their females, and many males, except by mtDNA or phenology. A lectotype of marcia Edwards, 1868 is designated from Kanawha River, Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States. Phyciodes marcia is a synonym of P. cocyta. The currently known mtDNA data for the tharos-group of taxa is determined to have limited, but specific, usefulness as a taxonomic tool in this group. It is concluded that sibling biological species are present with similar mtDNA. Thus, mtDNA is only useful in this group to determine speciation where taxa have significantly different mtDNA. Similar mtDNA does not indicate multiple species are not present. Specimens collected during this study suggest that a second undescribed tharos-like species is present in the study area.
Copyright 2004, International Lepidoptera Survey. Open access material
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