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A time-calibrated phylogeny of the butterfly tribe Melitaeini


The butterfly tribe Melitaeini [Nymphalidae] contains numerous species that have been the subjects of a wide range of biological studies. Despite numerous taxonomic revisions, many of the evolutionary relationships within the tribe remain unresolved. Utilizing mitochondrial and nuclear gene regions, we produced a time-calibrated phylogenetic hypothesis for 222 exemplars comprising at least 178 different species and 21 of the 22 described genera, making this the most complete phylogeny of the tribe to date. Our results suggest that four well-supported clades corresponding to the subtribes Euphydryina, Chlosynina, Melitaeina, and Phyciodina exist within the tribe. This analysis is also represents the most complete phylogenetic analysis of the Chlosynina to date, and includes several genera and species that have been previously excluded from published phylogenies of this group.

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