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Astraptes fulgerator complex

Andrew V. Z. Brower
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taxon links [up-->]Astraptes fulgerator Phylogenetic position of group is uncertain[down<--]Astraptes Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Astraptes


The eleven names in the Astraptes fulgerator complex correspond to the "ten species in one" identified from Guanacaste, Costa Rica on the basis of DNA barcodes but not formally described by Hebert et al. (2004). Brower (2006) performed more rigorous phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase sequence data and corroborated at least four but probably not more than seven of these as distinct entities. To fix the "ten species" in nomenclature, Brower (2010) provided the names included here, diagnosing each taxon on the basis of unique combinations of nucleotide differences. It is likely that several of the names are synonyms of one another and/or of older names associated with geographical variants of Astraptes fulgerator. However, since it is impossible to determine which name corresponds to the type of A. fulgerator, eleven taxa are indicated here.

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

The hypothesis of relationships is based on a cladistic analysis of the Hebert et al. (2004) DNA barcode sequences by Brower (2006). Given the small number of phylogenetically informative characters in this data set, the hypothesis should be viewed as extremely preliminary.


Brower AVZ. 2006. Problems with DNA barcodes for species delimitation: “ten species” of Astraptes fulgerator reassessed (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae). Systematics and Biodiversity 4: 127-132.

Brower, AVZ. 2010. Alleviating the taxonomic impediment of DNA barcoding and setting a bad precedent: names for ten species of 'Astraptes fulgerator' (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Eudaminae with DNA-based diagnoses. Systematics and Biodiversity 8: 485-491.

Hebert PDN, Penton EH, Burns JM, Janzen DH, and Hallwachs W. 2004. Ten species in one: DNA barcoding reveals cryptic species in the neotropical skipper butterfly Astraptes fulgerator. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 101: 14812-14817.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Astraptes fulgerator
Location along the forest trails north of Sangayta, Nayarit, Mexico
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source WMex09_D-40-0101a
Source Collection Flickr
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © 2009 Jerry Oldenettel
About This Page

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Andrew V. Z. Brower at

Page: Tree of Life Astraptes fulgerator complex. Authored by Andrew V. Z. Brower. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Brower, Andrew V. Z. 2010. Astraptes fulgerator complex. Version 30 December 2010 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Astraptes_fulgerator_complex/145356/2010.12.30 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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