Phylogenetic and morphological differentiation between subspecies of New Zealand red admiral butterfly Vanessa gonerilla Alfken (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)

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Parkinson, Adam
Wells, Sarah
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2022-10-27
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
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New Zealand
Vanessa gonerilla (New Zealand Red Admiral butterfly)
butterflies
taxonomy
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Parkinson, A. A.P. (2022, October, 26-28). Phylogenetic and morphological differentiation between subspecies of New Zealand red admiral butterfly Vanessa gonerilla Alfken (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) [Paper presentation]. New Zealand Entomological Society Conference 2022, Rotorua, New Zealand
Abstract
Subspecies are taxonomic units used to formally describe intraspecific geographic variation in morphological markers, yet without thorough assessment, these morphological markers can be highly subjective. The accepted demarcation of Vanessa gonerilla is V. gonerilla gonerilla, widespread throughout the North and South Island of New Zealand, as well as some nearby offshore islands, and V. gonerilla ida, found only on the Chatham Islands. The taxonomic split of V. gonerilla is based upon evidence of colour variation and scalloping indentations between the veins on the hindwings. This study aims to provide taxonomic clarity using a combination of phylogenetic analysis to support the existence of a single or two closely related, but differentiated, mitochondrial lineages, and morphological markers in identifying hindwing variation as a quantifiable characteristic.
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