Apallaga opalinus ( Butler, 1900 ),

Collins, Steve C., 2017, Observations on the biology of Afrotropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera). Part 12. New information and corrections, Zootaxa 4312 (3), pp. 471-496: 484-487

publication ID

https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4312.3.4

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:2B704D83-8Fb5-41C6-B558-3A1Dbe9Ede66

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/DB357E4F-AB02-FF96-FF1D-B5F3C957FB6A

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Apallaga opalinus ( Butler, 1900 )
status

 

Apallaga opalinus ( Butler, 1900)  and A. kakamegae Libert, 2014 

Apallaga opalinus  was described from Kikuyu in the Central Highlands of Kenya ( Butler 1900), and is found in southern Sudan, eastern Uganda, western Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and western Tanzania ( Libert 2014). It is the only species of the genus to occur in the Central Highlands of Kenya, but in the western part of the country it overlaps with the very similar A. kakamegae— as well as A. lourentis  (which Cock & Congdon (2011b) referred to as A. intermixtus evansi  ) which we have not reared. Cock & Congdon (2011b, pp. 23–28, Figures 20View FIGURE 20 –26) described and illustrated the life history of ‘ C. galenus opalinus  ’. Based on Libert (2014), the material reared is now considered to be a mixture of A. opalinus  and A. kakamegae  : four males and five females of A. opalinus  collected on Hypoestes aristata  ( Acanthaceae  ) from around Nairobi, a male and three females of A. opalinus  from Kadera God Forest (Kisii District) on Justicia flava  ( Acanthaceae  ), and from Kakamega Forest on J. flava  a pair of A. opalinus  and a single male of A. kakamegae  (90/68). This last individual was reared from a very small larva found on Justicia flava  , and although detailed records were not kept, the final instar was photographed ( Figure 19View FIGURE 19). The treatment of A. opalinus in Cock & Congdon (2011b)  is based on material of A. opalinus  only except that Figure 24.2 shows the head of a final instar caterpillar of A. kakamegae  . Here we show the final instar caterpillars of A. opalinus  ( Figure 18View FIGURE 18) and A. kakamegae  ( Figure 19View FIGURE 19); when individual variation of A. opalinus  is taken into consideration, they show no distinguishing features. The early stages of both are found on J. flava  in Kakamega Forest and cannot be separated on morphology, colour or markings.

Given that these two species have indistinguishable early stages and are found on the same food plants in the same area, that there are no observations regarding differences in behaviour which might lead to segregated mate location (e.g. differences in adult activity with regard to season, habitat, height above ground or time of day), and the adult differences are based primarily on the bimodal distribution of a ratio for one spot size, it is justified to ask, are these two valid species or two interbreeding forms of one species?

One source of guidance in similar situations has been to compare their barcodes (e.g. Janzen et al. 2009, 2011). Libert (2014) states that barcodes are of little use to interpret the galenus  clade. Nevertheless we compared his barcodes in BOLD (http://www.boldsystems.org/) for these two species from Kakamega Forest: MLIB-0033, MLIB-0034, MLIB-0044, and MLIB-0046 for A. opalinus  and MLIB-0039 and MLIB-0043 for A. kakamegae  . We found that the two species in Kakamega Forest have identical or almost identical barcodes, which strongly suggests that they are an interbreeding population. Furthermore, specimens of A. rwandae Libert  from Rwanda (MLIB-0045 and MLIB-0407) also have barcodes almost identical to those of A. opalinus  and A. kakamegae  from Kakamega Forest. Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) have been introduced to provide a permanent numbering system for barcode clusters which in a high percentage of cases correspond to known taxonomic species and can also help flag species complexes or clusters needing taxonomic research (Ratnasingham & Hebert 2013, Miller et al. 2016). They provide a useful surrogate for species in ecological diversity estimates but there are many known cases of BIN sharing between apparently good morphological species and different BINs representing deep splits where no morphological differences have been found (e.g. Hausmann et al. 2013, Zahiri et al. 2017).

These specimens from Kakamega Forest and Rwanda have a single BIN: BOLD:ACE5474, and appear to represent one species based purely on their barcodes. However, barcoded individuals of all three species from other regions have barcodes that match other species, often those co-occurring in those locations. Accordingly, it might not be wise to assume that A. opalinus  from east of the Rift Valley (type locality Kikuyu), for which no barcodes are available, has identical barcodes to the material barcoded from west of the Rift Valley. Libert (2014) was aware of these types of problems with the barcodes of the galenus  clade and considered many uninterpretable when presenting his conclusions based on wing markings and male genitalia. The galenus  glade will require further work to clarify what is going on in terms of population dynamics and speciation to reconcile with the barcode patterns. In the meantime, the situation in Kakamega Forest could be made clearer for A. opalinus  and A. kakamegae  , by (1) the documentation of mating pairs, (2) rearing broods from individual females to see if they breed true or can produce both species, and (3) crossing the two species and documenting the progeny.

Kingdom

Animalia

Genus

Apallaga

Loc

Apallaga opalinus ( Butler, 1900 )

Collins, Steve C. 2017
2017
Loc

A. kakamegae

Libert 2014
2014
Loc

A. kakamegae

Libert 2014
2014
Loc

A. kakamegae

Libert 2014
2014
Loc

A. kakamegae

Libert 2014
2014
Loc

Apallaga kakamegae

Libert 2014
2014
Loc

A. opalinus

in Cock & Congdon 2011
2011
Loc

A. opalinus

in Cock & Congdon 2011
2011
Loc

A. opalinus

in Cock & Congdon 2011
2011
Loc

A. opalinus

in Cock & Congdon 2011
2011
Loc

Apallaga opalinus

in Cock & Congdon 2011
2011
Loc

Justicia flava

D. N. Gibson 1972
1972
Loc

J. flava

D. N. Gibson 1972
1972
Loc

Justicia flava

D. N. Gibson 1972
1972
Loc

J. flava

D. N. Gibson 1972
1972
Loc

Justicia flava

D. N. Gibson 1972
1972
Loc

Justicia flava

D. N. Gibson 1972
1972