Hybridisation in Colias butterflies (Lepidoptera, Pieridae): identification of natural hybrids using unlinked molecular markers


Central Asia
DNA barcodes
interspecific hybridisation
molecular markers

How to Cite

Shapoval, N. A., Krupitsky, A. V., Yakovlev, R. V., Kir’yanov, A. V., & Shapoval, G. N. (2023). Hybridisation in Colias butterflies (Lepidoptera, Pieridae): identification of natural hybrids using unlinked molecular markers. Acta Biologica Sibirica, 9, 605–616. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8353128


In this report, we analyze a wild-caught Colias specimen from Kyrgyzstan with unusual wing pattern, which was provisionally identified as a natural hybrid between Colias christophi helialaica Schulte, 1988 and Colias cocandica cocandica Erschoff, 1874 due to its intermediate phenotype. Using one mitochondrial (COI barcode) and three nuclear (Ca-ATPase, H3 and CAD gene fragments) markers, we confirm its hybrid origin and demonstrate that this specimen is a hybrid between a female of Colias christophi helialaica and a male of Colias cocandica cocandica. Our study shows that an analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear molecular markers can successfully discriminate natural hybrids in such a taxonomically challenging group of butterflies as the genus Colias.



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