, Volume 131, Issue 3, pp 241–253 | Cite as

Molecular phylogeography of two sibling species of Eurema butterflies

  • Satoko Narita
  • Masashi Nomura
  • Yoshiomi Kato
  • Osamu Yata
  • Daisuke Kageyama
Original Paper


The common yellow butterfly Eurema hecabe is widely distributed in East Asia, and is one of the most burdensome species for taxonomists due to the numerous geographic and seasonal wing colour patterns. Moreover, within this species, individuals with a yellow wing fringe that occur in temperate regions of Japan (Y type) proved to be biologically different from others that occur widely in subtropical regions of Japan and all over East Asia (B type). To unveil the genetic variation within and between the two types, a total of 50 butterflies collected at 18 geographic localities in East Asia were examined for nucleotide sequence variation of three mitochondrial regions: cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (COIII) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5). In addition, they were also examined for infection status with the endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia. The three mitochondrial sequences consistently showed that (i) Y type and B type were highly divergent, (ii) nucleotide variation within B type was very small although sampled from a geographically wide range, and (iii) a weak association existed between mitochondrial DNA haplotypes and Wolbachia infection status.


Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) Cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (COIII) NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5) Butterfly Eurema hecabe Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeography Sibling species Wolbachia 



We would like to thank Hironori Sakamoto for helpful discussion. This study was financially supported in part by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellowship for Young Scientists to S. N.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satoko Narita
    • 1
  • Masashi Nomura
    • 1
  • Yoshiomi Kato
    • 2
  • Osamu Yata
    • 3
  • Daisuke Kageyama
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory of Applied Entomology and Zoology, Faculty of HorticultureChiba UniversityMatsudoJapan
  2. 2.Department of BiologyInternational Christian UniversityMitakaJapan
  3. 3.Biosystematics Laboratory, Faculty of Social and Cultural StudiesKyushu UniversityRopponmatsuJapan
  4. 4.Insect-Microbe Research UnitNational Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS)TsukubaJapan

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