Phylogenetics of moth-like butterflies (Papilionoidea: Hedylidae) based on a new 13-locus target capture probe set


The Neotropical moth-like butterflies (Hedylidae) are perhaps the most unusual butterfly family. In addition to being species-poor, this family is predominantly nocturnal and has anti-bat ultrasound hearing organs. Evolutionary relationships among the 36 described species are largely unexplored. A new, target capture, anchored hybrid enrichment probe set (‘BUTTERFLY2.0’) was developed to infer relationships of hedylids and some of their butterfly relatives. The probe set includes 13 genes that have historically been used in butterfly phylogenetics. Our dataset comprised of up to 10,898 aligned base pairs from 22 hedylid species and 19 outgroups. Eleven of the thirteen loci were successfully captured from all samples, and the remaining loci were captured from ≥94% of samples. The inferred phylogeny was consistent with recent molecular studies by placing Hedylidae sister to Hesperiidae, and the tree had robust support for 80% of nodes. Our results are also consistent with morphological studies, with Macrosoma tipulata as the sister species to all remaining hedylids, followed by M. semiermis sister to the remaining species in the genus. We tested the hypothesis that nocturnality evolved once from diurnality in Hedylidae, and demonstrate that the ancestral condition was likely diurnal, with a shift to nocturnality early in the diversification of this family. The BUTTERFLY2.0 probe set includes standard butterfly phylogenetics markers, captures sequences from decades-old museum specimens, and is a cost-effective technique to infer phylogenetic relationships of the butterfly tree of life.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution