Field monitoring and genetic diversity of the large copper butterfly Lycaena dispar (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)

Submitted: February 21, 2024
Accepted: April 29, 2024
Published: May 21, 2024
Abstract Views: 122
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The large copper butterfly Lycaena dispar (Haworth, 1803) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae), which is found across Europe and Asia, has been categorized as a near-threatened species (NT) in South Korea from 2012 mainly due to limited distribution. The species has been infrequently observed outside its traditional range in the northwestern region, but no nationwide survey has yet been conducted. In addition, the population genetic data of L. dispar, which is informative to evaluate its vulnerability, remains unknown. In this study, we visited 36 sites spread across all South Korean provinces to verify the distributional range of the species. Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) was also partially sequenced for 53 individuals from nine sites. We observed L. dispar at 15 sites in six provinces, including the two previously known provinces, indicating a southward range expansion. The in-field monitoring and genetic data collectively suggested that L. dispar does not have a limited distribution nor is it isolated, indicating that it should be reclassified as less vulnerable. Our study demonstrates that the combination of field and genetic data can provide a more reliable assessment of the stability of a species.

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Supporting Agencies

National Institute of Biological Resources

How to Cite

Park, J. S., Lee, S. H., Pyo, J.-Y., Jeong, H. C., Kim, S.-S., & Kim, I. (2024). Field monitoring and genetic diversity of the large copper butterfly <i>Lycaena dispar</i> (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Journal of Biological Research - Bollettino Della Società Italiana Di Biologia Sperimentale, 97(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jbr.2024.12411