University of Oulu

Groza, B., Vodă, R., Székely, L. et al. Genetics and extreme confinement of three overlooked butterfly species in Romania call for immediate conservation actions. J Insect Conserv 25, 137–146 (2021).

Genetics and extreme confinement of three overlooked butterfly species in Romania call for immediate conservation actions

Saved in:
Author: Groza, Bogdan1; Vodă, Raluca2; Székely, Levente3;
Organizations: 1Al. Odobescu 73, 300236, Timișoara, Romania
2Via Barge 3, 10139, Turin, Italy
3Bd. George Moroianu 297, 505600, Săcele, jud. Brașov, Romania
4Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37, Barcelona, 08003, Spain
5Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, PO Box 3000, 90014 University of Oulu, Finland
6Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (ICUB), University of Bucharest, Romania
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-03-09


A good knowledge of species distributions and their genetic structure is essential for numerous types of research such as population genetics, phylogeography, or conservation genetics. We document the presence of extremely local populations of three butterfly species (Iolana iolas, Satyrus ferula and Melanargia larissa) in the Romanian fauna. Satyrus ferula and M. larissa are reported for the first time in the country, while I. iolas is rediscovered following presumed extinction. Based on mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1—COI sequences), we assessed the genetic structure of these populations and placed them into a broader context through comparisons with other populations from across the range of these species. Each of the three species had a single haplotype in Romania, suggesting low female effective population size possibly under genetic erosion. Two of the populations (S. ferula and M. larissa) are genetically unique, displaying endemic haplotypes in south-western Romania. The Romanian populations of the three species likely remained unnoticed due to their extremely limited extent of occurrence. Their restricted range, close to the northern limits of distribution in the Balkans, their apparent low female effective population size, the presence of endemic haplotypes, and habitat vulnerability (especially for I. iolas) highlight the need for monitoring and conservation measures for the safeguarding of these populations.

see all

Series: Journal of insect conservation
ISSN: 1366-638X
ISSN-E: 1572-9753
ISSN-L: 1366-638X
Volume: 25
Issue: 1
Pages: 137 - 146
DOI: 10.1007/s10841-020-00281-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Support for this research was provided by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme (project no. 625997) and by the Academy of Finland to V. Dincă (decision no. 328895), and by PID2019-107078GB-I00/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 to R. Vila.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 328895
Detailed Information: 328895 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Insect Conservation. The final authenticated version is available online at: