University of Oulu

Escuer, P., Hinojosa, J. C., Minguet‐Parramona, C., Romo, H., Munguira, M. L., Olivares, J., Dincă, V., Talavera, G., & Vila, R. (2022). Genetic assessment and climate modelling of the Iberian specialist butterfly Euchloe bazae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Insect Conservation and Diversity, 15(5), 594–605.

Genetic assessment and climate modelling of the Iberian specialist butterfly Euchloe bazae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae)

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Author: Escuer, Paula1,2; Hinojosa, Joan C.1; Minguet-Parramona, Carla1;
Organizations: 1Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF), Barcelona, Spain
2Departament de Genètica, Microbiologia i Estadística, Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio), Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
3Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Cambio Global (CIBC-UAM), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
4Departamento de Biología y Geología, IES Vega de Atarfe, Granada, Spain
5Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Institut Botànic de Barcelona (CSIC-Ajuntament de Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-03


Although both positive (expansion of thermophilous species) and negative effects (retraction of cold-adapted species) have been attributed to global warming, range shifts may be constrained by the ecological traits of species.

This can be especially true for highly specialised organisms like the Spanish Greenish Black-tip (Euchloe bazae), an Iberian endemic specialist of semiarid steppes with a debated taxonomic and conservation status.

Here, we first seek to clarify the taxonomic status of this butterfly and its populations by using multilocus phylogenetic inference. Then, we update its distribution range and employ ecological niche modelling, combined with other sources of data, to re-evaluate its conservation status.

Our results confirm E. bazae as a well-differentiated species with one of the most restricted distribution ranges among the European butterflies.

We demonstrate that its two disjunct populations, regarded as subspecies, are genetically differentiated and should be treated as independent management units.

Climate models under two future emission scenarios suggest an increase of the area climatically suitable. However, the suitability of the areas currently occupied is estimated to decrease, meaning that rapid range shifts could be required for the survival of the species.

Given the presumably low dispersal capabilities of E. bazae, its current restricted distribution, high degree of population fragmentation (divided in two distant populations), low intrapopulation genetic variability, decline in extension and abundance, low densities, high yearly fluctuations, and numerous threats to its habitat, we consider that their populations are extremely fragile and we propose to consider it ‘Endangered’ [EN B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv); B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv)].

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Series: Insect conservation and diversity
ISSN: 1752-458X
ISSN-E: 1752-4598
ISSN-L: 1752-458X
Volume: 15
Issue: 5
Pages: 594 - 605
DOI: 10.1111/icad.12579
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Academy of Finland, Grant/Award Number: decision no. 328895; Barcelona Zoo Foundation and Barcelona City Council; Generalitat de Catalunya, Grant/Award Number: 2017-SGR-991; MCIN/AEI, Grant/Award Numbers: BES-2017-080641, PID2019-107078GB-I00
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 328895
Detailed Information: 328895 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: DNA sequences are openly available in GenBank at, reference numbers are indicated in Supplementary Table  S1. Ecological Niche Modelling input and output are available in figshare at
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.