Rob has co-authored a study of phylogeny and biogeography of Leptotes butterflies which has recently been published in the respected entomological journal Systematic Entomology. Our analyses, also based on the butterflies collected in Cameroon, tracked the origin and biogeographic history of the studied butterflies. We have also proved Cycliurus to be a junior synonym of Leptotes and described a new species Leptotes durrelli from Madagascar and Mauricius, named after Gerald Durrell. Special attention has been paid to Leptotes pirithous, a common butterfly in Africa and Eurasia. We have shown it originated in Madagascar some 5-7 million years ago and expanded its wide range from there. Obviously, even common and overlooked butterflies can show some interesting stories!
Full reference: Fric Z.F., Maresova J., Kadlec T., Tropek R., Pyrcz T.W., Wiemers M. (2019) World travellers – Phylogeny and biogeography of the butterfly genus Leptotes (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Systematic Entomology 44: 652-665.