Contributions to Entomology 72(1): 1-35, doi: 10.3897/contrib.entomol.72.e87196
Centres of endemism of Noctuidae (Lepidoptera) in the Palaearctic arid mountains: biogeographical and phylogenetic implications
expand article infoZoltán Varga
‡ University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
Open Access
The oreal fauna is connected with orographically limited non-arboreal habitats. Its chorological centres can be recognised by the high species-diversity of numerous typical genera, and by the accumulated occurrence of endemic species and/or subspecies of disjunct species. The oreal fauna is partitioned to the alpine type, as the faunal type of humid high-mountains with strong connections to the tundral zonobiome, and the xeromontane type, as the faunal type of arid high-mountains with close connections to the eremic zonobiomes. As the results of revisions of several Noctuinae genera, species groups and/or sister species were recognised and their distributions were mapped. The restricted areas of allopatric sister species, often described by us as new for science, fulfil the criteria of the “areas of endemism”. Core areas of the Palaearctic xeromontane Noctuidae, outlined by the distribution of endemic species, have been proven by the occurrence of allopatric subspecies of polytypic species, and/or by the presence of allopatric sister species. In the revised genera of Noctuidae several types of allopatric speciation have been identified based on the analysis of the areas of endemism and of vicariance patterns. As a result of these analyses, it is proved that allopatric sister species, as elementary monophyletic supraspecific units, are suitable for phylogenetic biogeographical surveys. Although the major part of the xeromontane fauna appears to be range-restricted, a considerable fraction of the species could have expanded into the steppic zonobiome due to adaptive changes of their life cycles. High diversity of cold-adapted species originated from the Sino-Himalayan mountains by passing two main filtercorridors. One track of this bifurcation was directed across the “Rhododendron-corridor” to the Holarctic taiga zone while the other one, across the “Xeromontane filter-corridor” to the mountain systems of Central and Inner Asia. This bifurcation becomes apparent from the taxonomic division of the genera, composing both of these main faunal types. Supposedly, the faunal movements of the xeromontanean species in the West Palaearctic had been shaped by the Messinian salinity crisis and, additionally, significantly influenced by the Mid-Pleistocene climatic transition which deeply transformed the zonality of the vegetation by cooling and aridisation of vast areas.
Noctuidae, oreal fauna, xeromontane fauna, areas of endemism, monophyletic species groups, allopatric speciation, climatic constraints, filter-corridors