Tuscan Archipelago – 2014

The Butterfly Week 2014 has been organized by the BIB group with the fundamental contribution of the National Park of Tuscan Archipelago. During the week, Legambiente also organized the Butterfly-Party in the Butterfly Sanctuary of Monte Perone.

During the Week several interesting species have been collected, mostly on Montecristo island where it has been found after 40 years Pararge aegeria and for the first time Celastrina argiolus and Lycaena phlaeas. Other novelties have been found in the islands of Giannutri and Giglio.

The data collected have been already analyzed and the barcoding of butterflies from Tuscan Islands and surrounding areas will be submitted for publication soon. One of the most important news, showed here as a preview, are the results about the Coenonympha corinna-elbana group, endemic of western Mediterranean islands. Three main clades (genetic groups) have been found, the first lives in Sardinia, the second in Corsica and Capraia and the third on Elba, Giannutri and Tuscan mainland. This result is absolutely surprising since it supports the existence of the taxon Coenonympha elbana but also suggests the existence of two entities until now grouped under the name Coenonympha corinna.
Other specific studies will be necessary to definitively clarify the taxonomic position of these populations. However, the Barcoding of Tuscan Archipelago butterflies will represent a milestone in the taxonomy and the conservation of Mediterranean butterflies.

It must be noted that the project would have been impossible to realize without the logistic and financial support of the National Park of Tuscan Archipelago and of the Maremma Regional Park and without the special enthusiasm showed by the director of the former (Franca Zanichelli) and the president of the latter (Lucia Venturi).

The haplotype network for Coenonympha corinna-elba.
The distribution of the three genetic groups of Coenonympha corinna-elbana in its distribution area. The colour correspond to the frames in the haplotype network.