Panbiogeography of the Yucatan Peninsula Based on Charaxinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)

Aixchel Maya-Martínez, Juan J. Schmitter-Soto, Carmen Pozo


We have studied the origin of the Charaxinae lepidopteran fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula in a panbiogeographical analysis. The expectation was that this biota had a single origin (one generalized track) from Central America. A database was generated with worldwide distributional records of Charaxinae. The panbiogeographical analysis used the program Trazos2004, an extension for ArcView. A total of 22,124 records and 304 species were obtained, and 226 individual tracks were generated. Seventeen generalized tracks were obtained for the Americas; 2 of these penetrate into the Yucatan Peninsula. We conclude that the origin of the Yucatec Charaxinae fauna is tropical, following in America the Neotropical pattern, the so-called Mexican biogeographic "Y". This fauna originates from 2 putative Mesoamerican invasions: an older one (perhaps Miocene), that penetrated across the "Sierrita de Ticul" (a low mountain range); the other one more recent (Pliocene), which invaded along the Caribbean coast.

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