The endangered butterfly Shijimiaeoides divinus was believed to have been extirpated from Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan, about 40 years ago, but was rediscovered in Taketa in recent years. Furthermore, another population was recently found in Yufu, which is an area where the species had never been recorded. To elucidate the origins of these two populations newly found from Oita Prefecture, their DNA sequences of the mitochondrial (COI) gene were compared with those of other S. divinus populations from Kumamoto Prefecture, Honshu and Korea.
The results supported the hypothesis that the Taketa population originated from Kumamoto Prefecture. However, it was not clear whether this population originated from the natural dispersal or deliberate release of individuals. It was also found that the Yufu population was not established by the deliberate release of individuals from Honshu or Korea; however, it remained unclear whether the population of S. divinus was native to Yufu, or originated from other localities in Kyushu.
Fig. 1. Shijimiaeoides divinus asonis from Yufu, Oita Prefecture; female, general habitus.
Fig. 2. Haplotype network of Shijimiaeoides divinus based on mitochondrial COI sequences, constructed by TCS 1.21. Each
circle represents a unique haplotype and the line between haplotypes represents a single step mutation.