Back to the Future: Updates on the invasion history of Junonia butterflies in Florida and the mystery of Chokoloskee
No Thumbnail Available
Lalonde, Melanie M. L.
Marcus, Jeffrey M.
Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society
The tropical buckeye, Junonia zonalis (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) is a recent addition to the butterfly fauna of mainland Florida. It appears that this species began to invade the mainland from the Florida Keys or Cuba by the 1930s, hybridizing with J. coenia and bringing with it mitochondrial haplotype group A, which is common in the Caribbean but is essentially absent from North American Junonia. By the 1940s, J. zonalis appears to have established populations in Miami, but eventually may have been extirpated. Later, new populations of J. zonalis may have become established on mainland Florida by subsequent waves of J. zonalis migrants. Substantial fluctuations in both population size and mitochondrial haplotype group A frequency seem to be characteristic of Florida mainland populations of J. zonalis. Populations of J. zonalis in the Florida Keys and Cuba have maintained nearly constant mitochondrial haplotype group A frequencies over many decades and may be more stable than those on the Florida mainland. Junonia zonalis specimens attributed to Chokoloskee, Florida, from the early 1900s have questionable provenance. Based on their haplotype frequency and other evidence these Chokoloskee specimens may have been collected in Cuba. Similarly, one specimen of J. zonalis likely collected during the 1880s and labeled “Indian River, Fla.” probably also originated from outside of Florida.
Invasion biology, Junonia zonalis, museum specimen DNA, hybridization, biogeography
Lalonde, M.M.L. and J.M. Marcus. 2020. Back to the Future: Updates on the invasion history of Junonia butterflies in Florida and the mystery of Chokoloskee. J. Lepid. Soc.