Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Ryan I. Hill

First Committee Member

Ajna S. Rivera

Second Committee Member

Zachary R. Stahlschmidt

Third Committee Member

Jason Baumsteiger


The North American genus Speyeria is an especially challenging radiation of butterflies due to ongoing hybridization, incomplete lineage sorting, and similar morphological characters among species. Adaptive radiations often require considerable evidence in order to resolve the evolutionary relationships of closely related individuals. Previous studies of this genus have found paraphyly among species and have been unable to disentangle these taxa due to a lack of data and/or incomplete sampling of the genus. As a result, the interspecific relationships among Speyeria remain unresolved. In an attempt to achieve phylogenetic resolution of the genus, we conducted population genomic and phylogenomic analyses of all North American Speyeria species, as well as several subspecies, based on genome wide markers using the SbfI restriction enzyme and restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RADseq). Together, our analyses recovered 16 species within Speyeria, validating previous taxonomic work. However, consistent with recent molecular analyses, internal relationships have poor support. This lack of resolution indicates Speyeria represent an ongoing adaptive radiation, with incomplete lineage sorting, hybridization, and lack of postzygotic reproductive barriers, supporting this hypothesis.



Included in

Biology Commons



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