We’ve known for at least 15 years that two cryptic species existed within Keith Brown’s conception of Heliconius demeter. Kanchon Dasmahapatra found an overlap in the region of Tarapoto, Peru of two “H. demeter” taxa with different DNA signatures during his postdoctoral work. The existence of these two “good” species has become common knowledge among the Heliconius community. For example see the separate branches of eratosignis and demeter in the Fig. 1 tree of Kozak et al. 2015 (Multilocus species trees show the recent adaptive radiation of the mimetic Heliconius butterflies. Systematic Biology 64:505-524. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syv007 ). However, a justification for the species split had hitherto remained unpublished.
Neil Rosser finally submitted our highly collaborative paper yesterday: “. 2018. A new cryptic species of Heliconius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae).
The paper includes a revision of the nomenclature of all of the subspecies of “H. demeter“, showing that they fall neatly into the two newly split species demarcated by mtDNA and some nuclear genes. It also contains the description of a new demeter subspecies from Tarapoto, named after Mathieu Joron for his many contributions to Heliconius biology, as well as his contribution to this particular project.
Any comments welcome!