ScienceDaily reported that researchers have discovered two new to science species of butterflies in the eastern USA. They are superficially similar to a very common butterfly species but they are different in the shape of sexual organs and genetic makeup.
The Carolina Satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius) is a small brown butterfly, just over an inch in wingspan, with eyespots along the edge of wings. It is one of the most common eastern US butterflies and found in shaded, wooded areas. DNA research found that there are two similar but distinct species.
They are the “Intricate Satyr” (Hermeuptychia intricata) named for the difficulty in recognizing this distinct species and its intricate ventral wing pattern. It was initially noticed in Brazos Bend State Park in East Texas. It is widely distributed all over eastern USA in several states, including Florida and South Carolina.
In studying the DNA sequences and genitalia of Satyr populations from South Texas a second new species was recognized, the “South Texas Satyr” (Hermeuptychia hermybius).
Visually the Carolina Satyr and Intricate Satyr appear more similar to each other than the Southern Satyr. However DNA shows the Southern Texas Satyr is a close relative of Carolina Satyr, but Intricate Satyr is rather distant from either of them.
Read more and see illustrations of the butterflies at: Two new butterfly species discovered in eastern United States — ScienceDaily.