Finding a new species is a rare event in easy-to-see and well-studied organisms like butterflies, especially if they inhabit well-explored areas such as Europe. Researchers have now discovered the previously unknown South-Russian blue using an array of modern research techniques. Furthermore, the new species was found to possess 46 chromosomes, just like a human, whereas its closest relative has 68 chromosomes.
Discovered by Vladimir Lukhtanov, entomologist and evolutionary biologist at the Zoological Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Alexander Dantchenko, entomologist and chemist at the Moscow State University, the startling discovery was named South-Russian blue (Polyommatus australorossicus). It was found flying over the northern slopes of the Caucasus mountains in southern Russia. The study is published in the open access journal Comparative Cytogenetics.Paper. (public access) – Vladimir Lukhtanov, Alexander Dantchenko. A new butterfly species from south Russia revealed through chromosomal and molecular analysis of the Polyommatus (Agrodiaetus) damonides complex (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae). Comparative Cytogenetics, 2017; 11 (4): 769 DOI: 10.3897/CompCytogen.v11i4.20072 More.
Remember this when we are told that it is “anti-science” to doubt whatever the current bumf is around Darwinian evolution.
See also: Single gene flip, not Darwinism, explains butterfly mimicry but it’s not clear why the butterflies bother
Convergent evolution: Speciation in butterflies an unusually tough mess