Skip to main content
Long-distance Gene Flow in the Sedentary Butterfly, Euphilotes enoptes (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)
Evolution (1996)
  • Merrill A. Peterson, Western Washington University
The relationship between gene flow and geographic proximity has been assessed for many insect species, but dispersal distances are poorly known for most of these. Thus, we are able to assess the concordance between vagility and gene flow for only a few species. In this study, I documented variation at six allozyme loci among Washington and Oregon populations of the sedentary, patchily distributed, lycaenid butterfly, Euphilotes enoptes (Boisduval) to assess whether the relationship between gene flow and geographic distance is consistent with the dispersal biology of this species. Both a phenogram based on genetic distances between populations and a regression analysis of gene flow estimates on geographic distances showed a pattern consistent with. genetic isolation by distance. Many estimates of gene flow among pairs of populations separated by more than 100 km exceeded the equivalent of 10 individuals exchanged per generation, a value much greater than would be predicted from the limited dispersal ability of this species. However, based on the allozyme data, genetic neighborhood size was estimated to be approximately 39 individuals, a value that is consistent with poor vagility. The results of this study speak to the power of stepping-stone gene flow among populations and are compared to the results of other studies that have examined the relationship between dispersal and gene flow in sedentary insects.
  • Allozymes,
  • dispersal,
  • Euphilotes enoptes,
  • Gene flow,
  • Isolation by distance,
  • Lycaenidae,
  • Neighborhood size,
  • Phytophagous insect,
  • Stepping-stone mode
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution Stable URL:
Citation Information
Merrill A. Peterson. "Long-distance Gene Flow in the Sedentary Butterfly, Euphilotes enoptes (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)" Evolution Vol. 50 Iss. 5 (1996)
Available at: