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The complete mitochondrial genomes of Leptidea morsei Fenton (Lepidoptera: Pieridae: Dismorphiinae) and Catopsilia pomona (F.) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae: Coliadinae) were determined to be 15,122 and 15,142 bp in length, respectively, with that of L. morsei being the smallest among all known butterflies. Both mitogenomes contained 37 genes and an A T-rich region, with the gene order identical to those of other butterflies, except for the presence of a tRNA-like insertion, tRNALeu (UUR), in C. pomona. The nucleotide compositions of both genomes were higher in A and T (80.2% for L. morsei and 81.3% for C. pomona) than C and G; the A T bias had a significant effect on the codon usage and the amino acid composition. The protein-coding genes utilized the standard mitochondrial start codon ATN, except the COI gene using CGA as the initiation codon, as reported in other butterflies. The intergenic spacer sequence between the tRNASer (UCN) and ND1 genes contained the ATACTAA motif. The A T-rich region harbored a poly-T stretch and a conserved ATAGA motif located at the end of the region. In addition, there was a triplicated 23 bp repeat and a microsatellite-like (TA)9(AT)3 element in the A T-rich region of the L. morsei mitogenome, while in C. pomona, there was a duplicated 24 bp repeat element and a microsatellite-like (TA)9 element. The phylogenetic trees of the main butterfly lineages (Hesperiidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae, Lycaenidae, and Riodinidae) were reconstructed with maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods based on the 13 concatenated nucleotide sequences of protein-coding genes, and both trees showed that the Pieridae family is sister to Lycaenidae. Although this result contradicts the traditional morphologically based views, it agrees with other recent studies based on mitochondrial genomic data.
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