Partial sequences (681 bp) of the mitochondrial gene, cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (COII), were used to assess the genetic diversity among populations of the Oriental butterfly, Kallima inachus (Doyére 1840) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Kallimini), distributed through the southeastern Asian tropical and subtropical areas. Two haplotypes from Tibet and the Hainan Island are deeply divergent from each other, as well as from all other haplotypes (5.43%–7.05%, uncorrected), implying cryptic species might exist in the present morphological species K. inachus. Haplotypic divergences within the range north from Guangxi and within southern Yunnan are quite shallow. Phylogenetic analysis show the population in southern Yunnan should be an evolutionary significant entity distinct from the inland China populations, while those in the Sichuan Basin, southeast mainland China and the Taiwan Island are not genetically subdivided, suggesting the status of subspecies K. i. formosana Fruhstörfer, 1912 should be reconsidered. The rapid uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau as well as dramatic climatic changes from the late Pliocene in the region could have served as main driving forces of the allopatric divergences within K. inachus, as well as among probable cryptic sibling species.
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Vol. 88 • No. 4