Agrodiaetus alcestis (Zerny, 1932) and A. demavendi (Pfeiffer, 1938) belong to the "brown" complex of the genus Agrodiaetus Hübner, 1822. This complex includes several cryptic species which are extremely uniform in wing colouration and genitalia structure, but have distinct chromosome numbers. In this paper we analyse karyotypes of A. alcestis karacetinae Lukhtanov et Dantchenko, 2002 and A. demavendi in populations from Iran. We demonstrate that A. alcestis karacetinae and A. demavendi are sympatric in the provinces Esfahan, Lorestan, Hamadan, Kurdestan, Kermanshah, and Markazi. The haploid chromosome number of A. alcestis karacetinae is found to be n=19 in all the populations studied. The karyotype of A. demavendi is not stable. The lowest chromosome numbers n=63-67 is observed in the south of the revealed distribution range (provinces Esfahan and Lorestan). The highest chromosome numbers (n=73-74) is found in Northwestern Iran in provinces Kurdestan and Zanjan. We also confirm that A. alcestis sensu lato appears as a polyphyletic taxon on the Bayesian phylogenetic tree inferred from the mitochondrial COI barcodes and should be most likely divided in two different species: A. alcestis sensu stricto and A. karacetinae. The new data on occurrence of A. admetus and A. ripartii in Iran are discussed. © Comparative Cytogenetics.
Vershinina, A. O., & Lukhtanov, V. A. (2010). Geographical distribution of the cryptic species Agrodiaetus alcestis alcestis, A. alcestis karacetinae and A. demavendi (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) revealed by cytogenetic analysis. Comparative Cytogenetics, 4(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.3897/compcytogen.v4i1.21