The taxonomic status of Cossus cossus afghanistanus (Lepidoptera, Cossidae) from Afghanistan: insights from molecular and morphological data

N. A. Shapoval, R. V. Yakovlev, G. N. Kuftina


In our study we use a 658 bp fragment of the COI gene to analyze a taxon from Afghanistan usually treated in literature as Cossus cossus afghanistanus (Daniel, 1953). The previous conclusions on taxonomy and nomenclature were not supported by molecular data therefore the question of identity of this taxon has remained unverified. Phylogenetic analysis revealed C. c. afghanistanus to be strongly differentiated from nominotypical Cossus cossus (Linnaeus, 1758) (p-distance: 6.7% ± 1.5%). Cossus c. afghanistanus forms a distinct well-supported clade in ML and BI trees. This fact, together with prominent morphological differences (wing color and genitalia structure) shows that C. c. afghanistanus represent a separate species rather than a subspecies of Cossus cossus.


Lepidoptera; Cossidae; DNA barcode; Afghanistan

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