• COI;
  • ITS2;
  • ND6;
  • Oeneis;
  • population differentiation;
  • Satyrinae


The species status of Oeneis urda (Eversmann) and O. mongolica (Oberthür) has been argued based on morphological characters. Reexamination of their major morphological characters has shown a slight differentiation in the two species. Sequences of three mitochondrial genes (COI, ND6, and ND1) and one nuclear region (internal transcribed spacer 2, ITS2) from two O. urda populations (Yangyang and Mt. Hanla) and one O. mongolica population (Uljin) were performed for phylogenetic and population genetic inferences. Sharing of identical sequences in the ND6 gene and ITS2, minimal sequence divergence in the COI and ND1 genes, and phylogenetically undividable sequence types in all mitochondrial genes and ITS2 suggest genetic continuity between the two species. Nevertheless, significant FST estimates (P < 0.05) were found for the COI gene in comparisons between Yangyang (O. urda) and Uljin (O. mongolica), between Yangyang (O. urda) and Mt. Hanla (O. urda), and between Uljin (O. mongolica) and Mt. Hanla (O. urda) populations. These FST estimates, along with other gene-based analyses collectively suggest isolation of the two species at some point in the past, but incomplete separation between the two species on the mainland (Yangyang and Uljin) and biogeographically forced isolation of the O. urda population on Mt. Hanla collectively appear to complicate species status of these two species that were once further clearly separated.