Angelabella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae: Oecophyllembiinae) is considered a monotypic Neotropical genus of leaf miner micromoths known only from a few valleys of the arid environments of the Peru-Chile desert, particularly the southernmost part of Peru and northernmost part of Chile (type locality), where natural populations of its primary host plant occur. The geographic distribution of potential host plants provides a scenario for a wider range for this micromoth genus. The aims of this study were to explore the geographic range of Angelabella, determine the spatial distribution of mitochondrial lineages, and test lineage conspecificity hypotheses. The spatial distribution of genetic diversity indicated the presence of four spatial clusters, three of which are north of the previously known geographic range. Genetic distances were 0.2–0.8% and 3.6–8.3% (K2P) between haplotypes of the same and different spatial clusters, respectively. Phylogenetic relationships indicated reciprocal monophyly among the four spatial clusters, suggesting that allopatric differentiation processes have governed the recent history of Angelabella in these arid environments. These groups were defined as different species by four species delimitation methods, suggesting that Angelabella is not a monotypic genus, but harbors at least four morphologically cryptic allopatric species with restricted geographic ranges, including the type species and three candidate species.
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