Nominal Species (nominal + species)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Oviposition preference and larval performance within a diverging lineage of lycaenid butterflies

Matthew L. Forister
Abstract. 1. The butterfly genus Mitoura in Northern California includes three nominal species associated with four host plants having parapatric or interdigitated ranges. Genetic analyses have shown the taxa to be very closely related, and adults from all host backgrounds will mate and produce viable offspring in the laboratory. Oviposition preference and larval performance were investigated with the aim of testing the hypothesis that variation in these traits can exist in a system in which non-ecological barriers to gene flow (i.e. geographic barriers and genetic incompatibilities) appear to be minimal. 2. Females were sampled from 12 locations throughout Northern California, including sympatric and parapatric populations associated with the four different host-plant species. Oviposition preference was assayed by confining wild-caught females with branches of all four host species and counting the number of eggs laid on each. Offspring were reared on the same host species and two measures of larval success were taken: per cent survival and pupal weight. 3. For populations associated with one of the hosts, incense cedar, the preference,performance relationship is simple: the host that females chose is the plant which results in the highest pupal weights for offspring. The preference,performance relationship for populations associated with the other hosts is more complex and may reflect different levels of local adaptation. The variation in preference and performance reported here suggests that these traits can evolve when non-ecological barriers to gene flow are low, and that differences in these traits may be important for the evolution of reproductive isolation within Mitoura. [source]

Phylogenetic relationships within the tropical soft coral genera Sarcophyton and Lobophytum (Anthozoa, Octocorallia)

Catherine S. McFadden
Abstract. The alcyonacean soft coral genera Sarcophyton and Lobophytum are conspicuous, ecologically important members of shallow reef communities throughout the Indo-West Pacific. Study of their ecology is, however, hindered by incomplete knowledge of their taxonomy: most species cannot be identified in the field and the two genera cannot always be distinguished reliably. We used a 735-bp fragment of the octocoral-specific mitochondrial protein-coding gene msh1 to construct a phylogeny for 92 specimens identified to 19 species of Lobophytum and 16 species of Sarcophyton. All phylogenetic methods used recovered a tree with three strongly supported clades. One clade included only morphologically typical Sarcophyton species with a stalk distinct from the polypary, poorly formed club-shaped sclerites in the colony surface, and large spindles in the interior of the stalk. A second clade included only morphologically typical Lobophytum colonies with lobes and ridges on the colony surface, poorly formed clubs in the colony surface, and interior sclerites consisting of oval forms with regular girdles of ornamental warts. The third distinct clade included a mix of Sarcophyton and Lobophytum nominal species with intermediate morphologies. Most of the species in this mixed clade had a polypary that was not distinct from the stalk, and the sclerites in the colony surface were clubs with well-defined heads. Within the Sarcophyton clade, specimens identified as Sarcophyton glaucum belonged to six very distinct genetic sub-clades, suggesting that this morphologically heterogeneous species is actually a cryptic species complex. Our results highlight the need for a complete taxonomic revision of these genera, using molecular data to help confirm species boundaries as well as to guide higher taxonomic decisions. [source]

Morphometric convergence and molecular divergence: the taxonomic status and evolutionary history of Gymnura crebripunctata and Gymnura marmorata in the eastern Pacific Ocean

W.D. Smith
To clarify the taxonomic status of Gymnura crebripunctata and Gymnura marmorata, the extent of morphological and nucleotide variation between these nominal species was examined using multivariate morphological and mitochondrial DNA comparisons of the same characters with congeneric species. Discriminant analysis of 21 morphometric variables from four species (G. crebripunctata, G. marmorata, Gymnura micrura and Gymnura poecilura) successfully distinguished species groupings. Classification success of eastern Pacific species improved further when specimens were grouped by species and sex. Discriminant analysis of size-corrected data generated species assignments that were consistently accurate in separating the two species (100% jackknifed assignment success). Nasal curtain length was identified as the character which contributed the most to discrimination of the two species. Sexual dimorphism was evident in several characters that have previously been relied upon to distinguish G. crebripunctata from G. marmorata. A previously unreported feature, the absence of a tail spine in G. crebripunctata, provides an improved method of field identification between these species. Phylogenetic and genetic distance analyses based on 698 base pairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene indicate that G. crebripunctata and G. marmorata form highly divergent lineages, supporting their validity as distinct species. The closely related batoid Aetoplatea zonura clustered within the Gymnura clade, indicating that it may not represent a valid genus. Strong population structuring (overall ,ST = 0·81,P < 0·01) was evident between G. marmorata from the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula and the Gulf of California, supporting the designation of distinct management units in these regions. [source]

Species in the genus Turritopsis (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa): a molecular evaluation

M. P. Miglietta
Abstract Mitochondrial ribosomal gene sequences were used to investigate the status of several populations of hydromedusae belonging to the genus Turritopsis (family Oceaniidae). Several nominal species have been described for this genus, but most of them had been synonymized and attributed to one cosmopolitan species, Turritopsis nutricula. A recent revision based on morphological and reproductive characters, however, has shown that many different populations can be distinguished and that several of the nominal Turritopsis species are likely valid biological species. Our investigation using molecular sequence data of 16S mitochondrial gene confirms these results. The Mediterranean Turritopsis must be attributed to Turritopsis dohrnii and the Turritopsis of New Zealand must be referred to Turritopsis rubra. The situation of the Japanese Turritopsis is more complex, though all sampled populations are clearly distinct from T. nutricula, a species likely confined to the Western Atlantic. The Japanese Turritopsis fall into three widely separated lineages. One of them, corresponding likely to Turritopsis pacifica, is closely related to T. rubra. A second clade, which potentially represents an as yet undescribed species, produces smaller medusae than T. pacifica and is morphologically distinguishable from it. Finally, a third group was distinguished by a single haplotype sequence that is identical with a Mediterranean sample of T. dohrnii. It is postulated that the last group of Japanese Turritopsis is likely a recent introduction, most probably by human activity. A survey of all known and potentially valid Turritopsis species is given in table format to facilitate identifications and future revisory work. Sommario Sequenze del gene mitocondriale 16S sono state utilizzate per studiare lo stato tassonomico di idroidi appartenenti al genere Turritopsis (Famiglia Oceaniidae). In letteratura, tra le numerose specie nominali di TurritoSPSis descritte, molte di queste sono state successivamente messe in sinonimia e attribuite ad un'unica specie cosmopolita, Turritopsis nutricula. Una recente revisione, basata su dati morfologici e caratteri riproduttivi, ha comunque mostrato che diverse popolazioni di Turritopsis possono essere distinte in numerose specie nominali e probabilmente rappresentano valide specie biologiche. Il presente studio conferma questa recente interpretazione, mediante lo studio di sequenze molecolari del gene 16S. La popolazione mediterranea di Turritopsisè ora attribuita a T. dohrnii, mentre la popolazione neozelandese va ascritta alla specie T. rubra. La situazione nei mari giapponesi si presenta piu' complessa, sebbene tutte le popolazioni ivi campionate siano chiaramente distinte da T. nutricula, la quale risulta confinata unicamente all'Atlantico Orientale. Le sequenze ottenute da esemplari di Turritopsis provenienti dal Giappone formano tre cladi ben distinti. Uno di essi corrisponde a Turritopsis pacifica. Un secondo clade è costituito da popolazioni che producono meduse piu' piccole rispetto a Turritopsis pacifica ed e' dunque anche morfologicamente separato. Un terzo gruppo e' rappresentato da un solo aplotipo identico alle popolazioni mediterranee di T. dohrnii. La presenza di quest'ultimo gruppo di Turritopsis in Giappone e' molto probabilmente il risultato di un'introduzione recente, in seguito ad attività umana. Per facilitare futuri lavori di revisione, è inoltre presentata tavola che riassume le caratteristiche di tutte le specie di Turritopsis conosciute e potenzialmente valide. La tavola cerca di integrare i dati morfologici e riproduttivi già noti e dei dati molecolari ottenuti con questo studio. [source]

Taxonomy and biogeography of Central European Kybos (Insecta, Hemiptera, Cicadellidae)

Roland Mühlethaler
Abstract The Central European species of the taxonomically difficult Holarctic typhlocybine genus Kybos are revised. Currently it is impossible to identify females and nymphs. In addition the otherwise diagnostic shape of the male genitalia is linked by intermediates in some morphologically similar nominal species. The second important diagnostic structure, the male sound apodemes, is not yet fully developed in teneral males, a fact which was not sufficiently taken into consideration by some authors. The present study evaluates the morphological variation of the male genitalia and sound apodemes. Females and nymphs are investigated for taxonomically relevant characters. The study did not yield previously unknown characters particularly for the females and nymphs but suggested that the variation of the male genitalia has previously been underestimated. For this reason K. perplexus Ribaut, 1952 and K. paraltaicus Orosz, 1996 are synonymised with K. strigilifer (Ossiannilsson, 1941) (new synonymies). The base of the female ovipositor is variable within Kybos and separates species groups but does not diagnose species. Nymphs vary in leg dimensions and colour forming the same species groups as the female genitalia but, again, do not diagnose species. In the cladistic analysis the female genital characters make the most important contribution to tree structure whereas the male genitalia are of less importance, contrary to species diagnoses. It is interesting to note that the cladogram comprises a monophyletic group of Betulaceae feeders. (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Pleistocene phylogeography and phylogenetic concordance in cold-adapted spring snails (Bythinella spp.)

Abstract Previous studies on Pleistocene phylogeography of European taxa are biased towards (i) vertebrates, (ii) terrestrial taxa, (iii) single species, and (iv) taxa that survived the Pleistocene in southern refugia. Relatively little is known about whether evolutionary patterns of vertebrate and terrestrial taxa are also applicable to freshwater invertebrates, whether cold-adapted freshwater species could survive in extensive permafrost areas without retreating into refugia, and whether Pleistocene phylogeographical patterns are influenced by phylogeny. Here, the widespread and species-rich European spring snail genus Bythinella Moquin-Tandon, 1856 is utilized in an attempt to mitigate this bias. These strongly cold-adapted freshwater animals mostly occur in springs , highly isolated habitats that are relatively unaffected by anthropogenic influences. Phylogenetic and phylogeographical analyses based on mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA sequence data were conducted in 458 specimens from 142 populations occurring throughout Europe. The study provides evidence that most Bythinella spp. survived the Pleistocene in restricted northern glacial refugia that largely correspond to refugia previously recognized for other European biota. However, survival of Bythinella spp. in extensive permafrost areas outside of refugia can likely be rejected. Low dispersal ability and the isolation and fragmentation of spring habitats, as well as the distribution of perennial springs within permafrost regions, may account for this result. Tests involving a total of 29 nominal species showed that phylogenetically closely related Bythinella species did not occupy similar refugia. This lack of phylogenetic concordance could possibly be explained by the stochasticity of survival and dispersal in spring snails. [source]

Adaptive radiation in Lesser Antillean lizards: molecular phylogenetics and species recognition in the Lesser Antillean dwarf gecko complex, Sphaerodactylus fantasticus

Abstract The time associated with speciation varies dramatically among lower vertebrates. The nature and timing of divergence is investigated in the fantastic dwarf gecko Sphaerodactylus fantasticus complex, a nominal species that occurs on the central Lesser Antillean island of Guadeloupe and adjacent islands and islets. This is compared to the divergence in the sympatric anole clade from the Anolis bimaculatus group. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of numerous gecko populations from across these islands, based on three mitochondrial DNA genes, reveals several monophyletic groups occupying distinct geographical areas, these being Les Saintes, western Basse Terre plus Dominica, eastern Basse Terre, Grand Terre, and the northern and eastern islands (Montserrat, Marie Galante, Petite Terre, Desirade). Although part of the same nominal species, the molecular divergence within this species complex is extraordinarily high (27% patristic distance between the most divergent lineages) and is compatible with this group occupying the region long before the origin of the younger island arc. Tests show that several quantitative morphological traits are correlated with the phylogeny, but in general the lineages are not uniquely defined by these traits. The dwarf geckos show notably less nominal species-level adaptive radiation than that found in the sympatric southern clade of Anolis bimculatus, although both appear to have occupied the region for a broadly similar period of time. Nevertheless, the dwarf gecko populations on Les Saintes islets are the most morphologically distinct and are recognized as a full species (Sphaerodactylus phyzacinus), as are anoles on Les Saintes (Anolis terraealtae). [source]

Huge populations and old species of Costa Rican and Panamanian dirt frogs inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences

A. J. Crawford
Abstract Molecular genetic data were used to investigate population sizes and ages of Eleutherodactylus (Anura: Leptodactylidae), a species-rich group of small leaf-litter frogs endemic to Central America. Population genetic structure and divergence was investigated for four closely related species surveyed across nine localities in Costa Rica and Panama. DNA sequence data were collected from a mitochondrial gene (ND2) and a nuclear gene (c- myc). Phylogenetic analyses yielded concordant results between loci, with reciprocal monophyly of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes for all species and of c- myc haplotypes for three of the four species. Estimates of genetic differentiation among populations (FST) based upon mitochondrial data were always higher than nuclear-based FST estimates, even after correcting for the expected fourfold lower effective population size (Ne) of the mitochondrial genome. Comparing within-population variation and the relative mutation rates of the two genes revealed that the Ne of the mitochondrial genome was 15-fold lower than the estimate of the nuclear genome based on c- myc. Nuclear FST estimates were , 0 for the most proximal pairs of populations, but ranged from 0.5 to 1.0 for all other pairs, even within the same nominal species. The nuclear locus yielded estimates of Ne within localities on the order of 105. This value is two to three orders of magnitude larger than any previous Ne estimate from frogs, but is nonetheless consistent with published demographic data. Applying a molecular clock model suggested that morphologically indistinguishable populations within one species may be 107 years old. These results demonstrate that even a geologically young and dynamic region of the tropics can support very old lineages that harbour great levels of genetic diversity within populations. The association of high nucleotide diversity within populations, large divergence between populations, and high species diversity is also discussed in light of neutral community models. [source]

The Jurassic Bivalve Genus Placunopsis: New Evidence On Anatomy and Affinities

Jonathan A. Todd
The Jurassic bivalve genus Placunopsis Morris and Lycett, 1853 is shown to be an anomiid on account of the detailed anatomy of its hitherto unknown right valve and the corresponding musculature in the left valve. Herein the most appropriate choice for type species is considered to be P. inaequalis (Phillips, 1829), which accommodates a number of the larger Late Jurassic nominal species. A species from the English Bathonian previously confused with P. inaequalis is described as P. fuersichi sp. nov. Placunopsis inaequalis is shown to be closely related to Recent Pododesmus, which has previously been interpreted as the most ,primitive' of the extant anomiids on the basis of its anatomy. There is thus no need to retain a separate family for the genus, as has been proposed by some workers. The distinct small species P. socialis Morris and Lycett, 1853 can also be assigned to the anomiids on the basis of the differences between the structure of the outer layers in the two valves, and the presence of a byssal foramen. There is some suggestion of calcification of the byssus, but not enough detail is known of its musculature to justify transferring it to the genus Juranomia Fürsich and Werner, 1989 at this stage. The cemented bivalves traditionally referred to Placunopsis that are so common in the European Muschelkalk (Triassic) are not anomiids and thus require systematic revision. [source]

Taxonomic confusion and market mislabelling of threatened skates: important consequences for their conservation status

Samuel P. Iglésias
Abstract 1.The iconic European common skate (Dipturus batis) has been described as the first clear case of a fish species brought to the brink of extinction by commercial fishing. Its listing was upgraded to Critically Endangered on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. According to FAO fishery statistics, France is responsible for 60.2% of the 502 tonnes reported as ,D. batis' in the 2005 world landings. 2.Noticeable phenotypic differences within the species and inconsistencies in published data on its sexual maturation required careful re-examination of its taxonomy. Morphology, genetics, and life history reveal that two distinct species have been erroneously confused since the 1920s under the single scientific name D. batis. Here it is argued that they should be resurrected as two valid species. The common skate D. batis species-complex is split into two nominal species, the blue skate (provisionally called D. cf. flossada) and the flapper skate (D. cf. intermedia) with maximum lengths of 143.2,cm and 228.8,cm respectively. 3.This taxonomic confusion puts into question all previously accumulated data based on D. batis. Its endangered status highlights the need for an extensive reassessment of population collapses with accurately identified species. In 2006/2007 an extensive survey (4110 skates, 14.081 tonnes by weight) was conducted in the main French ports of the D. batis species-complex and relatives (D. oxyrinchus, D. nidarosiensis and Rostroraja alba) that are mixed together in landings under the names ,D. batis' and ,D. oxyrinchus'. 4.The survey reveals that official fishery statistics mask species-specific declines, due to the mislabelling of five species under only two landing names. Trends in landings since the 1960s and the life history of these species suggest a dramatic decline and collapse of the spawning stock, preventing the recovery of relict populations. 5.The risk of extinction of these depleted species may be higher than previously assessed and might be unavoidable without immediate and incisive conservation action. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]