Geographic patterns of genetic and morphological divergence amongst populations of a river crab (Decapoda, Potamonautidae) with the description of a new species from mountain streams in the Western Cape, South Africa

S. Daniels, Barbara Stewart, L. Burmeister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent systematic research has revealed that Potamonautes brincki comprises two genetically and morphologically distinct population groups. The systematic affinities between these population groups have remained uncertain. In the present study, the relationship between the population groups was examined. Eleven populations were collected from high mountain streams in the Western Cape, South Africa and used in the genetic and morphological analyses. Allozyme electrophoresis of 13 protein coding loci separated two main population groups: group A (Cape Peninsular groups) and group B (Hottentot's Holland) at I = 0.73. Two additional genetic groups were evident, with group B being conspecific to group A, and group D being conspecific to group C. Morphological examination of pleopod 1 and the terminal segment of the mandibular palp showed considerable differences between the two main population groups, with groups A and B being similar and groups C and D being similar. The morphometric data for the four main groups were examined using discriminant functions analysis and the two main groups were compared using analyses of covariance. Discriminant functions analysis showed a moderate degree of overlap between the groups. Additional morphometric data showed a clear discrimination between the two main population groups. The genetic and morphometric data sets exhibited congruent patterns of variation and the data showed the presence of a species boundary. A new freshwater crab species, P. parvicorpus sp. n., is described. The results of the present study are discussed in the light of historical and contemporary factors that are likely to have contributed to speciation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-197
JournalZoologica Scripta
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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