Molecular phylogenetics and complementary geographical distributions of species of the Western Australian land snail genera PlectorhagadaIredale, 1933 and StrepsitaurusSolem, 1997 (Gastropoda: Camaenidae)

J.P.A. Taylor, Michael Johnson, Sean Stankowski

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    © 2015 The Linnean Society of London. The Western Australian camaenid genera Plectorhagada and Strepsitaurus have morphological similarities and mutually exclusive ranges near Cape Range. Sequences of ctyochromec oxidase subunitI (COI) and 16S mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genes confirmed that the two genera are genetically close sister clades. Targeted sampling showed that Strepsitaurus, which is confined to Cape Range, lies within a hole in the distribution of the more broadly distributed Plectorhagada that occurs on the coastal strip surrounding Cape Range. Species of the two genera meet at the transition between the rocky Cape Range and the sandier coastal areas, providing a rare example of the close replacement of genera. Within each genus, mtDNA sequences confirmed the monophyly and genetic distinctness of species, with few exceptions that show the need for additional work, and with the addition of three new species in the Cape Range area. As is typical of Australian camaenids, distributions of congeneric species are mutually exclusive, but in some cases close proximity is associated with contrasting habitats, such as gorge endemics versus the species on top of Cape Range. In sympatry, Strepsitaurus rugus (Cotton, 1951) and Strepsitaurus williami Solem, 1997 are separated by microhabitat. These local associations with habitat indicate that ecological differences, and not simply allopatric divergence, contribute to the lack of sympatry between closely related Australian camaenids.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)305-321
    JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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